Mobile continues to dominate how people search online. The much-rumored Google mobile-first index has been predicted to take effect this year. This makes mobile optimization for your business an absolute must.
Key mobile statistics you should consider include:
- 57 percent of smartphone users will not recommend a business if their site isn’t mobile friendly.
- 80 percent of all social media use is via mobile.
- 68 percent of businesses have already integrated a mobile marketing strategy.
- 71 percent of marketers agree that mobile marketing is essential.
- 61 percent of smartphone users will not return to a poor mobile site.
- 40 percent of mobile users will abandon a poor mobile site and visit a competitor instead.
The stats above are a call to action for businesses to get mobile in 2018. There is no end in sight for the dominance of mobile. If you want to grow in the years to come, optimizing for a powerful mobile experience should be a priority.
It’s time to go mobile or go home. Here are a few targeted optimization tactics that will serve up growth and success for your business.
Prepare for Google’s mobile-first index
If you are still on the fence about mobile optimization, mobile-first index by Google should be the nudge you need. Since 2016, mobile out searched desktops, and Google plans to keep this an annual occurrence.
Why should you care what Google thinks? Well, according to NetMarketShare, Google accounts for nearly 94 percent of all searches via mobile.
Optimizing for the mobile-first index will help your business rank higher, and with higher rankings comes more traffic. Some important mobile-first tactics include tightening up titles and meta descriptions, and keeping in mind a smaller user screen. Google AMP is also essential to look into as well.
This also applies whenever you’re creating seo-friendly content, such as blog posts, ebooks, or videos.
Check the mobile-friendliness of your business site
Your site needs to provide the best user experience as possible. The days of clunky, boxed sites are over, and to influence rankings, your site needs to be sleek and mobile-friendly.
Having a responsive website design is best practice. This ensures that your site will look great on desktop, mobile, and on tablets. However, don’t think that your “responsive” design will be perfect right out of the gate. It is essential to check it on as many devices as possible.
The good news is that Google provides a tool to check the mobile-friendliness of your site.
You simply copy and paste the URLs of the pages you want to test and wait for the results.
You can even submit your mobile-friendly results to Google to potentially get a boost in rankings on mobile. If any issues are found, it gives you tips on how to optimize your site.
There are also a number of things you can do to ensure mobile users get an optimized view of your business.
A few mobile-friendly optimization tactics include:
- Ditching the mobile pop-ups. Sure, generating leads is important, but if your pop-ups aren’t offering a powerful mobile user experience, they are not worth it.
- Not using Flash. If you want to add creative elements to your site, choose Java or HTML5 over Flash when it comes to mobile.
- Thinking of the mode of navigation. Smartphones are finger-driven, and your site should be optimized for this mode of user navigation. Make it easy to scroll and tap without issues.
Optimize for speed
Site speed is important. If your business doesn’t appear for users within two seconds or less, you will most likely lose them to a competitor. When it comes to mobile optimization in 2018, speed is critical.
If you want your business to rank higher on mobile SERPs, you need to optimize your page load times. How do you know if your site speed is optimized? Check it with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
You can also check your website’s speed and performance using Think with Google Page Speed Tool.
Here are a few page speed optimization tactics:
- Keep source code to a minimum. Removing all unnecessary source code will help speed things up.
- Optimize your images. Ensure your image file size is as small as possible to keep load time to a minimum.
- Minimize redirects. Redirects can bog download time, and by cutting down the number of redirects your page has, the faster it will be.
Get local with mobile
Local optimization is essential when marketing to mobile users, since location is at the core of smartphone use. Ever get an Uber? It is highly location based for obvious reasons. How about searching for services? Often times, local options will appear first in mobile.
In fact, 50 percent of mobile users that performed a local search did visit a business within a day. How do you get those mobile results? The first thing is to get your business listed locally on Google.
Read more if you’d like to learn more how to optimize Google My Business page.
Also include the city and state of your business in the page title, URL, h1 heading, content, alt text, and meta descriptions. Your business name, address, and phone number should also be easily accessible for mobile users.
Making use of the Google Structured Data Testing Tool can also help markup your site for better local results.
Simply enter your sites URL and wait for results. For example, Best Pizza, a local Brooklyn pizzeria will have a number of markups that can help their website appear in search results for keywords like, “Best Pizza in Brooklyn.”
By using structured data you are helping Google crawl your site easier while highlighting the local data that will showcase your business for local search queries.
Your Very Own 2018 Mobile Optimization Checklist
With the above in mind, you can begin optimizing your site for mobile in a very concise way. The top three aspects to consider are responsive design, page load time (page and server speed), and overall usability.
Let these tactics serve as your guide to an optimal mobile user experience in 2018. If you think user this year, Google will reward you with better rankings.
What mobile tactics will you employ? Let us know in the comments below.