Everyone knows that a mobile-friendly website is important, but a recent move by Google really underscores this fact: The search giant has sent mass notifications through Webmaster Tools to alert webmasters about mobile usability issues on their sites. These notifications also contained an ominous reminder that sites that aren’t mobile-friendly don’t rank well in mobile search results. If you haven’t yet optimized your site for mobile use, this is a great time to take the plunge. Let’s take a look at a few key points to consider when working on your mobile SEO.
Focus on the User Experience
Google’s goal is to provide searchers with search results that will deliver a quality experience each and every time; if your mobile website can’t fulfill those expectations, it won’t earn a top spot in the rankings. Be sure that your mobile site is clear and easy to navigate. An accessible, user-friendly mobile site won’t just rank higher in mobile search results, but will also result in more conversions. Providing your mobile customers with a positive user experience should be a paramount concern.
Think about User Intent
It’s important to remember that mobile user intent differs from the intent of desktop users. When a mobile user does a search, he or she is typically looking for something located nearby; in addition, mobile users have a more immediate purchase intent and usually plan to make their purchase within an hour or performing their search. To accommodate these user needs, make sure that your mobile site has your business’s phone number, location and hours of operation clearly displayed.
Speed up Your Page Load Times
Studies have shown that mobile users are less patient than desktop users when they’re waiting for pages to load. If you keep your customers waiting more than a few seconds, they’re more likely to abandon your site for a speedier one. Optimizing your page load times will help your search rankings and also keep your customers sticking around for a purchase.
Keep Your Design Clean and Simple
A few web-design changes can result in a much cleaner, easier-to-use mobile web site. For example, pop-ups can be frustrating to encounter on a mobile device; you may want to eliminate these from your mobile site. Many users have trouble viewing sites that use Flash on their phones, so it may make sense to use HTML5 instead. Simplicity should drive the design of your mobile site: Remove any features that aren’t truly necessary.
It’s not always easy to make sure your mobile site adheres with the constantly changing standards and best practices for SEO. With these tips in mind, you can focus on the most important aspects of the mobile user experience and make sure that your site continues to enjoy a top spot in the mobile search result rankings.