What is Mobile First? Most people who access the internet in today’s age do so with smartphones and mobile devices. When we’re talking about a mobile first SEO strategy, there is actually multiple pieces that go into the greater whole of creating a truly mobile-friendly experience.
Today I’m going to show you why a mobile first strategy is crucial for your success, followed by a look at the three major facets of a mobile first SEO strategy.
Why is a Mobile First SEO Strategy Important?
There are numerous reasons why a mobile-friendly web design is important, but let’s look at some compelling statistics that will help you understand the true power that such a strategy holds:
- 58% of Americans own a smartphone and almost 60% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices.
- Google recommends a responsive web design for SEO.
- 80% of consumers use their smartphones to shop online.
- 55% of social media engagement happens on mobile devices.
- A study done by Portent found that 40% of leading websites fail Google’s mobile-friendly test and may be down-ranked in results.
All of this points to a present and a future where websites must account for mobile users and create experiences that are positive for them. As time goes on, however, the focus should go beyond simply making a mobile responsive website.
A further adaptation is needed, so let’s find out how you can start implementing your mobile first SEO strategy!
Step One: Make Your Website Mobile Responsive
Let’s assume that you’ve just finished starting a blog for your business. When you visit it on a computer, everything is looking great, but what happens if you go to the same website on your smartphone?
Are there issues like the need to scroll horizontally? Are some of your videos not playing because they use a platform not compatible with mobile? These types of common mobile web design mistakes can cost you customers and rankings.
Instead, there should be a separate experience for web users on mobile. The most recommended option for this is a responsive web design. Depending on your CMS platform, there are multiple ways to do this:
If you’re a WordPress user, then you’re in luck! You can choose from a wide variety of mobile responsive themes that can be implemented on your site in just a few clicks. This is by far the easiest way to make your website mobile-friendly.
The other option is for advanced users who wish to implement the responsive design by modifying their CSS3 media queries. If you’re on a different platform or you prefer the hands-on approach, here’s an excellent resource for understanding media queries.
You can always hire someone to do the designing for you. There are plenty of platforms online where you can find talented freelance designers. One such example is Upwork.
When everything is finished, you can double-check that everything is working smoothly by using Google’s proprietary mobile-friendly test. Check your site with Google Online Test.
Step Two: Optimize For Local Search:
Research has shown that 56% of searches done on-the-go have a local intent behind them. These types of searches are looking for a nearby business or a specific type of product. They expect to find all the contact information and addresses for these businesses as well.
You’ll want to start by setting up your Google My Business Page with the following information:
- Add a description that includes links and plenty of detail.
- Select the proper categories
- Upload multiple photos
- Add a local phone number contact.
- Add your physical business address
- Include hours of operation
- Earn reviews from customers
The next step is to ensure that your business’s’ name, address, and phone number are present on every page of your website and that it matches the information on your My Business Page. This same information should be applied to a Schema.org markup so Google has everything it needs to display this relevant information.
Finally, remember to target keywords that are relevant to your location. In addition to the phrases relevant to your niche, include the name of your city or area in your content, image tags, your headers, and your title tag/meta description.
Your ongoing focus here should be directed towards earning links from other local businesses and directories.
Step Three: Create a Mobile Web App
Our final step allows your visitors to easily engage with your business and reaches you without too much hassle. Data has shown that the time people spend on their phones is more devoted to apps than actual web browsers. Shockingly, 90% of mobile usage time is spent within apps!
Beyond having a mobile-friendly and localized website, the final step in your mobile first SEO strategy is to create an app that users can download and utilize to engage with your business. In terms of marketing tools, this app will be your best friend.
A well-designed app will have features like “tap to call” that allow users to contact your business quickly and efficiently. This same app can also be used to for loyalty programs, promotions, and transactions.
It helps to build your brand and spread awareness, while also offering an optimized user experience. Whether you develop the app yourself, hire someone, or use a tool like Biznessapps, there are numerous ways to create a unique application for your business.
From here you’ll want to get your app ranked in Google’s search results. Here are some tips to increase your app’s visibility:
- Put your brand in the app’s name.
- Link to your app page from your main website
- Use branded anchor text
- Create a QR code to download the app on your landing pages.
Final Thoughts :
A mobile first SEO strategy is an ongoing effort, but these three steps will ensure that you’re moving in the right direction on every front. How do you create the ideal mobile user experience? Let us know in the comments!