As there are more people using mobile devices to surf the Internet and with Google announcing it will use a site’s mobile responsiveness as a ranking factor, it’s very important for small businesses to ensure that their respective sites are mobile-friendly. Not only will this help them attract more customers and generate more sales, it can also help them stay visible online.
However, the truth is effective mobile SEO is easier said than done. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome the challenges marketers, brands, and businesses encounter when making their sites mobile-friendly. Here are some of them.
1. Optimising for local search
According to a Google study, four out of five consumers conduct local searches and 88% of these searchers are made on smartphones. This shows that local SEO is crucial in marketing, but only a handful of businesses are using it.
Digital marketing consultant Shane Barker suggested some strategies to effectively optimise your mobile SEO for local searches. He explained that first you must understand the factors that affect your local ranking. They are relevance, distance, and prominence.
- Relevance – ensure that your business is relevant to what the user is searching for. This will help Google understand your business so it can match your listing to relevant search terms or keywords.
- Distance – If the user hasn’t specified a location, Google will consider whatever it knows about their location and use that data to provide the necessary information. This means that if your location is stated on your site, you’re likely to appear on a user’s search results.
- Prominence – if your business is popular offline, Google will take this into account. It will also use information from other online sources that are related to your business such as articles and links.
2. Slow loading time
According to Qubit, businesses lose billions of dollars in sales every year because of slow loading websites. As such, to avoid losing potential customers, ensure that both the desktop and mobile versions of your site have fast loading times. One way to do that is to host your media files using a content delivery network. You can also switch to a faster hosting company. And to ensure that it doesn’t take more than three seconds for your site to load on mobile devices, ensure that you’re not using large, high resolution images.
3. Reliability and Accuracy
Google said that the biggest mistake that you can make with mobile SEO is having a site with improper redirects and mobile-only errors. If users are unable to get what they want from your site, it could result in a negative user experience.
To avoid negative user experience, ensure that your site is free from faulty redirects, which normally occurs when a site has separate URLs for its desktop and mobile versions. To correct mobile-only errors, Barker said you should treat Googlebot-Mobile user agents (which are bots that redirect users to sites optimised for feature phones) like you would treat users of specific mobile devices.