Mobile gives consumers access to unlimited information at their fingertips, which explains why mobile searching surpassed desktop.
Google's Mobile-first Indexing uses mobile sites as the primary SEO ranking for sites. In other words, retailers must invest in improving mobile SEO to target their mobile-minded consumers.
To break down the basics of mobile SEO, we sat down with Nathan Sankbeil, a Software Engineer at Branding Brand.
Q: What is mobile SEO?
A: Mobile Search Engine Optimization is the practice of increasing a site’s visibility in search results, specifically for mobile devices. It does not significantly differ from the traditional idea of SEO.
Q: Why is mobile SEO important?
A: The majority of searches originate from mobile devices, so search engines are taking steps to ensure that users get the best possible results. Google, among others, have updated their search ranking algorithms to consider mobile-centric factors like usability.
Q: How does mobile SEO affect retailer sites?
A: Mobile SEO efforts benefit all sites. Retailers specifically may want to implement structured metadata on their sites if they haven’t already. This enables search results that contain extra details, like nearby retail stores or product ratings. More importantly, they are highly visible on mobile devices and can drive additional customers to the site and retail stores.
Q: Is there a difference between mobile and desktop SEO? How do they work together?
A: Mobile SEO is a superset of traditional desktop SEO, so all of the existing best practices apply with a couple new requirements. Usability items, such as using legible font sizes and easily tappable buttons, are very important. Additionally, retailers should signify a link between the mobile and desktop version using annotations in your sitemap or site’s code.
Q: What is Google’s Mobile-first Indexing initiative?
A: Google is testing the use of mobile rather than desktop sites as their primary content source when indexing. While this isn’t as large of a shift as Google’s “mobile-friendly” ranking change, any sites that serve different content for mobile should ensure that both versions include the same SEO efforts.
Q: What are the next steps for retailers looking to improve mobile SEO?
A: Mobile usability is a major factor in how search results are ranked, so having a mobile-friendly site is beneficial. Retailers that are already following industry best practices regarding SEO should continue to monitor their search presence for issues using webmaster tools provided by Google and Microsoft.
Can you check off the basics from our 9-point Mobile SEO Best Practices Checklist? Take a look.