Whether you’re stuck in the keyword-stuffing past or simply want to make the most of modern SEO standards, these seven steps can ensure your website is optimized for mobile engagement.
1. Build for the Mobile-First Index
The biggest news for 2017 is Google’s announcement that mobile sites will now be the primary source for indexing your web pages, not the desktop versions. This is no surprise given that 2016 was the first year more people browsed the web on mobile than on desktop.
If your desktop and mobile versions are similar, this change shouldn’t impact your SEO. However, if your mobile site is lacking compared to the desktop version, you could see a drop in rankings.
2. Speed, Speed, Speed
Google says more than 50 percent of visitors will bounce if your page takes longer than three seconds to load. Speed is crucial, and if you can’t load the bulk of your content in under three seconds, most users won’t see it at all.
3. Create Responsive Designs
Nothing is worse than going to a mobile site that isn’t responsive. At this point, when I come across a website that doesn’t scale appropriately, I leave that site. With that, Google (who is emperor of the digital world) strongly recommends a responsive design philosophy that uses the same backend coding for all visitors, but automatically adjusts the display based on their devices.
So without that mobile-friendly website, you will start getting dinged by Google and your rankings will be affected. For the best results, partner with a web design agency that can help you perform deep-level usability tests to ensure every visitor enjoys a seamless experience.
4. Upgrade Your Usability Ratings
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to use Google’s own tools to maximize your usability ratings. Start by checking the Mobile-Friendly Test, then run a usability report through Google’s Search Console.
The test will check for Flash usage, sizing concerns with viewports and fonts, and related concerns to ensure your usability is up to snuff for your users.
5. Adopt a Content-First Approach
The most sophisticated SEO tricks can’t overcome poor content, so it’s vital to ensure every page contains high-quality content. If you’re struggling to make a mark in the search rankings, it may be time to partner with a content marketing agency to improve the quality of your work in this area.
6. Ensure the Backend Is
Check your backend for these issues:
- Make sure content loads in an appropriate order, with high priority content first to reduce bounce rates.
- Configure mobile ads to take users to your mobile site, not the desktop version.
- Minimize downloads to boost speed.
- Work with your webmaster or digital marketing agency to properly implement conversion tracking and analytics across your mobile presence.
7. Embrace Contextual Keywords
Keyword stuffing is out, but keywords are still an important SEO tool. Be sure to make use of contextual keywords, as Google now uses high-level content analysis to review your page for words related to your primary keyword. An organic mixture of words about a single topic will rank much higher than a page that uses the same word over and over (and it will read much better).
The digital space is constantly evolving and the approach to SEO must evolve with it. Not only to comply with Google, but more importantly ensure that your buyers find you organically, navigate your site with ease, and find true value in the content you are offer.