How many people are using personal cell phones to work, shop, or just browse online? You’re probably aware that it’s a growing number but may not have the real stats.
According to Statista, the current number of smartphone users in the world today is 3.5 billion, and this means 45.15% of the world’s population owns a smartphone. This figure is up considerably from 2016 when there were only 2.5 billion users, 33.58% of that year’s global population. (Source: https://www.bankmycell.com/blog/how-many-phones-are-in-the-world)
What’s additionally important, is the fact that over 40% of all internet browsing and shopping is done on mobile phones.
As we discuss the value of SEO for your business, we also HAVE TO talk about mobile SEO and how you can make sure you’re visible from any device.
Why is Mobile SEO so important?
In 2014, the number of mobile device users exceeded the number of desktop users for the first time ever, and 80% of Internet users now own a smartphone. To reach these people, your site has to be easy to use—and easy to find—on mobile devices. Since then that number has grown by a staggering amount.
A recent study by Google, “The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users” reports 77% of smartphone users to visit search engine websites followed by social networks. And nine out of ten smartphone searches result in an action (purchasing, visiting a business, etc.). Mobile use is growing faster than all of Google’s internal predictions.
Of course, there’s paid search advertising on mobile as there is on the web, but our focus here is on content, social and organic search, so the following tips will emphasize what you can do without advertising.
What are the Challenges?
Is your website optimized for mobile? Meaning… when you go to your company website you have to offer a similar, user-friendly experience on a mobile device as you do on a desktop? If not, you’re missing out on a ton of valuable traffic.
There are two big problems with mobile websites if you’re not properly optimized.
- Non-responsive design: have you ever visited a website on your phone, only to find that it looks “tiny” and as though it should be displayed on a desktop? Scrolling side to side and up and down with your hands, constantly trying to zoom in and out to find the information you need is incredibly frustrating. So frustrating in fact, that you close the website and find another solution. This is what a non-responsive website looks and feels like. Whether you personally manage your company website or hire a professional, make sure you’re “Responsive”.
- Slow load times: This can be related to a non-responsive design but can also be a separate issue. When your website loads too slowly, it affects your overall ranking. According to Qubit, retailers lose around $2.59 billion in sales every year because of slow-loading websites. still, even with a responsive design, websites that take more than 4 seconds to load on mobile devices lose over half of their visiting traffic. The main culprit here is image size. Be sure that you’re using properly sized images on any mobile site.
Your brand should be discoverable to mobile users and your website should provide them with what they need. This is where SEO comes in. Responsive designs and fast load times WILL help you be discoverable online.
Using Mobile Keywords
When researching keywords, it’s worth considering that mobile search query strings, on average, are 25 percent shorter than desktop searches. As for mobile keyword research tools, Google’s keyword tool provides a mobile filtering option and the stats you see for Competition, Global and Local Monthly Searches, and Local Search Trends are all specific to the device filter you pick.
Test the mobile site using Google Webmaster Tools like Mobile Usability Report and Mobile-Friendly Test. Run the tests on each webpage to see whether it meets the Google standards on mobile-friendliness.
In addition to testing the mobile user experience, it’s also important to test the effectiveness of your mobile content. Delivering mobile search traffic to pages is just the beginning with effective mobile marketing.
Make sure the content users are interacting with inspires desired outcomes. Achieving mobile content effectiveness draws on content marketing best practices by knowing customers, their pain points and interests, keywords, and social topics. Then apply that insight to your mobile content strategy. There are numerous mobile marketing case studies to draw ideas from to see what’s worked.
It’s important to remember that optimizing for mobile search means accounting for the preferences of both search engines and users. Instead of prioritizing one over the other, it might be best to create a mobile site that will provide a good experience for your user and is easy to crawl for search engines.