Is Mobile Search More Than Just Being Mobile “Friendly”?
In 1998, it was important for the owner of an online business to be listed in Yahoo’s directory. That could bring you enough traffic to be profitable. Today, if there’s any equivalent to that tsunami of targeted traffic, it’s in mobile search.
Without a mobile-friendly website, people searching for your products and services on smartphones and other mobile devices won’t find you as easily on Google. Customers decide what to buy, when, and from where — right on their smartphones!
Business owners cannot afford to ignore or avoid this trend. So how can you prepare for mobile search?
Question #1: Why Do We Need A Mobile-Friendly Website?
As of April 21, when Google rolls out its new mobile-friendly algorithm, sites that aren’t mobile-friendly will rank lower in search results than if they were mobile optimized.
The search engine won’t block or remove your site for not being optimized for mobile search (as Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller recently confirmed), but you’ll have fewer sales because mobile searchers won’t be able to find you as easily. If your competitor has a mobile-friendly website, they’ll have a distinct ranking advantage over you.
Question #2: Is It True That A Mobile-Friendly Website Is Optimized For Mobile Search And Doesn’t Need SEO?
Absolutely not. “Mobile-friendly” only means that your website renders nicely on a mobile device. In other words, your content will be presented neatly on any smartphone or tablet.
But just because your site looks good on a mobile device doesn’t mean it’s optimized for mobile search. Mobile optimization depends on several factors like technical implementation, coding and content. It requires an integrated effort across multiple disciplines, including off-page factors.
Question #3: How Can I Tell If A Page Is Mobile-Friendly Or Not?
A quick way to determine if a page is mobile-friendly or not is to use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. This test will not only assess whether your page has a mobile-friendly design, but will also offer specific advice on where improvements can be made.
Keep in mind that the Mobile-Friendly Test Tool can only analyze a single page/URL at a time. Since it’s is not practical for larger sites to individually test each URL on their site, the best approach is to connect to Google Webmaster Tools, which will provide insight into site-wide issues impacting your mobile friendliness.
Question #4: We’re Already Doing Traditional SEO — Do We Also Need Mobile SEO?
Though traditional SEO is already complex, mobile search requires more specialized knowledge. Search results change based on location and device, so the rules are also changing frequently. See this not as a limitation, but an opportunity to gain an advantage.
Question #5: How Is Mobile SEO Different From Local SEO?
While local search relates to your city or town, mobile search