It doesn’t take a digital marketing expert to break down what an optimized website looks like. Today, just about anyone could paint this picture for you: an attractive, snappy user interface with content that matches its visitors’ search intent.
So then, what do we mean when we say “mobile optimization”?
For websites, mobile optimization is the process of streamlining the site’s design, content, page speed, and other ranking factors to attract and engage mobile users. With modern SEO, mobile optimization is crucial for seeing an ROI and positive results over time. Mobile optimization has direct and indirect impacts on site traffic, Google SERP rankings, and conversion rates.
Now, let’s look deeper into the importance of mobile optimization in 2022.
Three Reasons Why Mobile Optimization Matters in 2022
It may be a shock to learn that nearly 63% of organic search traffic in the United States is from mobile devices. If there are 8.5 billion global searches every day, that would mean approximately 5.4 billion mobile searches in a 24-hour window.
How is that possible? Simply put, it’s the rise of the smartphone.
In 2000, manufacturers sold 405 million mobile phones. In 2021? They sold 1.5 billion mobile phones. With advancing technology and globalization efforts, it’s no wonder that some 92% of the global population is connected through the internet.
But how can startups, small businesses, and even established companies attract this massive audience of global users? In addition to full-service SEO and other marketing efforts, mobile optimization is a must for your UX, page rankings, and brand reputation.
1. Engaging the Mobile User
As we’ve just mentioned, global smartphone usage is at an all-time high. Imagine your friend or co-worker just asked you a question about some statistic or event they heard about on the news. Do you walk all the way back to your laptop or workstation to look it up? Probably not. Most likely, you’d pull out your phone and search away.
The convenience of the smartphone is the most valuable feature and is primarily why mobile optimization matters. Most people value convenience over almost everything else—even their online privacy.
To create more convenient content for mobile users, Google provides users with rich search results that offer quick and visual answers to their search queries. The problem with this solution is that brands are devoting resources to creating quality content, only for Google to show users a single sentence or video—defeating the purpose of the content.
Engaging content may acquire mobile traffic if rich search results leave more to be desired. After all, Google can only do so well at showing exactly what the user wants. If you create engaging videos, blog content, and service pages, your chances of attracting mobile traffic are higher.
However, you’ll need some technical expertise from this next point to engage mobile users.
2. Ranking Higher on Google’s SERP
Google has coined the term “Mobile Friendliness” to describe the ease with which people can view your content and engage with common page elements (e.g., drop-down menus and uninterrupted scrolling). Although you don’t have to make your site mobile-friendly, Google highly encourages you to do so.
With Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, you can check to see if specific pages on your site are considered mobile-friendly from Google’s perspective. In addition to mobile-friendliness, you should check page speeds across your site.
Do you remember Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)? Companies used AMP for news articles, blogs, and other content pieces, which Google would prioritize over other search results. As of June 2021, though, AMP is no more. Instead, full-service SEOs and digital marketing agencies focus on core web vitals: the clear-cut, no-nonsense metrics for determining how well (or poorly) a page performs. From Google, these metrics include:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Measures loading performance. To provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.
- First Input Delay (FID): Measures interactivity. To provide a good user experience, pages should have an FID of 100 milliseconds or less.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures visual stability. To provide a good user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of 0.1. or less.
For mobile users, these metrics are critical to the overall page experience.
Have you ever loaded an article and, just before you put your finger on the screen to scroll, the page shifted down because an ad loaded in the place of previously blank space? That’s CLS. Or, have you ever been reading on a page when the top banner finally loaded after 10-15 seconds, making you lose your spot? That’s LCP—one example, at least.
Yes, Google looks at dozens (and likely hundreds) of other metrics to determine if a page is well optimized. However, for Google Lens users—the 27% of mobile users who get their content through voice search (and the rest of the mobile search audience)—optimization means readability, accessibility, and quality.
For Google, mobile page speed optimizations mean you can rank higher.
(Believe it or not, yes, there’s a reason you haven’t seen many outright-terrible mobile pages from Google in the past few years.)
3. Enhancing Your Brand
For many startups and e-commerce stores, their website is their brand. Unfortunately, when it comes to digital marketing for small businesses, there isn’t any one way to optimize a site for mobile traffic. However, you can consider these points to move in the right direction:
- Does your site positively reflect your brand? If someone showed your website to a million people on live TV, would it embarrass you that certain pages are flat-out broken or have strange CSS elements? A brand that emphasizes simplicity and wellness shouldn’t have a bulky, overwhelming landing page for visitors.
- How does your site hold up against your competitors? Even if you rank well, your conversion rates and ROI may suffer if your site looks or feels “scammy,” for lack of a better term. An expired HTTPS certificate, oversized images, slow loading times, or missing elements can hurt your site’s performance on a campaign level.
- Do your pages get backlinks? Backlinks aren’t directly tied to mobile optimization. However, an exceptional piece of mobile-friendly content will receive more backlinks than a broken or shaggy counterpart. If you create content for your site to improve rankings or traffic, ask if the quality and optimization of that content are on-par with what you’d consume as an individual.
4 Essential SEO Tips for Mobile Optimization
- Regularly test key pages. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and other Google Search Console tools to check for mobile optimization and receive tips on how to improve your site or page.
- Adopt responsive web design. Responsive web design allows people to see the exact same piece of content but formatted for each individual’s device. Use our website as an example. If you view this blog on a desktop and mobile device, the page will adapt to the resolution and dimensions of your devices.
- Reduce load times. Using feedback from Google’s PageSpeed Insights, Google Search Console—and data from Google Analytics (e.g., bounce rates and engagement)—can identify areas to improve the mobile experience across the board. If your CDN isn’t currently compressing your 20MB images for visitors, this will hurt your page performance drastically. Take the time to work internally with a third-party developer or a marketing agency to identify and implement the necessary improvements needed on your site.
- Prioritize on-page SEO. If the content and metadata of your pages aren’t already optimized, you can put mobile optimization on pause for a brief moment. Optimizing your title tags, meta descriptions, content length, and other page elements is the first step in making your site mobile-friendly.
Want More Expert Advice?
Mobile optimization is critical for a brand’s success, the website’s ranking, and the engagement quality with its audience. In the scope of SEO, a company can take many steps to optimize its site across the board.
That’s where Pouch Marketing comes in.
At Pouch, we’ve helped companies achieve and exceed their marketing goals. Whether it’s digital marketing for small businesses or Fortune 500 companies, we have a portfolio to show we mean business. Our team of SEO specialists, senior copywriters, and industry experts are prepared to help optimize your site for the mobile user. Contact us if you want to know more about mobile optimization or how we can help your company today!
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