Google operates a “mobile first” indexing system, meaning it uses the mobile versions of websites for indexing and ranking. If your mobile site isn’t correctly optimized for search engines, your rankings and traffic will almost certainly suffer.
Moreover, BrightEdge data shows that mobile devices like smartphones and tablets account for 62% of all web traffic. A similar figure also applies to search engine traffic. Around 60% of all searches are made on a mobile device.
Mobile SEO, or “mobile readiness,” isn’t optional. It should sit at the core of your SEO strategy and processes.
Fortunately, mobile SEO is a linear and straightforward process. And while there are several technical challenges involved in optimizing a mobile website, overcoming them is uncomplicated with the right approach.
At BrightEdge we have decades of experience of creating mobile-friendly websites. Working with hundreds of corporate clients has enabled us to refine our principles and strategies and build a data-driven, well-tested approach to mobile SEO.
Important aspects of mobile SEO included in this checklist include the following:
- Responsive design: A responsive website design adapts to the screens of different mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) while maintaining a high-quality user experience. There are various ways of building responsiveness into a website and testing usability in mobile and desktop environments.
- Essential SEO tools: Testing is an integral part of mobile SEO and various tools, including the enterprise SEO BrightEdge platform, are available to test the efficacy of your strategy. These include PageSpeed Insights and Google Search Console.
- Technical SEO: SEOs should account for a range of technical points when optimizing for mobile. These include HTML5, dynamic serving, meta titles and descriptions, and schema markup. Adjusting these on-page elements guarantees optimal page “health.”
- Page speed: Page speed is a key ranking factor and particularly important for mobile sites that are often accessed through cellular networks. Image compression and lazy loading are both examples of high-priority SEO tasks that can significantly impact mobile site loading time.
- User experience: Google has increasingly prioritized user experience, both in core algorithm updates and minor rollouts. Various factors come into play when optimizing a mobile website for user experience. Key points to consider are navigation, font size, headline formatting, white space, large CTAs, and more.
- “Negative” page elements: Google has publicly advised against the use of certain elements, such as large interstitial pop ups, on mobile devices. The presence of these elements may negatively affect rankings. Similarly, best practice guidelines have been published for other aspects of site design, such as the positioning of ads. It’s important to account for this guidance when optimizing your mobile site.
Following the point-by-point advice contained in this checklist will ensure you’ve covered all the bases when it comes to optimizing your website for mobile users. It’s ideal for businesses that intend to optimize and monitor their site using the BrightEdge platform.
It’s been created with clarity and ease of use in mind, and covers all aspects of mobile SEO related to technical on-page elements, user experience, design, and testing.