By now, you likely already have an idea of how essential mobile SEO is for growth. In the last year alone, we have seen the effects of Google’s move to mobile-first indexing. From a Search Engine Optimisation perspective, mobile has become more important than ever before. Ranking has evolved greatly in recent years, as the focus began to shift from desktop to mobile. The rise of smartphones and constant improvements in connectivity means that mobile users are slowly overtaking desktop users.
What this means is that brands can no longer afford to put mobile SEO off or dismiss it as unimportant. If you are trying to grow your presence online, you will need to include mobile optimisation in your digital marketing strategy for 2020 and beyond.
How exactly does mobile SEO affect your ranking, though, and why is it so important? Does it help in areas outside of ranking? Do you really need to optimise for mobile or is the mobile search trend a lot of hype? To get a better idea of why mobile is no longer something you can overlook, we have put together a guide that showcases how essential mobile optimisation has become in the digital space.
How Mobile SEO Affects Ranking
Every single moment, smartphone users are actively searching for services and products. The following statistics from Google show just how prevalent mobile searches have become:
- 66% of smartphone users do mobile searches to look up things they see on adverts.
- 82% of smartphone users use their phones to find businesses in their area.
- 82% of smartphone users do searches on their phones when they are at a shop.
- 51% of smartphone users use their phone to search for new services or products.
Mobile SEO plays an integral role in the ranking process by delivering information to searchers in a way that meets customer needs. Unlike desktop searches, mobile searches are done quickly and easily, usually in the moment. Google refers to this as Micro-Moments. These moments are defined by specific needs: to know, to buy, to go, and to do.
A Deeper Look Into Mobile SEO
Brands that are able to meet these needs instantly have the best chance of not only getting more visitors but also converting those visitors into customers. Brands that are not optimising for mobile searches will find themselves left behind. As Google now prioritises mobile over desktop, websites that are still not optimised for mobile will struggle to rank. What this means is that mobile SEO plays a critical role in ranking – one that can no longer be overlooked for websites hoping to be found online.
Over and beyond SEO ranking, there are a number of other reasons that mobile SEO has become critical to growth. Some of the biggest reasons include the following:
Going hand-in-hand with traffic is conversion. With that said, ROI only happens when users stay on your page once they arrive. A major challenge with mobile traffic is that users will typically leave pages almost instantly if they are met with clunky, non-responsive websites that are full of poorly designed pages, slow loading pages or pages that are flooded with content.
Websites that are tailored for web and mobile, on the other hand, have a far higher chance of conversion. It is essential to optimise for all devices – desktop, tablet, and smartphone – and ensure that users can easily find what they need. Your CTAs also need to be clear and prominent. This is where splash pages and other types of landing pages become useful. These pages can work with your mobile search campaigns to attract visitors and convert them more efficiently. Mobi sites can also help to convert traffic.
2. User Experience
The easier your website is to access, the better the user experience will be for anyone who lands on your site. User experience is important on many levels. The competitive nature of SEO in general means that users have more choice (and purchasing power) than they might have a decade or two ago. If they cannot find what they need on your site, they will go to another site that can meet their needs. One of the biggest factors influencing the purchasing decision is usability and accessibility. If you are unable to provide optimal user experience, you are giving users no reason to stay on your site.
This, once again, comes down to having a responsive website that is optimised for every type of device. But, it also means tailoring your content in a way that enhances the overall experience for visitors as soon as they arrive on your website. This is where mobi sites can be effective. A separate, very similar but compact version of your site can be streamlined to provide only the most important content. Content can also be displayed and written in a way that delivers your USP without wasting time or requiring too much scrolling. If a mobi site is not an option, make sure that you use ‘read more’ features to condense content down to the absolute essentials.
All of this works towards increasing your reputation. Although reputation is key to ranking, it is also important for other reasons. When you provide visitors with a smooth, easy to use website that instantly answers their questions and meets their needs, and then follows that through with outstanding service and a fuss-free onboarding process, you will soon begin to establish yourself as a preferred supplier. Whether you are selling products or services, meeting the needs of your audience in a way that makes it a pleasure to do business with your company, you will begin to increase your positive reviews, building your reputation in the process. The better your reputation, the more chance you will have of a) being found online at the top of the SERPs, and b) converting visitors who arrive on your site.
This then creates a continual loop that helps you build a steady flow of customers. It also encourages existing customers to make referrals. If you also have a referral or loyalty programme in place, you can capitalise on this, cementing your reputation and expanding your reach even further.
Investing in Mobile SEO
This guide should give you a deeper insight into why mobile SEO is crucial to any business – no matter how small or big, whatever your industry, and whoever your target market may be. From small local businesses all the way to multi-national and international startups, mobile search can benefit every type of business. Ultimately, just as website SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, lead generation, and mobile marketing all work together to bring you results, mobile optimisation works especially well as part of an integrated multi-channel strategy. As a stand-alone strategy, you may see some results. But, when you incorporate mobile optimisation within your bigger strategy, you have the ability to attract and convert visitors on a far bigger level.
Whether you are currently planning your digital marketing strategies for the year ahead or considering new ways to bring in more customers, one thing is for sure… mobile SEO is going nowhere and now is the time to embrace the future of mobile and help your business enjoy optimal growth.