Search Engine Optimization is a major part of any successful Digital Marketing strategy.
By optimizing your content to meet the criteria set by search engines, you help the algorithm crawlers understand your materials and display them to the right people. This enables your business to increase its organic reach, ranking among the first results in the most used engines, such as Google and Bing.
However, to achieve this level, it is vital to pay attention to the ever-changing customer behavior.
After all, the ultimate goal of SEO is to provide excellent experiences for the audience with the right SEO exercises. Google’s algorithm is constantly updated to ensure its alignment with the user’s best interests, considering their preferences, needs, and pains. In this context, it would be impossible to ignore the rising use of mobile devices to browse the internet and perform searches.
On smaller screens, it is only natural that the user experience is a bit different, but how does one ensure its quality?
Many companies struggle with this question and commit a series of mobile SEO mistakes that can harm the whole digital strategy. In this text, we will explore this subject, explain the importance of optimizing your content for mobile, and list 7 errors you must avoid. Keep reading!
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What is mobile SEO?
Mobile SEO is a set of techniques and methods employed to optimize web pages and content in order to make them suitable for visualization on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Many of its principles are similar to the ones encountered in traditional SEO, but because of the particularities of the mobile world, some aspects demand special attention. The main goal is to enable quality, satisfactory experiences to the users, regardless of the type of device they are using.
As more and more companies become aware of the importance of being mobile-friendly, this type of SEO is now part of several marketing strategies. More than an advantage, performing this kind of activity is a must for any business that aims to enjoy all the benefits provided by Content Marketing. After all, there is no point in creating and sharing amazing content if your audience is not able to find it when searching on the internet.
But is mobile traffic really relevant? Maybe your company already attracts a good volume of desktop traffic to its channels, so it doesn’t need to bother with how they perform on mobile devices, right? Wrong! And we will give you the reasons in the next topic.
Why should you invest time in mobile SEO?
Investing time in mobile SEO means paving the way for your customer to find you. It doesn’t matter who your target audience is or the preferences your persona has, part of the audience you want to reach certainly uses mobile devices to browse the internet. And it is possible that, in the near future, mobile traffic will become even more relevant than desktop traffic. For example, take a look at this graph from Statista.
As you can see, the global smartphone traffic has been increasing for some time now and is set to keep going this way. According to a report by the World Advertising Research Center (WARC), it is expected that, by 2025, around 76% of internet users will only access the web through their mobile devices. This trend is something that becomes clear when we observe the recent behavior pattern of the digital consumer.
Below is another chart that illustrates how the traffic generated by mobile devices is growing, while the activity coming from desktops has been decreasing in the past few years.
It is clear, then, that investing time in mobile SEO is paramount to prepare your company for the near future. Neglecting it will only serve your competitors, who are probably already investing in this kind of activity. In fact, a study conducted by Mobile Marketer, some popular companies owe more than 30% of their traffic to mobile.
Another reason for investing in mobile SEO is that it directly affects all your SEO efforts. Google itself has made it clear that being mobile-friendly is a requirement for companies that aim to see their web pages ranking first on SERPs. Since 2019, Google bots predominantly use the mobile version of the content for indexing. That means you should be thinking mobile-first too in terms of design & content, plus using a mobile rank tracker to measure performance.
It is clear that mobile SEO is something worthy of your company’s attention, is it not? Now, let’s focus on how to avoid the most common mistakes and ensure successful results.
What are 7 common mobile SEO mistakes, and how to avoid them?
When designing a strategy, every marketer imagines focusing on what they can do to ensure success. This is important, of course, but keeping an eye on the mistakes to avoid provides many advantages. This is why benchmark analysis and market studies are so critical: they highlight common errors committed by other companies and enable you to develop ways to steer clear of them. To assist you in this goal, we have separated 7 frequent mobile SEO mistakes. Keep reading!
1. Slow page speed
When designing your pages, it is important to make sure they are quick and responsive, as to provide quality experiences to the audience. When visitors arrive at a website, they expect to visualize and interact with its content without any problems. In an attempt to provide richer experiences, many companies make the mistake of adding too much content to a mobile page, hurting the website’s loading speed. This affects SEO in two ways.
First, studies show that around 53% of visitors will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. If this happens, your bounce rate will go up and your digital authority down. As a result, Google will see your website as less relevant and, therefore, stop redirecting users to it. Improving page load speed helped I’m a Puzzle to reduce bounce rate from 41% to 37%.
Second, page speed is one of the main factors analyzed by Google bots when ranking websites. If your blog page takes too much to load all of its contents, it will probably not appear in the first pages of search results.
2. Hard to read fonts
Due to the surplus of information available on the internet, it’s becoming harder and harder to capture and hold the user’s attention. Furthermore, if a visitor to your website cannot read your text at first glance, they will probably leave your pages. Therefore, it is vital to design your pages in a way that ensures good readability, creating aligned texts, and using headers to break down the content. What many web designers miss, however, is the vital role of fonts in this sense.
Since we are talking about mobile, which implicates smaller screens, not considering font sizes would result in terrible user experiences. Sometimes, a perfect font on a desktop turns out to be very hard to read on a tablet or smartphone.
3. Bad UX
UX design is a growing sector in Digital Marketing. This activity ensures that the website’s layout is responsive and creates the perfect experience for the visitors. However, many companies don’t focus their UX expenses on improving the mobile experience, which may result in websites that are very hard to navigate through mobile devices.
One typical example of a mistake related to bad UX is the poor configuration of a Mobile Viewport. Not familiar with this term? It simply specifies the area of the screen supposed to be occupied by the web page. If it is not properly set, it will bring several obstacles to the user’s experiences.
If the purpose of your SEO strategy is to drive visitors to your website via search engines and encourage those users to do desired actions on your website, you should already be implementing accessibility concerns into your SEO tactics and audits. The act of making websites accessible and useable for everyone is known as website accessibility.
Making sure the websites we work on are accessible to everyone should be a top priority for everyone in SEO, as well as the designers and developers with whom we collaborate. Google has been evaluating accessibility for years using their website performance testing tool Lighthouse, which offers aggregate accessibility scores as well as specific pass/fail audits for key components.
4. Not using responsive design
In an attempt to offer good experiences to both mobile and desktop users, many companies decide to create two versions of the same website, one designed to fit desktops and the other adequate to the size of smaller screens. By doing so, they have to create two separate URLs, creating problems for the SEO efforts. Google’s algorithms give preferences to websites that are the same, regardless of which device the visitor is using. In other words, Google looks for responsive designs.
A responsive design makes sure that the website runs perfectly on any device, be it mobile or desktop. The content is exactly the same, but the pages will simply retract to fit the screen when accessed from small devices. As a bonus, this ensures that you collect data from a single spot, favoring the use of information to improve the strategy.
5. Blocked files
The success of any SEO strategy depends on letting Google crawlers explore and make sense of your site’s content. Well, this becomes unlikely if you present blocked files. Some website owners, attempting to improve the website, restrict Google’s access to their CSS, Java, and image files. When this happens, the bots cannot index files, making it impossible for your pages to rank well in SERPs.
6. Unplayable content
It is always nice to have interactive videos and audio content on your website, as it attracts user attention and can be used to educate and convert leads. However, before uploading this kind of content to your pages, it is vital to check how they will affect the loading speed. If they are too heavy and take too much time to load, users will be frustrated and leave the page without hesitation.
Also, heavy files may become unplayable on certain devices, harming the user experience and muddling Google’s indexing.
7. Not having mobile keyword optimization
If you want to master mobile SEO, you must understand the particularities of search queries entered through smartphones and tablets. Many website owners do not realize that, many times, they are entirely different from keywords used in desktops. It is not hard to understand why: mobile devices are mostly used to perform quick searches, leading users to write smaller terms. Also, many smartphone users perform their searches through voice assistants.
Now that you are familiar with 7 of the most common mobile SEO mistakes, you have enough information to run your strategy without major problems. Efforts to make your content rank well on all kinds of devices are paramount for the success of your business, as they will allow you to provide quality experiences to a larger audience.