There’s a lot of focus on SEO and PPC these days, and for good reason. After all, if your customers can’t find you online, it’s doubtful that you’ll ever be able to make much of an impact in your niche.
Unfortunately, while many brands understand the idea of prioritizing SEO and PPC in their digital marketing campaigns, many overlook the crucial differences between mobile and desktop search.
The importance of mobile search can no longer be ignored, especially now that more people are using mobile devices to access the internet than desktop computers. If your strategy doesn’t account for this shifting user trend, you could very well miss out on over half of your potential audience.
Like it or not, mobile and desktop users have vastly different user experiences, and accounting for this in both your paid marketing efforts and your website design can have a big impact on whether or not you get the results you want in reaching your mobile customers.
So what can you do to improve your brand’s mobile search results? The following tips highlight some of the best practices for helping customers find your site and have a positive user experience.
1) Condense Your SERP Listing
The vast majority of SEO marketers understand that writing an engaging SERP listing (or meta description) that clearly explains what an individual will find on a particular webpage is essential for generating clicks. The best meta descriptions don’t worry about keywords as much as clearly explaining what the webpage contains and crafting a persuasive call to action.
However, your mobile listings don’t provide nearly as much space for that meta description. While your SERP listing might appear whole and unblemished on a desktop, the limitations of mobile could completely cut off the end of your description. As such, you need to keep things short and sweet so that your call to action doesn’t get truncated.
2) Mobile-Focused Investments
Is your product or service one that would hold particular appeal to tech-savvy mobile users? Then you might want to consider a device-specific PPC campaign.
This extra layer of audience segmentation allows you to prioritize bids for mobile users, provide unique messaging for a particular device, and take advantage of the unique behaviors of mobile consumers.
By adapting your PPC efforts to include mobile-specific campaigns, you can make better use of your marketing budget and increase your mobile clicks.
3) The Need for Speed
Speed has always been an important factor in determining a site’s SEO ranking, and this is especially true of mobile. According to Kissmetrics, nearly three-quarters of mobile users have “encountered a website that was too slow to load.” When nearly half of online consumers expect your website to load in under two seconds, this can lead to serious conversion issues for a sluggish site.
Slow load times also negatively impact how search engines perceive your site’s “mobile friendliness.” If your site is filled with unoptimized images and other materials that slow down loading times, you’ll likely never show up in a mobile search. Taking the necessary steps to speed up your site load time can ultimately make a crucial difference in generating clicks.
Responsive web design is meant to make your website more easy to navigate for mobile users, but it’s well worth checking out to see if your responsive design is doing everything you need. After all, your mobile site visitors don’t have the advantage of a mouse pad to navigate through your content. They’re relying on their fingers, which can often be unwieldy and imprecise.
Seemingly minor upgrades, like increasing button size, shortening forms, or providing a “click to call” button can make your site that much easier to navigate for mobile users. Making the mobile version of your website as touch-friendly as possible will generate a far better user experience, which ultimately will improve your bounce rate and SEO ranking.
5) Simplify It
The popular adage “keep it simple, stupid” should be your motto when optimizing your site for mobile users. It’s not enough to use a responsive design. You need to simplify your site content. Look for ways to trim down the content on the mobile version of your site in any way you can.
Large images? Wordy paragraphs? Get rid of them. Removing unnecessary elements will speed up your site and simplify navigation, which in turn provides a significant mobile SEO boost.
Other features, such as an always-accessible search bar, and the inclusion of white space and key branding elements, will also help streamline the user experience. Remember, the less cluttered your site is, the easier it will be for visitors to navigate to your point of purchase. A simplified approach improves both search rankings and conversions.
6) Location Optimization
If your business has a location-specific aspect (any brick-and-mortar retail store or restaurant qualifies for this), your website optimization should account for it. Whether searching for a local movie theater or a Chinese restaurant, many mobile users click on the local business map that appears in their search results rather than scroll through a list of websites.
Getting your company to show up on Google Maps is relatively straightforward, though it does require that you go through a verification process. But by taking this simple step, you can greatly increase your ability to capture local mobile customers.
7) Standard SEO Best Practices
As valuable as the above mobile-specific practices may be, none of them mean you can neglect the standard best practices for SEO and PPC. Researching and utilizing relevant keywords, producing useful content on a consistent basis, and providing a solid user experience to site visitors are all essential for establishing a good reputation with Google and other search engines.
As you take steps to build your digital authority and deliver a superior experience to your site visitors, you’ll be well equipped to improve your search results with both mobile and desktop users.
There are more mobile internet users than ever, which can be a scary thing if your website and marketing efforts aren’t adequately equipped to reach them. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools to help you start making the changes you need, such as Google’s Mobile-Friendly test, which quickly identifies any user experience issues with your site.
By using Google’s suggestions and the points outlined in this article to make changes to your website and SEO strategy, you’ll be in a far better position to achieve success in the mobile marketplace.