SEO 101, Volume 3: Why Mobile SEO Is Essential In Hong Kong
Since smartphones exploded onto the market beginning with the groundbreaking iPhone, mobile SEO has gained prominence around the world.
The shift toward mobile is so momentous that by 2020, the number of internet users from smartphones is said to hit 2.87 billion, up from 2.1 billion in 2016.
This means, naturally, that the number of online searches on mobile devices increased exponentially. Mobile browsing became more commonplace, and as soon as people could search the web on their phones, they started looking to buy and sell on them as well.
With such significant changes in how people use the internet, digital marketing methods naturally followed suit, especially SEO. Here in the third instalment of our SEO 101 series, we explore mobile SEO and break it down to the basics so you know what makes it so crucial.
What Is Mobile SEO?
Mobile SEO is the practice of optimizing a website for use on mobile devices. By doing this, you’ll drive more mobile traffic to your website while ranking higher for searches conducted on mobile devices.
With almost 95% of the mobile search market under its belt, Google is the undisputed king of the medium. If you want to be found by more mobile searchers on Google, you need to adopt a Mobile-First approach. Basically, it means you need to consider making every facet of your website mobile-friendly to rank well these days.
How Does It Work?
Desktop and mobile SEO have numerous commonalities and differences. Here’s what they have in common:
- They are both geared towards creating a better user experience
- Both strategies prioritize quality onsite content
- Site performance must be reliable, with fast loading times when accessed on various platforms
And here’s where they differ:
- Keywords you target for mobile search have a different focus, often location-based
- Content geared for mobile readers is laid out with these users in mind, e.g. suitable text sizes with generous paragraph spacing due to smaller screen sizes
- Images need to be specifically optimized for mobile, so users don’t have to zoom out or scroll sideways to see them properly
- Both methods have different indicators of success
As mentioned above and in previous issues of our SEO 101 series, search engines’ main goal is to provide searchers with the most relevant content for their chosen search terms. Mobile is no different. However, the context of the searches being conducted is likely to diverge from that of a desktop user.
An Essential Component Of Any SEO Strategy
With the infographic above illustrating the huge representation of mobile use over other devices, it’s no wonder that companies have to consider mobile in their SEO strategy. With mobile searches taking over desktop for a while now, this trend is not set to slow down anytime soon.
In 2015, Google announced its pending algorithm change to favor mobile-first indexing. Basically, that means its web-crawling “spiders” began analyzing pages for mobile-friendliness and responsiveness. This was done to reflect the change in how people interact with the online world. Now well and truly in place, the status quo of SEO has been completely transformed.
SEO – especially the white hat kind – is largely about creating a better user experience. If your site’s mobile version is looking outdated, you may well end up penalized for it. That doesn’t even account for the number of users that would bounce off your page if their mobile experience isn’t the best!
Targeting Searchers On Mobile
Mobile users often look for a single piece of information. Because they’re often on-the-go, they often have less time to dig through search results and websites than desktop users.
That said, mobile users aren’t always in motion. In social situations and on the couch, the first device people now reach to when searching for information is their smartphone. Whether they’re searching for a product, service, or even just information, mobile phones accounted for 58% of site visits on 2018. The catch is, the intent behind a mobile search often differs drastically from a desktop computer search.
Google themselves have verified that in times of need, people turn toward their phone. That also goes for making purchasing decisions and even followup. According to Google’s data, 70% of smartphone owners who made a purchase use their phones to search for relevant info. Even more significant, 92% of phone searchers using terms with “buying intent” made a related purchase.
By anticipating customers’ needs and understanding what would make them choose your website in the moment, your mobile SEO strategy will be much more effective. Mobile-friendly sites drive conversions, sales, and greater user engagement, giving you a distinct advantage over your competitors. One thing’s for sure: the Mobile-First online world is here to stay!
With user experience, quality content and responsive websites integral to driving conversions, SEO is more geared toward the user than ever before. If you want some tips on how to better gear your website toward superior user experience, check out volume 2 of our SEO 101 series on black and white hat SEO.