There is no question people are spending more time on their phones, specifically to access the internet. Whether it’s reading the news, talking to loved ones or shopping online, most people have made mobile internet browsing a major part of their everyday lives.
Statista reports that more than half of the world’s website traffic comes from mobile. This is a strong indication that website owners should prioritize mobile search optimization (SEO) now more than ever.
In addition to gaining more traffic to your site, mobile optimization and mobile search optimization can help boost conversions and grow your bottom line.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to create the perfect mobile SEO strategy to improve mobile user experience and increase your conversion rate.
What Is Mobile Optimization?
Mobile optimization, also referred to as mobile search engine optimization or mobile SEO, is the process of redesigning a website to improve mobile user experience and increase conversions.
In the past, optimizing for mobile websites was as simple as implementing responsive design. Users could still view the desktop version of the site, but most site elements would adjust to the mobile device’s screen size. Today, however, mobile optimization has evolved and mobile SEO strategies have been revised.
With Google rolling out mobile first indexing in 2019, mobile responsiveness is no longer enough. Now, a website must be optimized for mobile first indexing too.
In July 2019, Google implemented mobile first indexing, which means that Google will crawl the mobile version of a website to determine indexing and ranking. This is one of the major reasons SEO for mobile should be a priority – you can make your website benefit from the Google mobile first indexing update.
Most website developers have had to redesign mobile sites from the ground up to improve the mobile user experience, ensuring that visitors can enjoy easy mobile navigation that complies with Google mobile first indexing best practices.
Some common features of a mobile optimized site include:
• Responsive design
• Simple, uncluttered design
• Hamburger menus
• Big, bold buttons
• No sidebar
•No popups (if there is one, it should be easy to close)
• Scannable text (organized by subheadings and bullet points)
• Compressed images for faster load times
Mobile SEO always considers the user’s experience of navigating the website. It should be easy for visitors to make a purchase, sign up for your service or take any other call-to-action (CTA) you have on your site.
Why Is Mobile Search Optimization Important?
The need to optimize for the mobile first indexing Google has implemented is just one reason mobile SEO is vital. There are many more benefits to implementing SEO for mobile, and one of them is to improve mobile user experience, which can boost conversions and bring you a profitable return on investment (ROI).
Another driving factor is the fact that more than half of online shoppers use their smartphones for this purpose. This is according to a recent 2020 survey conducted by Episerver. If you ignore mobile search engine optimization, you’ll lose out on a substantial proportion of potential customers. You not only need to improve mobile usability for customer satisfaction, but more importantly for mobile conversion optimization.
When visitors can easily transition into customers, your website has helped you meet one of your top business goals. That’s why it is in your best interest to prioritize creating and implementing a mobile SEO strategy for your business website.
More recently, Google announced that it is launching a new algorithm update called Page Experience in May 2021. The update will take into account the user’s experience when ranking sites for search results. And, according to Google, user experience includes the website’s mobile-friendliness and site speed.
How Does Mobile Optimization Increase Conversions?
Convincing a potential customer to make a purchase is hard enough, so once they do decide to buy from you, you need to remove any difficulties they might encounter when doing so. Focusing on SEO for mobile conversion optimization is the best way to ensure profitable results from your campaign.
With an eCommerce website, a one-step checkout is an example of making the purchase transaction as fast and easy as possible. There shouldn’t be any distractions or lack of clarity as to how one might make a purchase on your website.
For years, business owners have focused on a website’s conversion rate optimization. With more and more consumers using their mobile devices to shop and look for a business, mobile conversions are also fast becoming a priority.
How to Implement SEO for Mobile
Mobile SEO experts have many opinions and suggestions about optimizing a website for mobile device users. From improving site speed to removing pop-ups, there is a long list of SEO mobile tactics you can implement as part of your conversion rate optimization.
The technical aspect of improving your mobile SEO might not be your specialty, so it’s best to seek help from a mobile SEO company that has experience with WordPress mobile optimization or implementing SEO for mobile sites built on other platforms like Shopify or Amazon.
If you prefer to conduct your own SEO mobile improvements, here are some of the steps you can take.
Run a Mobile SEO Audit
How do you know if your site benefits from Google’s mobile indexing rule? You won’t know what needs to be done if you don’t conduct research and gather data. A mobile SEO audit will reveal your site’s mobile SEO performance, giving you insight into what mobile SEO strategy to implement.
One way to start your mobile SEO audit is by using Google’s mobile website speed testing tool, Test My Site. It’s a free resource you can use to understand how your site performs against Google mobile first indexing.
You can enter your website URL to get the following information:
• Mobile Friendliness
This measures how easy it is for visitors to use your site on a mobile device. Tiny buttons, unclear navigation prompts and any other difficulties that affect the mobile user experience can bring down this score.
• Mobile Speed Score
This score measures how fast your site loads on mobile. We’ll discuss how to improve your site speed later on in this article.
• Desktop Speed
This number represents how fast your website loads for desktop users. Site speed on mobile and desktop can differ greatly depending on factors such as bandwidth and site structure.
As soon as you get a clear idea of where you stand in terms of the mobile first indexing Google has imposed, you can create a strategy to improve your score.
Mobile sites have limited space and cannot show exactly the same layout as the desktop version of the site. This makes mobile navigation a bit challenging.
Take the sidebar, for example. The sidebar, which is a smaller column to the left or right of a website, often gets pushed down on a mobile version of the site, so the user has to scroll to the very end of the page to see it.
Removing the sidebar not only eliminates the visual clutter on your mobile site but lets the user focus on the main content of the site.
The same goes for pop-ups and ads that disrupt the user experience. Let’s assume your end-goal is to get the visitor to take your CTA, whether it’s to:
• Buy a product
• Subscribe to a service
• Sign up for an email list
• Schedule a call
If this is your goal, there should not be any other distractions in your site’s mobile navigation. When everything on your site leads to conversion, you get better results. More importantly, mobile indexing also takes these factors into account.
As for WordPress websites, many WordPress mobile optimization themes and plugins exist to help you give your mobile site a clean, minimalistic design that improves your mobile SEO.
Some common issues mobile users encounter when browsing a non-mobile optimized site include:
• Endless scrolling
• Inconsistent or confusing filters
• Slow load times
• Small images and text
• Untappable elements
• Difficulty filling out forms
If expert help is needed, you can always hire a mobile SEO company that offers the right mobile SEO services and can help your brand get the best possible results. When your site aligns with all the requirements of the mobile first indexing Google enforced, you should be on the right track.
Improve Site Speed
Site speed is a vital part of mobile search engine optimization and technical SEO. A 2018 Google study reveals that 53 percent of mobile users will leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. On average, a mobile site takes 15 seconds to load. This creates a huge impact on traffic and conversions, which is a clear indication of how important mobile conversion optimization is for businesses.
In addition to increasing visitor retention, site speed can drastically improve user experience and help with turning a visitor into a customer as fast as possible.
More importantly, Google announced that its algorithm would include speed in ranking mobile sites. As a solution, Google recommends switching mobile sites to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which uses a simpler version of your HTML code for faster load times.
A few more strategies to improve site speed include:
• Enabling image compression
• Creating a simple layout
• Running a site speed audit
• Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
If these strategies are unfamiliar to you, consider hiring a mobile SEO company that specializes in mobile SEO services and conversion rate optimization. Some web design agencies can assist with WordPress mobile optimization strategies that work for your site.
Focus on Your Call-to-Action
It’s tempting to fill your site with tons of information about your company, but you should focus on your site’s main goal. Having a clear CTA on your homepage can immediately draw your visitors into conversion.
If you have an eCommerce site, buttons like Shop Now or Add To Cart should be easy to find on every product page. For consultants, a CTA like Let’s Talk or Schedule A Call should be front and center of your landing page.
You want visitors to take action after reading about your offer, so make the experience a great one for them.
The age of the mobile consumer is evidently here, and businesses and brands have gotten on the SEO mobile optimization bandwagon. While it can be an arduous and costly undertaking, it is a wise investment that will bring you the ultimate reward: conversions.
Are you ready to provide your site visitors with the best mobile user experience? Then check out Thrive’s mobile SEO services, which include specializations in eCommerce, local SEO, Shopify SEO and Amazon SEO. Give Thrive a call today and get started with mobile indexing best practices with the help of our highly qualified mobile SEO experts.