Did you know that there are more searches performed every day on mobile devices than desktop computers?

You don’t have to look around for very long to notice that people spend quite a bit of time on their phones. And if that’s where your customers are, then you need to be sure that’s where you are. You need to optimize your site from the ground up so they can find you easier and navigate your website with more efficiency. Failure to do so is a huge missed opportunity, one that can end up costing you a lot in both money and growth potential.

In this post, we’re looking at the building blocks behind mobile SEO, including why it’s so important and the steps you need to take to ensure your site is optimized for mobile search. Here’s what you should know.

What is Mobile SEO?

Mobile SEO refers to a marketing strategy dedicated to optimizing your site for mobile search and navigation. 

There are a few things that set mobile SEO apart from traditional SEO, including:

  • Ranking factors – Search engines want to know that your site is built to function properly on a mobile device, with ranking factors that include mobile-specific loading speed and page format.
  • Search language Voice search is the second most popular form of searching on mobile devices, and it comes with its own cadence and best practices.
  • Local search – Mobile search and local search are closely tied, with 88 percent of mobile searches for local businesses resulting in a call or visit to the business within 24 hours.

The better you can optimize your site for mobile use, the higher you’ll rank when people search relevant keywords on their phones. Since many of your target users are likely searching on mobile, this has become an increasingly important strategy to get ahead of.

Mobile SEO Statistics You Need to Know

Mobile website performance is no longer just an afterthought, and sites that perform poorly on mobile will not rank as well on desktop either. Here are six mobile SEO statistics that help further explain just how crucial mobile optimization is for your brand: 

  1. Over 52 percent of all search traffic around the world can be traced to mobile phones.
  2. Sixty percent of all online searches are done on a mobile device. 
  3. Nearly 50 percent of all online shopping experiences happen on a mobile device.
  4. Sixty-two percent of shoppers who report dissatisfaction with the mobile experience of a website say they’re less likely to shop from the same site again.
  5. Fifty-one percent of customers have discovered a new product or company through a mobile search.
  6. Forty-eight percent of consumers use voice search for general search queries.  

What does it all mean? It means that simply having a site optimized for mobile isn’t enough. If you’re not optimizing for mobile search, you’re not capturing the full attention of your online audience, and that’s a loss most brands can’t afford to take.

How to See if Your Site is Mobile Friendly

It’s easy to see where your site currently stands in terms of mobile-friendliness. Just visit Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool, enter your URL, and see what the report says. You’ll get a blanket diagnosis of whether your site is mobile-friendly or not, as well as a screenshot of what the page looks like on a mobile device. You’ll also be alerted to any big issues, such as certain features on your site not properly translating to a mobile screen.

Note that this test only focuses on one URL at a time. It won’t tell you if your entire site is mobile-optimized, only the URL you input. If you want a site-wide mobile usability report, visit Google’s Search Console

How to Create a Mobile-Friendly Website

If your site isn’t optimized for mobile SEO, don’t panic. There are a lot of things, both big and small, that you can (and should) do for mobile SEO, and we’ve outlined them below.

Step 1: Run a mobile test.

Before you optimize for mobile search, you want to make sure your site is optimized for mobile viewing. Use the Google tools mentioned above to see whether your site gets a passing or a failing grade for mobile-friendliness. 

Step 2: Make your website more responsive. 

Read up on responsive web design and what features you should include to ensure your site shows up correctly on a smartphone. Make sure you take into consideration page length, as viewers on mobile don’t want to do a ton of scrolling, space usage, and what on the page is most important to the user. 

The simplest option is to use a website builder that optimizes for mobile for you. There are tons of resources available that will take your website design and provide a mobile version. Here are some to look into: 

Step 3: Optimize your keyword strategy.

You’ll need to make sure you’re meeting the mark in terms of voice and local search. Take a look at your keyword strategy, or if you don’t have one, start putting together some keyword research

This step is very important. You’ll want to have an understanding of what your customers are searching for online, so you can use those search words and phrases to inform your content and site pages. 

Create pillar pages that are built around your keywords and link internally to other high-quality, related content. If you already have pillar posts, make sure you check them regularly, so you spot any opportunities for necessary updates. Use a tool like SEMRush to determine how well your priority pages are ranking and keyword trends. ClickFlow is a great tool that breaks down how well specific pages are optimized for certain keywords and offers suggestions for improvement. 

Step 4: Get rid of pop-ups and big ads.

It’s super frustrating for your mobile visitors to try and navigate your page when there’s an ad taking up most of the space or a pop-up with a super small “X” in the corner. Ditch these features and try some mobile-friendly digital ads instead. As a general rule, the less busy the page is, the more satisfying the user experience will be. Again, consider the buyer’s journey and what they may be visiting the page for. A pop-up is great if it converts, but if it’s an annoying box they are going to want to get rid of, consider only having it appear on certain mobile pages more geared towards conversions. 

Step 5: Speed it up. 

Loading speed is a huge factor in mobile SEO. Follow best practices for increasing site speed on mobile:

  • Minimize redirects
  • Keep your design simple
  • Steer clear of custom fonts
  • Don’t use large images

These are all great tips to follow that will keep visitors on your mobile site. 

Follow the tips above, but also peruse your site on your mobile device to spot any slow loading issues, obscured information, or annoying pop-ups. Try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes to determine what they care about most on each page so you can eliminate any barriers and make the experience more enjoyable. 

Optimizing your site for mobile is half the battle. Once you achieve that, implementing a solid SEO strategy will ensure your content ranks on mobile so you can get to your customers faster.