Important Factors You Must Take Into Account for Your Mobile SEO
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Important Factors You Must Take Into Account for Your Mobile SEO

In 2019, the number of mobile phone users world-wide will rise to 5 billion. More than half of your website views will be from a mobile device. Is your website mobile-friendly? Because if not, you will be missing out on sales.

There are a huge range of things you should factor into your search engine optimisation, and catering specifically to mobile devices is very important. As Google increasingly optimises to the growing mobile market, your mobile site is more important than your desktop site.

There are a range of simple and complex things you can do to get your site cranking for mobile views.

Your site needs to load, FAST

Even on a desktop, more than 50% of your potential customers will click away if your site takes more than three seconds to load. There’s even less tolerance on phones, because networks can be slower and data can be capped or expensive. Your mobile viewer really wants things to load in one second. One.

You slow site speed will not only deter customers, but Google will notice the high bounce rate, and move your site further down the results.

As a result, one of the first things you need to do for SEO is optimise your site to make it fast loading.

  • Compress files: Get rid of huge images and compress photos. It will speed up your load time considerably.
  • The average mobile page has four images- more than that will slow you down.
  • Minimise HTTP requests: If you have a lot of on-page components, that’s a lot of time requesting information. So cut back on images, remove carousels, keep font styles simple.
  • Minify and combine code: This is something you’ll have to get a website developer to do, but if there’s a lot of unnecessary code, it’s going to make your site take a lot longer to load.
  • Use asynchronous CSS and Javascript loading: This is another one for your dev, but this means that files all load at the same time, instead of one thing at a time.
  • Have a local server: If you have a local website, it makes sense to have it locally hosted. It means faster loading time as the signals don’t have to travel as far.
  • Don’t have pop-ups. Everyone hates them anyway, but they’ll just slow your customer down from accessing your site.
  • Get rid of Flash, if you didn’t get rid of it 100 years ago when Steve Jobs effectively killed it.
  • Don’t have huge header images- on a desktop they look great, on mobile they just create more stuff people scroll through.

Design a responsive website

Your website should be designed so that it’s easily viewed on a desktop as well as a mobile device. Consider things like font size- this isn’t a website for ants- and options like burger menus (the three lines at the top that turn into a full sized menu when clicked).

Users shouldn’t have to scroll left or right or have parts of the site dropping off altogether. Also make sure that buttons aren’t reduced to impossible-to-click ant-sized buttons- the user won’t be staying on your site if they can’t click through to other pages. There should be no need to tap, or zoom, or stretch a page.

Also, keep an eye out for technical errors. Dead redirects and links, 404 errors, images that aren’t there.

Content matters more than ever

For the last five years, we’ve been hearing that content is king. Google is constantly releasing algorithms that optimise how they decide which sites rank better, or worse. It’s refining the processes so that black hat SEO no longer works and genuine sites that provide authentic value rank well.

As a result, content is king, and it’s turning into God. Provide content that has value for your customers- it should answer their questions, give them added value.

For mobile, as well as the text being a reasonable size, people don’t want to be reading screeds and screeds of content. There’s only so much scrolling you can do. Keep content per page to 700-1000 words, and use short paragraphs with spaces between them so people aren’t confronted with dense blocks of text.

Keywords are now complex key phrases

If you have Siri or Alexa, you know how it goes. ‘Siri, what’s the weather today?’ ‘Alexa, where can I buy Manuka honey?’

In the past, our search terms would have been clunky phrases that we typed into Google. ‘Manuka honey Christchurch’. Now, we likely know what people are saying – and planning for those exact match keywords is part of mobile optimising for search engines. A good way to incorporate these phrases on your site is to have FAQs (it’s like an SEO exact-match goldmine), where you literally ask the exact questions your customers do, and then type in the answer they need.

If you don’t know what your keywords are, hire an SEO company to help you out- they’ll provide loads of value.

There’s an app for that

How do you know what changes you have to make? There’s no point is spending time and money on your site if it’s actually doing ok. Luckily, there are a lot of smart people out there who can tell you these things for free.

Check this out on your Google Search Console– click ‘mobile usability’ and the tool will let you know if mobile users are having problems, and will tell you what those problems are.

Or, head over to Google’s mobile-friendly test, pop your URL into the tool, and you’ll get a full report.

If you want to see how your site looks on the different sized devices, go over here.

If you want to know how long your site takes to load, Google has a PageSpeed Insight tool. It tells you how long your site takes to load, and also gives you some ideas on what you can do to make it faster.

It’s an ongoing process

SEO requires a consistent effort over time. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Set out a plan for updating your site and do a little every day. This is worth taking some time and doing properly- you could be missing out on a lot of customers if not.


Matt Chalk

Powered by coffee, Matt has been working to help small and large New Zealand businesses dominate their search marketing for over 4 years. He's Synapse Search's powerhouse SEO and with rankings in his veins, he's the guy you want running your search campaigns! Apart from that Matt is also the content creator for Synapse Search.

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