Is Mobile SEO as Important as Google Says?

The Google Mobile-Friendly Update, infamously called “Mobilegeddon”, was launched last April. This new algorithm was designed to reward mobile-friendly webpages by giving their ranking a boost in Google’s mobile search results. Essentially, a user who is performing a Google search from a phone or tablet is given search results showing websites that are designed to fit their devices.

Mobile SEO

Technically, Mobilegeddon does not affect desktop searches; websites without a mobile version are only excluded from mobile search results. According to Google, a mobile-friendly website should contain readable text that does not require zooming, content that fits the screen so the user does not have to scroll horizontally, and links that are spaced far enough from each other so that they can be easily tapped.

Is Mobile SEO Really Necessary?

According to a Google survey of mobile users, YES. In this survey:

  • 72% of mobile users say that it is important to them that websites are mobile-friendly
  • 79% say they will go back to the search engine and try to find another website if yours is not mobile-friendly
  • 67% are more likely to buy a product or use a service from a mobile-friendly website

Increased Visits from Mobile Users

As Google starts tagging websites that are optimized for mobile as “mobile-friendly” in its mobile search results, websites that are not labeled as such will inevitably start seeing a decline in their click-through rate (CTR). Why? Well, if a user performs a search with their mobile device and 3 out of the top 5 results are labeled as “mobile-friendly”, the user will most likely click on any of the 3 results that Google identifies as mobile-friendly. Over time, there will be less click-throughs for websites that are not mobile-friendly, as more mobile users pay attention to those that are.

Higher Mobile Rankings

Aside from giving mobile-friendly websites higher mobile search rankings and demoting those that are not, Google is taking a step further by using the “mobile-friendly” designation as a ranking factor to promote websites that are optimized for mobile. As mentioned in a recent Google blog post that announced the new “mobile-friendly” labels, “We see these labels as a first step in helping mobile users to have a better mobile web experience. We are also experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal.”

Increased Revenue from Mobile-Friendly Websites

Having a mobile-friendly website at a time when majority of your target audience uses mobile devices to find products and services they need is a competitive advantage that will consequently result to increased income. As more consumers turn to mobile-friendly sites that give them better user experience, your mobile visibility allows you to effectively connect with your target market and eventually close a sale online or physically drive potential customers towards your business.

The Next Steps for Your Mobile SEO Strategy

To check if your business website is classified as mobile-friendly, do a Google search of your company using your mobile device. In the search engine results page, the label “Mobile-friendly” can be seen on the left side of the snippet just below your webpage URL. You can also use Google’s mobile-friendly test to easily check whether Google sees your webpage as mobile friendly.

If your website is not labeled as mobile-friendly, there are 2 options to getting good with Google. You can create a mobile website (m.domain) which is linked with your existing website, or build an entirely new responsive website that will work across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. If you are ready to revamp your entire web presence, responsive web design is highly recommended. With responsive web design, you will have just 1 URL so it will be more convenient in terms of checking analytics.

Conclusion

Mobile traffic is increasing at an exponential rate, and the steps that Google has taken are a clear indicator that businesses must implement a solid mobile SEO strategy to remain competitive. Having a properly optimized website for mobile search is no longer an option, but a means to ensure you achieve high mobile rankings, greater market reach, and even higher revenues.

What You Need to Consider When Performing International SEO

You already know how important SEO is when it comes to the promotion of your website and your business, but if you’re attempting to break into new markets around the globe, it’s time to look into what international SEO is all about as well.

World Hands

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Check out the information below if you’re planning on implementing international SEO strategies throughout your website, as there are certain things that you need to consider while you tackle this important promotional tactic.

Don’t Merely Translate Your Text

One of the most common mistakes made by website owners who want to incorporate international SEO is simply translating the text that’s on their pages. A lot of people end up using free apps that aren’t all that accurate, resulting in damage to the company’s brand and ultimately being useless for SEO.

Remember that different languages use different phrasing, so what you say in English may not make sense when you translate each word in a sentence without considering the nuances of that language. Therefore, stick to hiring a professional translation agency for the best results.

Google Isn’t the Most Popular Search Engine in Every Country

Even though Google is a hugely popular global company, the truth is that it isn’t the most widely used search engine in several countries, including China, Japan, Russia, the Czech Republic, and South Korea. In those countries, other search engines, such as Seznam (Czech Republic), Naver (South Korea), Yandex (Russia), and Baidu (China), are more popular. Therefore, you should become familiar with each country’s preferred search engine’s SEO tips and rules.

Be Aware of Different Trends in Different Cultures

Another thing you need to consider is the fact that various cultures throughout the world will have their own trends. So while people in the UK might be searching for Christmas throughout November and December, as an example, other cultures may be celebrating a totally different holiday, or none at all, at that time of year. Being aware of various cultures and their individual trends, from the music that they like to the holidays that they celebrate, is key to being able to implement SEO strategies that will make your site show up in search results.

When In Doubt, Hire Experts to Help

SEO experts, as well as marketing experts like Sioux Falls Marketing, are available to help you optimize your website for your home country as well as for countries throughout the world. So if you find yourself struggling to figure out what search engines you need to optimize your site for, or the different trends that you need to be aware of, hiring outside experts could be the best option, as it will save you a lot of time and frustration.

Once your international SEO tactics have been implemented, you’ll be able to effectively reach a much wider, global audience and hopefully increase conversions, as well as your popularity, throughout the world. So even though it does require quite a bit of effort, the rewards will definitely make all the hard work worthwhile.

SEO Advice When Creating a New Website

Web designers are often in a separate department to the SEO consultants. It is the designers job to make an attractive, user friendly website and the SEO consultants job to prepare the site for the search engines.

Often good web design means a good user experience, which is what the likes of Google wants. However the SEO guys are often left wishing some things had been done differently, so as to please the likes of Google. Below are a few things to keep in mind when creating a new website so that it has the best chance of ranking in Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Web Design

Use a platform which can easily be customised and edited

There are many platforms for creating sites including Joomla, Drupal, Magento etc… The one which stands out as being the easiest to edit is WordPress. This platform works brilliantly for most types of websites from magazine or news sites to blogs to ecommerce stores.

The reason is because WordPress is so popular. The sheer number of developers creating excellent themes and plugins means that the answer to a functionality question is usually just a quick search away. WordPress is relatively easy for website owners to learn, even if it is just to create the occasional blog post. The cost of excellent themes to use a a base design is around $50, so WordPress can save a lot on design costs too.

Use a design with a responsive theme or a have a mobile version

It is absolutely essential to have a website which looks good on mobile devices. People do not want to have to pinch the screen to enlarge text when visiting a website on their phone. For most sites a responsive design is the way to go. This will automatically re-size the text and other elements on a page depending on the visitor’s screen size. Most new WordPress themes are responsive.

For websites with certain elements such as customised booking forms, responsive design may not be suitable. In these situations you should create a mobile version of the website. You then add a little code telling web browsers when to show the full version and when to show the mobile version of a site. Having a mobile or responsive version may increase rankings for mobile searchers.

Make sure that your website loads as fast as possible

One major ranking factor is page load speed time. This is especially important for people with slow internet connections such as mobile users on the go. Images should be compressed and you should also use a caching plugin (if using WordPress). Upgrading from a shared hosting account to a VPS or dedicated hosting will also help to speed things up. There are web page speed checking websites like Pingdom to help with this.

Allow for meta information to be edited

The basics of on-page SEO is to ensure your keywords feature in the page text and headings on the page. This can be aided by editing the meta tags. It is essential to enable this functionality, which can be done with a plugin like SEO Yoast for WordPress. A good plugin like this will also have other options such as creating sitemaps which can help with indexing in the search engines. It is also important to allow image alt tags to be edited as this can help with SEO too.

Other SEO advice to keep in mind

First and foremost you want a website which is easy to use for visitors. This means a clear menu structure which is easy to understand and navigate. Pages shouldn’t link out to every other page on a website. Instead it is better to group similar pages together under one menu item. This also helps to retain pagerank on the more important pages.

SEO

When you do want to highlight a certain page to Google it can be linked to from within another pages’ text. By using a keyword for that page you may also help improve it’s rankings in the search engines. For example if you wanted to rank for SEO Cheshire you could include a link with that phrase like so: SEO Cheshire. This may just help people find the linked page when searching for an SEO consultant in Cheshire.

When SEO-ing a page you can use the Google Keyword planner to find the most searched for and relevant phrases. You can then take these phrases and include them in your copy and meta tags. This should be done in a way which does not hamper the user experience i.e. don’t over do it. The idea is simply to highlight what a page is about so that Google knows what phrases to rank it for.