Mobile SEO is Web page optimization for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. It increases the visibility of your Web pages on search engines, so more mobile users discover your website. Think of mobile SEO as a magnet that pulls consumers from the search engine results page to your online store. It's a great way to generate new leads, target existing customers and improve the presence of your company online. Here are four ways to improve mobile SEO.
1. Use Responsive Design
Your mobile pages shouldn't just be scaled-down versions of your desktop pages. Instead, incorporate responsive design — a practice that blends flexible grids and layouts that look great on mobile devices. Smartphone and tablet screens are smaller than desktop screens so adapt content accordingly. Mobile-optimized pages should have fewer images, no pop-up ads and simple navigation tools. Page elements like columns — where a Web page is split into two or three vertical sections — won't always work on a mobile device.
2. Use Different Keywords
Keywords are the cornerstone of SEO on both desktop and mobile sites. These words and phrases let consumers find your website on the search engine results page. People use different keywords on mobile devices, however. Smartphone search results are 69 percent different from desktop results, a statistic that showcases the difference between mobile and desktop SEO. This is why keyword research is so important.
Google Webmaster Tools lets you determine which keywords customers use when they access your website from their mobile device, making it a good place to start. Alternatively, use a keyword research tool — Google AdWords Keyword Planner, Moz's Keyword Explorer, WordStream, etc. — that lets you discover the best keywords to target. You can then use this information and make changes to your website.
3. Optimize Your Pages for Local Search
Mobile searches tend to be much more local in nature than desktop searches. Moreover, consumers often purchase products after searching for a local business from their device. Eighteen percent of local mobile searches lead to a sale within just one day, while a massive 87 percent of smartphone users visit a search engine at least once a day. That's why you should optimize your mobile pages for local search results and focus on SEO elements that target consumers in your town or city. Some local SEO tips include content creation, customer review management and link building. You can also give your meta-descriptions a local focus.
4. Standardize Your Contact Information
Search engines love standardized contact information — where your name, address and phone number are consistent across your Web pages — when they crawl your website and compile mobile search results. Mismatched or outdated information could jeopardize your position on local and mobile search result pages, so take some time to review these details. Don't forget about your contact information elsewhere, too. Consistent name, address and phone number details on business directories and social media pages make it easier for search bots to find your details and index your content.
Mobile SEO is one of the most crucial components of your marketing strategy. Fifty percent of customers start an online search with a mobile device, and 88 percent search for a local business or establishment from their mobile phone or tablet. Using responsive design, optimizing the right keywords, focusing on local search and standardizing your contact information help you target these customers.