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Mobile SEO Guide 2021

Mobile SEO for phones | Onwards and Up

It has become common practice for many human beings on the planet.  The smartphone has become the first thing we check when we wake up in the morning and the last thing we look at before we go to sleep.

The number of smartphone users worldwide today surpasses three billion and is forecast to further grow by several hundred million in the next few years, (Statista 2020).

Genz spend 29 hours a week on their phones. Mobile phones have dramatically changed the way we live our lives, the way we use the internet and now changing the nature of SEO.  This is a lucrative element to any business helping brands to reach more customers, while enjoying the experience. 

Highest market penetration: The United Kingdom has the highest smartphone penetration, with 82.9% of its population owning a smartphone, totalling 55.5 million, (Bank My Cell, 2021).

Our mobile SEO guide will give you some top tips you need to know to deliver the perfect mobile experience.

UK Mobile Phone Market | Onwards and Up

Mobile SEO, What is it?

  • The importance of mobile SEO to deliver exceptional experiences to visitor of your mobile website. 
  • Making sure your mobile site loads quickly
  • Making sure there are no issues which affect load speed
  • Presenting great content that matches user intent
  • Think mobile-first, search engines are 

The Importance of Mobile SEO in 2021

Optimising your website for mobile is crucial for helping you reach your customers in the right place at the right time.  Mobile traffic has now overtaken desktop traffic.  Therefore, to reach these activities smartphone user we need to be exploring a more focused mobile SEO strategy.

Research by Google, smartphone users have a higher buyer intent than desktop users.  Focused and ready to buy, therefore it’s your job to be there when they are looking for your products and services.

Delivering the right user experience and brand messaging on smartphones is just as important as solving the tech issues.  Getting a bad experience might scare away potential customers forever.   Customers who have bad experiences are more likely to tell many others than those who have good experience.  Make sure your business is on the right side of this.

Nearly 62% of people who have negative experience on mobile less likely to purchase form that brand in the future than if they have a positive experience – (thinkwithGoogle, 2017)

Desktop vs Mobile SEO

Desktop vs Mobile SEO | Onwards and Up

Whilst the goals for both desktop and mobile are comparable, ultimately you want to reach your audience and convert them into paying customers. The 3 major themes still apply

Focus on

  • Performance
  • User experience
  • And great content

The difference between the two means that Desktop SEO will focus on the general public while mobile SEO can have more of a local focus.  The difference is in the results you get ehn searching on mobile vs desktop. 

Search engines are taking what device you are operating on to determine what search results to present. For mobile, search will be influenced on your location. 

This means getting a good ranking for your product or content on desktop doesn’t guarantee the same result on mobile. 

Tip:  ensure you are always keeping an eye on the mobile search results.

Google is continuing it push for rich results and these are more prominent on mobile.  We’ll be seeing more of this happening going forward. For example, think about searching for flights, events, music, products and simple facts will trigger a google-owned rich result.

Mobile First Index Now Live!

Mobile First Strategy celebration | Onwards and Up

In July 2019 Google switched to the mobile-first index and this month March 2021 all sites should be indexed mobile-first. This means that ranking will be determined by google based on the quality of the mobile version instead of the desktop version.

Googlebot’s will crawl your site and decide if its performance content and user experience ae up to scratch. This can improve or impact your page rankings.  Either way it is something that should be ignored, even if your main focus is desktop.

Things have changed

You can no longer present less information on your mobile site than on our desktop site.  Your content must be identical on because you will only rank based on the information on our mobile page.  Don’t hide stuff.

  • Don’t forget to tell Google your site is mobile friendly – ensure you are using responsive designs and templates to support your content.
  • Google prefers responsive design because you only have one site that adapts t the device it;s used on.  There is only one code base, so maintenance is easy.
  • Google using responsive design will make your site eligible for addition in the mobile first index

Page Experience Is Now A Key Ranking Factor

In 2020 Google announced page experience as a ranking factor. It takes into account how users experience a site.  Does it load quickly? Are there images or slowing-loading ads blocking and harming experience.  This year the new page experience will be going live.

Tips to optimising Your Mobile
  • Making sure your site is crawlable and findable
  • Make sure you have great content
  • Think about user intent – what keywords are visitors using to find you?
Gift box of surprises

Page Speed Insights

Shows you exactly how fast you site loads on both mobile and desktop.  It also suggests performance improving enhancement.

Use this alongside the developer tools in the browser. 

Type your URL and insights will give you two scores one for the mobile and one for desktop.  These will be different if you score is red there is work to be done, orange means your page is performing average and green everything is good.  It’ll provide you with suggestions on improving performance of your site.  Follow these to get your site back on track. 

NB, using page speed insights, can present a lot of technical jargon which you may not understand if you ae not from the website developmennt world. This a great tool, but there are some points to take into consideration before feelinglike your site is in trouble.

Depending on what website platform your websit is buildt on , there may be many issues that you are unable to fix, due to the framework it operates in. 

What can you do to improve your site speed?

Mobile SEO Load Speed | Onwards and UP
  • Optimise images and use fewer
  • Invest in quality hosting
  • Update php version to PHP7 (if you are operating on WordPress)
  • Keep the redirects in check
  • Fix render blocking content above the fold
  • Prioritise visible content
  • Optimise and minify CSS, HTML and javascript (can be difficult to resolve on platforms such as Shopify and Squarespace
  • Cache your assets
  • Upgrade to HTTPS
  • Improve service response

Optimise For Local

Google found that 78% of people who searched for something nearby visited a related business with a day, 28% of those visits led to sales.

How to improve local SEO

  • Write locally oriented content.  It is one of the best things you can do to improve local rankings. 
  • Build local links – lets support each other
  • Google my business, sign up and fill in your details.  Here you can NAP data upto date, respond to reviews and upload photos among other things 
  • Reviews: ask customers for reviews, mark them up as structured data and present on pages on your website
  • Contact details: make sure your contract details are always correct.
  • Use platform SEO apps and plugins to do a lot of the hard work for you.

Focus On User Experience

  • Don’t forget your customer
  • Make your site useful and enjoyable
  • Fix your font size, typography
  • Keep enough room between clickable elements – fat fingers!
  • Make your sub-menu clickable, so users don’t automatically go back to the home instead of submenu
Mobile SEO Customer Experience | Onwards and Up
  • Put your phone number on the homepage and it a clickable element. This way people can call you if they want to do business
  • Don’t make users pinch and zoom to see and use your interface
  • Make your buttons large enough for fingers
  • Fix your forms; bad forms are unusable on mobile
  • Cut the clutter
  • Test adjust and test again

Prepare for Voice Search

Mobile SEO Voice search | Onwards and Up

Working on your content, you should start to account for voice search it’s been around for a while (I even mention this in a blog from 2018).  The evolution of Siri, Alexa and home assistant devices, these are moving faster.  More people are using voice to perform actions on the web and your content has to provide the answers.

Done correctly you might kill two birds with one stone.   Not only answering a question, but also turning into a potential lead for your business.

Take a good look at your current content.  Explore if it answers any questions a user might have.  If not change it.  Find out which questions people use to find your conte (use google autofill) and optimise for that. 

Use tools such as 

To get inspiration 

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