SEO Strategies for Mobile Devices
As a strategic SEO agency, we focus on ensuring your business is found but there first needs to be a clear distinction between Desktop Search and Mobile Search; as they are different and both warrant your business’ attention.
We focus on:
- Mobile Strategy
- Mobile SEO
- Mobile Web Design
The web has gone mobile and there a multitude of reasons why mobile needs to be incorporated into the overriding digital marketing strategy within your business, including:
- Business Moves at Mobile Speed
- Bring Your Own Device (BOYD) is the New Reality
- Multiple Mobile Initiatives Cause Major Fragmentation– Make it One Person’s Day Job
- A Mobile Strategist is an Objective Voice of Reason for the Increasingly Mobile Business
- Mobile is No Longer a “One and Done”
- Time is of the Essence
- Poor Design is the Silent Killer
- Mobile Adoption is a Major Concern
- App Discoverability is the New Challenge
These factors combined have created an environment that has made it crucial for enterprises to evaluate their mobile strategy and who is tasked with leading that strategy today and tomorrow. As the mobile channel continues to grow we expect to see this strategic role take flight in a big way. (source: Forbes)
What is mobile marketing and why is it important?
Mobile marketing is pretty self explanatory. It’s about marketing to those users on mobile devices (this can include tablets and the multitude of smart phone types). It’s important due to the fact how much time is spent on mobile devices. Google announced back in 2015 that more searches were happening on mobiles than desktops.
Mobile SEO Specialist Sean Mullins explains further…
The rise of Mobile and Voice Assistant Technology
The proliferation of the mobile, especially since the introduction of the smartphone has been a modern day phenomenon. A mobile device makes life easier. Answers and solutions are available at our finger tips or a voice command.
A study has found that there will be 8 billion digital voice assistants in use by 2023, up from an estimated 2.5 billion at the end of 2018 (source: Juniper Research)
Having dealt with a range of different clients we’ve been able to deal with a wide variety of target audiences. For those customers or clients at need, possibly in a time sensitive situation. A mobile device is the go to device type. It wouldn’t make sense to look for a number by opening a laptop, waiting for it to load up, to get a number to then make a phone call. Searching for your result and calling straight away, all on your mobile does make sense.
What is a Mobile Marketing Strategy?
A mobile strategy is basically making sure within your digital plans you’ve factored in different device types. A mobile strategy will incorporate how best to exploit opportunities other device types may offer. A mobile strategy will identify the customer journey, from the first point a customer becomes aware of your brand.
Mobile marketing is a multi-channel, digital marketing strategy aimed at reaching a target audience on their smartphones, tablets, and/or other mobile devices, via websites, email, SMS and MMS, social media, and apps. (source: Marketo)
Why is a Mobile Strategy important?
A google search on a mobile device or asking Alexa or Siri is becoming the first port of call for a speculative user search. To neglect this aspect within any digital strategy would be a huge oversight. Granted there are many industries which will be largely dependent on desktop searches or personal recommendation. However, the power of mobile is not to be underestimated.
Can you give an example of a mobile strategy or mobile tactic?
There are services where potential customers are in a hurry and deemed as “at need”. For example, someone looking for a local service i.e taxi, hairdresser, lawyer, funeral director. On the mobile device there are 4 Google Ads, then 3 Google Map listings to scroll past before you even hit the organic search results. Virtual real-estate space on the search results is limited, even more so on a mobile device. There are opportunities to consider such as you can bid more on Google Ads for mobile devices, you can use a call button extension. Google My Business optimisation and ensuring you feature within the top 3 map results can greatly increase CTR (click through rate) to your website.
Where do you start with a mobile strategy?
It starts with the user. Identifying the user journey along with the sticking points and opportunities. A good old SWOT analysis and SOSTAC model can be drawn up with a focus on different device types. Using any historical data i.e device type within google analytics can help provide insights. Then you can get into the fun stuff like mobile UX of your website and mobile SEO (yes Mobile SEO results can be different to desktop results).
What is a Mobile First Strategy?
As you’d expect this where developing websites for mobile and tablet devices takes priority over desktops. Mobile-first web development and web design starts with designing for the smallest screen and working your way up as opposed to creating for desktop and then truing to make that website fit into a tiny screen. (Click here for an article for further reading). We have a whole page dedicated on the subject of mobile-first web design as this is one of our key service offerings. Building a website mobile-first means we are able to integrate your SEO strategy right into the heart of the build. This strategy has always seemed to serve us and our clients well. SEO treated as an adjunct and bolt on just doesn’t seem to work as well. For someone it does seem to get treated as an afterthought. But SEO Strategy is about getting your brand and site found and ensuring it converts.
Optimising for Mobile Devices & Voice Assistants
Isn’t SEO for mobile and desktop the same?
Although, the fundamentals of SEO apply to all devices, there are some important differences that need to be factored in within your overall SEO strategy.
Some interesting facts below:
Global mobile data traffic is forecast to increase from 7 exabytes per month in 2016 to 49 exabytes per month by 2021.
Mobile traffic skyrocketed when smart devices became mainstream.
Do you know what percentage of internet traffic came from a mobile device in 2018?
In 2016 global mobile traffic bypassed data traffic generated by desktop devices and has been increasing its lead ever since.
In 2018 mobile traffic had already solidified the lead, with 52.2% of the total internet website traffic.
What is Mobile SEO?
Mobile SEO is look at specific ways to optimise for mobile devices and focus on factors that have a big impact on those devices. Mobile optimisation factors include site design, mobile UX, site structure, mobile page speed along with any other factors that may impede the user experience and journey.
Page speed for Mobile Devices
For those on the move, connectivity can be an issue but even for those on 4G you want to ensure your website isn’t too labour intensive. It’s important to compress and optimise images, as well as minify code, leverage browser caching and reduce redirects. Click here for our dedicated page on Page Speed.
Tips for Mobile Optimisation
- Avoid Pop Ups
- Avoid Flash
- Avoid Mobile Usability Issues
- Ensure text isn’t too small
- Ensure content isn’t wider than device screen
- Ensure viewport is set
- Do optimise meta titles and descriptions
- Do use schema.org structured data (Google prefers JSON-LDN)
- Do optimise for local searches (check out GMB optimisation)
- Do test for mobile friendliness https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
Mobile Website Design & Development
Having been building website since 2006, we’ve seen the evolution of the web development world and the increasing client demand for more functionality and increased autonomy. What occurred to us a few years ago was that we would send clients the development link to their new website and they would come back with feedback and realise they were checking the site on their phone before looking on their desktop or laptop. This was a sign that times were changing and we needed to change with the times also. This led to a mobile-first approach and mobile-first web design has gain massive momentum.
What does mobile-first web design mean?
Basically, responsive web design (RWD) enables web pages to fit the screens of different devices automatically. This makes the experience more positive as it reduces users’ operations like panning, zooming and scrolling on your site. Typically, responsive web starts with the largest screen size and then the web designer would make adjustments for the smaller devices. However, in mobile-first web design the opposite happens. “Mobile first” means that the website design starts from the mobile end which has more restrictions, then expand its features to create a tablet or desktop version.
What is meant by mobile-first indexing?
Google defines this as:
Mobile-first indexing means Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Historically, the index primarily used the desktop version of a page’s content when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s query. Since the majority of users now access Google Search with a mobile device, Googlebot primarily crawls and indexes pages with the smartphone agent going forward.
Can I use WordPress CMS for mobile web design?
WordPress has a multitude of web builder frameworks, themes, plugins. In regards to achieving good page speeds, meeting core web vitals while having a pleasant UI/UX on a mobile device this is certainly achievable by using WordPress.
Pitfalls of using WordPress for Mobile Web Design
One of the biggest pitfalls would be when clients have used a particular theme they found on themeforest for example that no longer is fit for purpose. There may need to be a review and move or even rebuild to a theme that can produce better visual, performance and mobile speed results. The Google Speed test tends to give good scores for Desktop but the issue and sticking point can be for mobile devices but with mobile first indexing it indicates where the focus has been shifting towards and how web owners need to move with the times.
SSL Certificates (HTTPS)
In August 2014 Google officially announced that https would factor as an official ranking signal (read more at the Google Webmasters Central Blog by clicking here) Search Engine Land elaborated on this article and went as far to say that ‘Google to give secure sites a ranking boost’ h (Search Engine Land Article: Aug 2014). Since this has been announced I’ve been somewhat of an advocate of placing a site on https. I wouldn’t say it is mandatory or critical but more of a best practice and positive to do item.
Moving to https with @Cloudflare
I’ve found Cloudflare to be a good solution for SSL, especially with their free option and their super speedy server response time which is a big thing within site speed.
Why websites use SSL
The below provides you with some extra benefits of adopting SSL:
- Security: ensure that no one is intercepting web traffic
- Trust: by displaying a green lock image, the website increases visitors’ trust
- Regulatory compliance: financial institutions and web stores that work with credit cards must comply with regulations and adopt SSL on their websites
What’s the point of a pretty website if no one can find it?
For many businesses it is vitally important to ensure that their websites is easily found and has optimum visibility. From my experience, those sites that integrate SEO into the heart of the build rather than an adjunct or bolt tend to perform a lot better. Click here to find out more about our SEO Services