Mobile search is the future. This year, over 60% of all online searches were performed on mobile devices. By 2022, this number is expected to rise by 80% along with the growing number of smartphone users, who continue to shop through mobile apps and perform searches on mobile browsers. There are more than 20 million smartphone users in Australia at present.
With a lot of potential traffic to take advantage of, optimising your site for mobile search is key. Note that search engine results on your smartphone may yield different rankings from desktop searches, but responsive websites optimised for both mobile and desktop offer a clear advantage because of their adjustable layout, and presence on multiple devices.
Here are some quick tips for starting an effective mobile SEO campaign and strengthening your mobile search engine rankings:
1) Prioritise website speed
For the last 10 years, Google has always rewarded page speed and websites that load fast often rank well on search results. Page speed is a timeless ranking factor website owners should pay attention to. Work your mobile SEO strategies around this ranking factor and see a big difference in your search performance in the next few days or weeks.
To know whether your website adhered to the ideal speed required by Google algorithms, your first step is to go to your Google Developers account and find the link that will redirect you to the PageSpeed Insights tool. Enter your website or web page link on the space provided and click on the Analyze button. Google will immediately reveal the speed (how many seconds it took to load) for the domain or page you entered. Three colours will be assigned to signify your speed performance level – green means your website is fast enough and passes the test, yellow needs improvement, and red is slow. The tool will also suggest opportunities to improve your speed (e.g. image compression, minifying codes) and identify areas that passed the audit.
Regularly monitoring the load time of your mobile site by conducting a Google speed test is crucial. More than 90% of organic traffic comes from the biggest search engine. Ranking well on mobile searches could also have a positive effect on your desktop search performance in the long run.
2) Build a mobile application
This may not be a favourable solution for all website owners, but creating a mobile app has its advantages. Many are still sceptical about mobile apps. They once were exclusive to big brands and websites with a strong following. Even SEO services with a steady stream of customers carry out their processes without an app. Nowadays, sentiments have changed and almost every company, brand, entrepreneur or public persona has the prerogative to build an app and further their marketing goals.
As part of their responsive strategy and branding efforts, website owners from any field or discipline are joining the mobile app bandwagon. A dedicated app lets you provide exclusive offers, promos or deals to loyal customers, who will also receive notifications and updates on a regular basis. You can offer unique benefits that competitors may not offer. On the whole, mobile apps are a great platform for reinforcing the relationship between your company and your existing client base, while also expanding your target market segments.
There are two ways to create an app: hire an experienced developer or buy a tool that lets you transform your entire website into a mobile app. WordPress optimised websites can do so using a tool called AppPresser. Similar tools worthy of consideration include Convertify, MobiLoud and Web2Application. Do your research and read reviews to see which of the mentioned tools match your budget and preferences.
3) Maximise your use of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
First launched in 2015, Google defines AMP as an “open source initiative that allows you to create web pages that load quickly on mobile browsers.” The purpose of this feature is to enhance mobile user experience. Websites can turn their landing pages into an accelerated mobile page or at least create an AMP version of the original. When a mobile user clicks on an ad, they will automatically be redirected to your AMP landing page.
This project draws inspiration from mobile page speed, a ranking factor that does wonders for websites when taken seriously. AMP’s emphasis on speed results in redacted content and the removal of other slowing elements (e.g. images, Java scripts, pop-ups).
If you are promoting your website through Google pay-per-click ads, using an AMP would be an advantage. AMP pages load faster than regular optimised mobile web pages, thereby encouraging faster clicks, low bounce rates and better conversions. Studies show that fast-loading pages also reduce abandonment rates and contribute to well-performing ads.
Creating an AMP page requires your developer to follow a set of rules and regulations, however. Proceed to the Google Ads Developer Guidelines for AMP pages if you want to learn more about creating AMP landing pages. Google has prepared a step-by-step tutorial on how to use AMP for your Google Ads. If you made a mistake in your page handling, you will immediately be notified and asked to resolve the issue. There is also a test tool you can use to verify the validity of your AMP content.
Performance-Driven Mobile SEO Services
More than just a passing trend, mobile search and mobile-responsive websites are here to stay. As smartphones continue to play an important role in our day-to-day lives, businesses find ways to accommodate their customers through platforms accessible by their phones. When you build or revamp your website, always choose a mobile-responsive design. It will automatically scale the content and elements in accordance with different mobile screen resolution sizes.
Keep your customers engaged and satisfied by giving them sufficient choices. Whether they choose to shop online via desktop, mobile or an app, try every possible course of action to meet their needs as much as yours. This also reflects on you as an entrepreneur and your affinity for innovation. It pays to stay on top of trends and improve or upgrade as needed.