For years, our team has been beating a dead horse. Not a literal dead horse, but the metaphorical dead horse of the importance of SEO for mobile devices. Google has said (more than once) that mobile searches have outpaced desktop searches since about 2015. They haven’t identified the number, but several of us in the industry think that somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of searches are now conducted on mobile devices. So what does that mean for the average company? If your site is responsive, nothing. You’re pretty safe, so you don’t need to worry. If you have a site that’s an m-dot (or if it looks like your domain but has an m. in front of it – like m.smartersearches.com, let’s say), this article is for you. If your site has different content between the mobile version and the desktop version, this article is for you.
Because more searches are happening on mobile devices, Google has identified that mobile experience is paramount to the user experience. No one wants to pinch-and-zoom. No one wants to go to a page, only to find that it says: “We’re sorry, this page isn’t available on mobile devices.” No one wants the information they really need to be truncated and inaccessible because it isn’t available on mobile. For these reasons, we want you to consider the following key takeaways:
- Mobile is going to be indexed first. If your content on the desktop is different, you will lose the rankings you have when that content is inaccessible. Don’t lose rankings — find a way for the content to be accessed on mobile devices. This is no longer theoretical, it is unquestionably happening.
- Consider a responsive redesign. Responsive designs can often truncate content into toggles and accordion boxes, which offer a great way to keep your content but ensure the page length isn’t overwhelming to scrolling users.
- Avoid interstitial pages and popups on your landing pages, home pages, and first-entry pages. There will be penalties or demotions for this, so try to avoid it. Also, it really does annoy people, so be cautious.
- Watch your page speed. Google is watching your page speed, so it’s important to focus on quality user experience for your mobile visitors.
- If you’re a content publisher, look into AMP. If you don’t know what AMP is, you should probably ask someone who does understand it. In blogs or sites with significant amounts of content, we use AMP to maximize the page speed and improve overall performance.
It’s Time to Take Mobile SEO Seriously
Mobile SEO is now more important than ever before. It’s time to take it seriously, focus on how it will impact your site, and identify ways you can improve performance for your customers on mobile devices. No longer can you say “my customers don’t come to my site from mobile devices.” Everyone is on mobile, constantly, so every industry is evolving. Making sure your site can adapt to the ever-growing changes in the search landscape is important. If you’re lost or don’t know where to start, let us know how we can help; we’d be happy to help you identify what’s important for your mobile SEO. A great place to start: our site auditor. It gives you a good overview of your SEO performance right on our site. What’s even better — it’s totally free.