SEO Basics for Business: Optimising Your Website for Mobile

With the majority of consumers now surfing the web on their phone, your small business needs to be ready...

SEO Basics for Business: Optimising Your Website for Mobile

In August 2015 the impending mobile takeover took place. Mobile overtook desktop as the primary device used to browse the internet for the first time according to Ofcom.

Mobile optimisation is happening fast, which is why any business that is left behind risks losing potential customers and sales leads as a result of low ranking on mobile search engines.

Businesses need to consider mobile presence and having a ‘mobile first’ search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy in order to secure the most traffic, improve the user experience and usability of a website.

Ensure your website is mobile user-friendly

Google prioritises mobile-friendly websites, expecting businesses to optimise their web pages to suit mobile first and foremost, it even offers a free testing to see if a site is mobile-friendly or not. The new Google mobile-friendly algorithm, first introduced in May 2016, is supposed to give an additional ranking boost for useable, mobile-friendly websites in the mobile search results.

The first step would be to design a mobile-friendly business web page that is also friendly to the user and meets their needs to ensure a positive user experience. This means considering the little things, such as a simple layout which is easy to navigate and includes larger thumbnails and links that are not as close together.

Google even has its own guidebook for businesses offering a step by step guide to assure a successful mobile optimised web page.

Creating a web page that is optimised for both mobile and desktop would be the first step towards going mobile and achieving a higher ranking, which, for a business, is likely to result in an increase in traffic and potential sales.

There are different SEO strategies to optimise a mobile website which can help make a business rank higher within mobile search engine results page (SERPs), however, could do the opposite to desktop SERPs.

Developing a mobile-friendly website is one thing, but ensuring the site is serving mobile friendly content is another. Creating content that is consistent with both desktop and mobile versions of the website will benefit the user experience, providing the same quality of content across the two digital platforms. This will also prepare your business for the forthcoming mobile first index.

Consider how mobile search is used

Surprisingly, over a third of web pages shown in Google mobile search are different to those carried out on a desktop. With users searching for businesses around locations, which are usually close by, mobile searches are far more localised and specific, needing more keywords than a desktop search.

This is why the second step is to consider these factors in a business’s mobile SEO due to the impact they can make to the ranking of the business in the SERPs. When potential customers are browsing on their mobile, they are looking for fast, actionable answers. This is why mobile search is so important for a growing business.

Without providing a quick response that is relevant to the need of the consumer, customers will begin looking elsewhere which could be detrimental to a business’ ability to funnel conversions.

Consumer habits differ between mobile and desktop. This is mainly because of the voice search functionality that is available on mobile devices. This is why businesses need to understand their audience members to incorporate mobile savvy language onto their web page. Words that relate to the needs and contexts of the target audience will make the search far more engaging and personal.

Localise landing page

Localising landing pages would be the third step to improving a business website’s mobile presence. Most queries on mobile search are for the purpose of finding a local source.

For example, a user looking for a coffee shop on mobile would likely make their search a lot more specific and action-based. Instead of simply searching “coffee shop in London”, they would search “coffee shop in Brixton”.

Alternatively search engines may deem the generic query ‘coffee shop’ to have local intent and surface localised results.

Including relevant geographical keywords can help to improve a businesses localised search rankings.

For example, a business that incorporates their name, address and place into both mobile and desktop websites and includes labelled images and correct working hours will make it stand out on both relevant searches and help boost its position in the SERPs. This will result in making a business seem more attractive to the user as well as make their lives that much easier

Businesses failing to optimise their SEO strategies to meet mobile requirements is a constant reason for why we are seeing more and more businesses struggle to make it into the mobile SERPs at all.

Business websites will have to alter their mindsets from being just mobile-compatible to being mobile-optimised and build a better mobile presence that suits the constant stream of mobile-friendly updates Google and other search engines use to rank web pages.

Simon Schnieders is the founder of Blue Array. Read his Business Owner profile here.


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