Mobile SEO – Optimising Your Website For Mobile Users

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In today’s world, everyone is becoming more mobile. Whether you agree or not, the usage of mobile phones and tablets has increased dramatically in recent years. While most of us are focused on making our websites look great on desktops, laptops, and tablets, there is another audience that we should be considering – mobile users. After all, smartphones and tablets are now used for more than just browsing the internet. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the practice of improving search engine results through various techniques such as link building, keyword research, content creation, and media buying. While SEO is important for any website, it is especially essential for mobile websites. Odds are, you’re reading this on a smartphone right now. Chances are, you rely on your mobile device to access the Internet most often. Whether you’re shopping for products or looking for information, you’re usually looking at your phone’s browser. This makes SEO a top priority for your business. If you’re reading this, it means you’re either a business owner or marketer, or you’re interested in gaining a better understanding of how to optimize your website for mobile users. So it’s more important than ever to ensure that our websites render well on smaller devices. But how can we do this?

1. Reduce The Amount Of Text On Your Website

One way to make your content shorter while ensuring that it is engaging is to use different media to drive the point home. For example, a video of an expert explaining what your product or service does can help to illustrate the value prototype in a way that a text-based description wouldn’t. Video content is also great because it allows the viewer to interact with the content through play, pause, fast-forwarding, or rewinding – all of which can make the viewer more engaged with your content.

2. Build A Mobile Version Of Your Website

As well as making our content shorter, we should also be ensuring that it is optimised for mobile. After all, it isn’t always convenient to have a laptop or desktop browser open when we are on the go. Especially since many mobile users are now accessing the internet on smaller devices that don’t have enough resources to run a full-featured web browser. Therefore, we should be encouraging users to access our content via a mobile-optimised version of our website. This way, they don’t have to worry about the website looking terrible on their phone or tablet. But, keeping all of that in mind, we must ensure that we don’t disrupt the user experience when they get onto our mobile-optimised site. One way of doing this is by using text-based headings and subheadings when publishing content on social media channels. This helps to make the content look more cohesive, while also ensuring that the user doesn’t have to scroll beyond the first page of content to find what they are looking for.

3. Reduce The Amount Of Time To Engage With Your Content

The average person now spends over 4 hours per day on their phone – either actively using it or passively browsing through the internet on it. This means that if we want to engage with our audience, we should be making our content more accessible via mobile phones. This is known as the ‘warm’ or ‘familiar’ cookie moment. We need to make sure that the first impression that we give is a good one and that our content catches the attention of the user. To create a better first impression, we can use a tool like Google Tag Manager to make our website’s SEO look better. This is a free tool that allows us to track the progress of our website’s SEO and implement on-page changes that help to make our content more discoverable in the SERPs. Using this tool, we can place tags on our website that track the performance of our SEO tactics – like the number of times that a keyword is repeated, how frequently users search for a particular term, etc.

4. Consider Reducing The Number Of Links The Website Has

The amount of time that users spend on a website varies depending on the type of content that is presented. If we look at the average YouTube user’s day, for example, we can see that they spend a lot of time on videos that are between 3 and 10 minutes in length. The reason for this is that people have less attention spans when it comes to longer articles and videos – especially when there are so many other options available. Short bites of content are easier to consume in one sitting, as compared to long articles that might require some time to go through. When creating content for social media channels, there is a tendency to want to ‘over-share’ about our content or our experience producing it. While this might be tempting, we should be mindful of the amount of valuable information that we are providing and make sure that our content is concise enough for the intended audience. As a general rule, websites should have a single, concise page that contains all of the content that is relevant to the topic. Having too many pages with unrelated content dilutes the value of the website and makes it harder for users to find what they are looking for. Too many pages also mean that the user will have to scroll beyond the first page to find what they are interested in, losing the ‘warm’ or ‘familiar’ cookie moment that we mentioned above.
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Why Are Online Rankings Important For Mobile Searches?

Why-Are-Online-Rankings-Important For-Mobile-Searches-Mobile-SEO People mostly used desktop computers to navigate the World Wide Web and type in queries to find information. Now they often do all that from a mobile device. The percentage of searches performed on mobile phones and tablets is steadily growing, which makes sense considering the devices are more convenient to use than a traditional computer, and the content available on them is often much more relevant and useful to the user. In cases where a traditional computer is more suitable, such as when a user wants to research a product or service in-depth, they will often click over to a PC for the information they need. However, it’s essential to optimise a website for mobile users, as this is where the majority of searches are now happening, and it’s likely to continue increasing.

Why Is Mobile SEO Important?

Thanks to the success of the iPhone and Android, almost everyone has a mobile device these days. This means that almost everyone is likely to use the Internet from time to time from a mobile device. Since more people are likely to use mobile devices to access the Internet, the majority of online searches will be made from mobile devices as well. This makes SEO key to having a successful website.

Where Can I Improve My Mobile SEO?

Where-Can-I-Improve-My-Mobile SEO Just like any other type of SEO, mobile SEO needs to be performed correctly to provide the best possible results. This can be easily achieved by following the guidelines set by the search engines themselves. Major search engines such as Google offer a mobile SEO tool that makes this process much easier. Using this tool, you can get an SEO score that ranks your site at the top of the list of search results for specific keywords. This tool is helpful for getting a better idea of how you’re currently performing and what you need to do to improve.

How Do I Optimize My Website For Mobile Searches?

To begin with, you will want to make sure that the content you provide online is relevant and useful to mobile users. This means that you should include various forms of media, such as video files or blogs, that can easily be accessed via a smartphone camera or tablet screen. Additionally, your website’s UI must be accessible via a touch interface. Studies show that users interact with websites more often when they can simply “touch” or “swipe” on an interactive area of the page, rather than having to click on small text links or try to navigate through multiple menus. Since the majority of searches are now being done on mobile phones and tablets, it’s important to make sure that your site can be easily indexed by search engines, such as Google. To do this, you will want to ensure that all the text on your site is not only visible but also easy to read, and you will want to use a simple, easily identifiable style throughout the site. Keeping all of this in mind, you can begin to develop a strategy for creating an optimized mobile-friendly website, which will help you reach your target audience online.

1. Create A Balanced Approach

When you’re developing content for your digital marketing strategy, it’s important to look at the big picture and not just focus on one or two types of media.

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While video and photos can easily be accessed and enjoyed on mobile devices, text-based content is still king when it comes to driving traffic and gaining social media engagement, particularly on platforms like Twitter.

Developing content for all platforms, whether it’s mobile phones or desktop computers, helps to create a more “balanced” approach and make your content more accessible to a wider audience.

2. Content Is King

When it comes to SEO and attracting digital traffic, the saying “content is king” takes on a new meaning. Just like traditional kings and queens, the content on your website, whether it’s text, video, or an image, needs to be carefully curated and used to build up a good strategy.

Creating high-quality content for your website, whether it’s a blog post, product description, or viral video, will help establish you as an authoritative voice in your niche, and it will make your content more memorable and easier for users to discover.

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As we’ve established, the majority of searches are now being done from mobile devices. Along with establishing your website as a high-quality resource, developing content for mobile phones and tablets is a great way to get discovered by people conducting searches on their devices.

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3. The Importance Of Video Content

While the text is the bread and butter of the internet, video content is steadily growing in popularity, and it’s important to keep in mind the various platforms used by different demographics. With video content, it’s important to use thumbnails that are representative of the video’s contents, and ensure that the video plays smoothly without any interruptions or errors. Otherwise, it could ruin your carefully crafted story, presented in video form.

If possible, it’s also worth considering using several different videos to represent different aspects of your product or service, to make the overall message more memorable.

4. Blogs And News

Consumers prefer to learn about new products and services via blogs and news articles followed by webinars and podcasts and social media platforms. Additionally,  some consumers want to see how products work in real life, compared to while others prefer to see them demonstrated, which means that while virtual reality may be the next big thing, consumers want to see products and services “in the flesh” before making purchase decisions.

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5. Creating Mobile-Optimised Content

With mobile SEO in mind, let’s examine each piece of content that we produce and see how we can make it more suitable for mobile users. This way, we will be able to improve our conversion rates and discoverability in search engines.

Typically, the first thing that people do when they visit a website is to look at the navigation menu. This is because people have a tendency to associate menus with websites that they find easy to use. If we want to improve our conversion rates and the time that users spend on our website, we should be considering how easy it is for them to navigate around. So let’s start by looking at the navigation menu.

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5.1. The Navigation Menu

The main navigation menu is one of the first things that people see when they visit a website. After all, the purpose of the navigation menu is to provide quick access to the different parts of the website. With this in mind, let’s consider what type of content we should be displaying on the menu.

Naturally, we should put more thought into our website’s menu and make sure that we are presenting users with the right information.

5.1.a Consider Using Subheads And Subcategories

When we look at the average user’s day on a mobile phone, we can see that they spend a lot of time simply scrolling down through social media apps and websites. This is why we should be considering using subheads and subcategories to structure content when we are presenting it on social media. If we look at the screenshot below, you can see that the content is split into two parts: the first part is a brief introduction to the service, followed by more in-depth information regarding the different types of membership that are available.

Including a brief intro and a detailed description of each type of membership alongside the navigation menu can help to improve the user’s experience. The subheadings in the first part of the content allow for a quick scan of the content, while also providing a clear indication of what the content is about. The next part of the content contains a list of benefits that users can enjoy.

The use of subheads and subcategories not only makes our content look more coherent, but it provides search engines with a clearer indication of what the content is about. This, in turn, should make our content more discoverable and increase our chances of being ranked for relevant searches – boosting our conversion rates.

5.2.b Make The Second Part Of The Content More Detailed

Once someone has accessed our content via a mobile phone, they will typically want to dive into the details. This is why we should be making the second part of our content – the part that has the detailed information – longer. Naturally, these are user-based metrics that we can examine, so we know exactly what type of information users are looking for. In our example, it would be beneficial to provide more information about the different types of membership that are available.

To do this, we can look at the average user’s behavior in the Google Analytics app. Here, we can see that this user is in the middle of reading the first piece of content, but they have also opened up the detailed information page – further illustrating the value that these small details can bring.

Back To You

Now that you have a clear idea of what mobile SEO is and why you need it, let’s get back to the matter at hand. How can you start optimizing your website for mobile users? Luckily, the answer is quite simple. You can start by using the Google mobile SEO tool to analyze your site’s performance already. Just remember to work your keywords into the content as often as possible. When it comes to mobile SEO, keeping your content short and sweet is the key to having a successful site. Make sure to add images to accompany the text so that it is visually appealing to the users. Another thing you can do is test different mobile browsers for usability and popularity. Different browsers have different methods of operating which can make a difference in how your website is perceived by search engines. Also, keep in mind that some browsers have features that can help your site perform better such as the Incognito mode in Google Chrome or the History list in Safari.

Final Takeaway

With the growth of mobile search and the convenience of using smartphones and tablets to access the Internet, SEO is becoming more important by the day. If you’re new to the field, starting with mobile SEO can be a bit overwhelming since there are so many aspects to take into consideration. Don’t worry, with a little bit of research and proper execution, you’ll be on your way to having a successful mobile website in no time!  

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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