Here's a fun fact for you: A large portion of the population uses their smartphones as their sole way of accessing the internet. In fact, there are more people with smartphones than with a desktop computer.
As technology advances and gets cheaper with time, we'll see a significant increase in phone usage, too.
So what this all means is that if your website is not optimized for mobile, you’ll be missing out. Big time. Google has already said that they will not index your site organically if it’s not mobile-friendly. And if you don’t show up in the results, how will you do business?
Quick tip: Use this tool from Google to see if your website is already mobile-friendly.
Mobile Optimization and Voice Search
Millions of queries are being performed on-the-go using smartphones. Mobile has become the prime platform for marketers and, with the advent of voice search, optimizing your site for mobile is crucial.
This is where your domain name also plays an important role. It is a crucial factor to consider if you want to win in this new voice search era. Let’s understand this with a simple example. Consider these two websites:
Now imagine saying these two URLs out loud to a voice search assistant on your mobile. Which one of these would be easier for an AI-powered algorithm to understand and reach?
Good domain names are short, relevant and memorable. People may forget to specify the spelling or forget to mention a number or hyphen in the web address when saying it out loud to a voice search assistant. And if your website name has these confusing elements, you can miss out on customers.
Here are 4 steps you can take to make your site mobile-friendly fast:
1. Improve page-load speed
Users have become accustomed to instant gratification. They (and Google) expect a website to load quickly. Here are a few things you can optimize to increase your page speed:
Minimize code: There is a way of removing all unnecessary characters from source code without altering its functionality.
Optimize images: Large images slow down load time. By optimizing the images and reducing their size, you can significantly increase your page speed.
Reduce redirects: Too many redirects can cause your site to reload multiple times and can slow down the experience.
Leverage browser caching: Browser caching stores web page resource files on a local device when a user visits your page. This significantly improves your loading speed.
2. Design for Mobile
SEO used to be a technical skill once upon a time. Today, it’s an art. Today’s SEO goes beyond just code and ranking signals. It looks at website design and functionality to influence rankings.
Designing for mobile is an art form in itself. Apart from your design being responsive, here are a few more factors to consider when optimizing your site for mobile:
Avoid Flash: Apple killed Flash for mobile. Since most users can’t see Flash elements on their phone, it’s best to not use them. Use HTML 5 or Java to add the extra cool elements.
Avoid pop-ups: Lead generation is important, but the user experience is more important. If your site is overloaded with pop-ups, you’re going to frustrate your users and they’ll leave. A high bounce rate translated to decreased rankings. So, avoid pop-ups on mobile.
Design for the thumb: Your users are going to be doing most of their browsing using their thumb. Accidental taps are frustrating, so make sure they can scroll and tap with ease.
3. Get your on-page optimization right
With mobile SERPs (Search Engine Page Results), you don’t have a lot of room to work with. Pay attention to your titles and descriptions - keep them keyword rich and concise. Not only will this help the GoogleBot to better understand your page, it’ll also be user-friendly.
4. Optimize for local search
Google did a research on search behaviour that showed that local searchers are willing to take immediate action. In the report, they mention that “50 percent of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34 percent who searched on a computer/tablet did the same.”
This goes to show the opportunities businesses can gain from a mobile-first index. Here are a few factors you can work on to improve your mobile visibility:
● Business name, phone number, and address
● City and state in the title tag, H1 heading, URL, content, alt tags, and meta description
Optimizing your website for mobile so that it is easily usable is key, especially if you want your business to rank in higher in search engines. After all, we are part of a mobile-first generation.