Tags: SEO

The use of mobile phones has exploded in the last decade. Pew research found that 96 percent of Americans now own a cellphone of some kind. Pew’s first study conducted on the subject in 2011 found that only 35 percent of cell phone users owned a smartphone but today that number is 81 percent. In addition, almost three-quarters of U.S. adults now own desktop or laptop computers, while about half now own tablet computers and/or e-reader devices. Perhaps as a result of the increase in smart phone ownership, Google states that more than 50 percent of search engine queries now come from mobile devices. What this all boils down to is that business owners need to build their online presence in a way that reaches mobile users. The way to accomplish this goal is through mobile SEO tactics employed by a digital marketing expert.

What is mobile SEO?

SEO (search engine optimization) is the work that is put into optimizing a website so that it is recognized by search engines for relevant queries and ideally displayed at the top of search results for those queries. Mobile SEO combines the work of SEO with the work that goes into creating a great viewing and interactive experience on mobile devices, including smart phones and tablets. Today, most web designers use responsive design to ensure that a website will be beautiful and functional across desktops, smartphones and tablets. Other options are dynamic serving or separate URLs with different coding. Google now uses “mobile-first indexing” in its search engine rankings so this should be extra incentive for small businesses to invest in mobile SEO.

8 Mobile SEO factors to consider

When designing a website for mobile use, web designers should keep the following factors in mind:

Page speed: page speed is important to all internet users, but especially mobile users. Programmers should work to reduce image file sizes, minimize redirects, and use less code.

Resist the urge to use pop-ups: pop-ups can lead to a frustrating user experience on a mobile device and when users get frustrated, they often leave without making a purchase or contacting the business.

Use HTML5 instead of Flash: special effects should be created using HTML5 to ensure that they will work on mobile phones.

Do not block images, CSS or JavaScript: In order for Google to categorize your site’s content and understand whether your site is responsive or not, all your content should be visible. It is also simply no longer necessary to block these elements because mobile devices can handle them now.

Consider the size of your links/buttons: mobile phones have much smaller screens than desktops so you will want to make sure the buttons/links are big enough that they can be pressed without accidentally pressing the button/link next to it.

Use succinct titles, URLs and meta descriptions: When your website shows up in search engine results, the best way to get a user to click on your link is to draw them in with brief, yet descriptive titles and descriptions.

Use Schema.org structured data: using Schema.org structured data to create rich snippets will help your listing stand out in the search results on the limited screen space of a mobile device.

Optimize for local search: many small businesses market their products or services to a local market. Designers should start the process of optimizing for local search by making sure that NAP (name, address and phone number) is written identically across the website.

Seek the Help of an SEO Expert

Most small business owners do not know how to improve their search engine results rankings to drive traffic to their websites, let alone perform an SEO audit or handle Mobile SEO. The best thing to do is find an SEO expert who can help your business achieve its goals to increase sales, brand loyalty and online traffic; starting with an SEO audit.

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