Ever since mobile technology evolved enough to allow users to access the Internet via their mobile devices, Google has offered a frequently changing and confusing set of mobile SEO policies. If you’re in business, you can’t afford to miss the latest mobile SEO best practices; follow these to maximize the chance that mobile users will find your website, apps and other important information while searching for answers to their questions online.
It’s starting to become clear that mobile SEO is a creature of its own that is separate from regular SEO for desktop. Mobile SEO is a set of best practices that allows Google to rank your mobile site higher than competing mobile sites in search results. Just like regular SEO helps you get on the first page of Google when Web users do a search for your keywords, mobile SEO helps you get on the first page of Google’s mobile search results for your keywords.
Mobile SEO is an invaluable tool because the more users there are who find your mobile pages and apps via a mobile Web search, the more likely you are to make sales.
Mobile Design is Key
While desktop SEO focuses mainly on keywords, the latest edition of Google’s mobile SEO guidelines has a much bigger focus on website design. This makes sense because websites often display differently on mobile devices than on desktop or laptop computers. Thus, if your website design isn’t optimized for mobile use, it won’t do much good for mobile users to visit it.
In order to increase your mobile SEO, make sure your website has the following components:
Responsive design. Rather than having a separate website for mobile and desktop users, create one website that automatically detects mobile device use and optimizes itself accordingly. This is important because having to redirect mobile customers to a different website wastes valuable seconds that can add up to long delays and lack of interest in your website.
Proper redirection. Most responsive designs allow mobile users to opt to see the desktop version of the site if they wish. Make sure that if a user clicks on this option, he or she is redirected to the full version of the page being viewed, not the site’s homepage. For example, if a user is on your catalog page and wants to see the full version, he or she should be redirected to the full version catalog page, not the full version home page.
Avoid Requiring the Use of Additional Apps
Another large-scale problem is the use of dedicated apps within your mobile website. For example, if you have videos on your page, don’t require users to download an app to watch the videos. This behavior annoys mobile users — and as a result — Google penalizes mobile websites that include it by downgrading their SEO score.
Continue Optimizing Keywords
Although mobile web design is the most important aspect of mobile SEO, don’t ignore your keywords. Without choosing proper keywords, Google can’t possibly know which terms to optimize your site for. Keywords are just as relevant to mobile searches as to desktop searches. Make sure you choose search terms that are popular, relevant and have low competition in order to get the SEO ball rolling. Once you’ve done that, you can work on your mobile web design to ensure that you comply with Google’s best practices for mobile SEO.