In the past, search engine optimization was all about desktops. Web sites were designed to run at their best for this platform. As Smartphone use and mobile searching grew websites started to reluctantly look at mobile. However, all companies did was make sure that their site could run on mobile. Things like the look, speed, and overall user experience were neglected.

Today, mobile is just as important to SEO as desktop. Here’s why:

Mobile Searching

Today, people search more on their phones than they do on any other platform. That means that while your wonderful, ranking, functioning desktop website is being used and seen less and less. Because more people are searching on mobile more page views and traffic are being generated that way. So if your site isn’t mobile-friendly don’t expect people to stick around or return.

In fact, people are five times more likely to leave a site that isn’t mobile-friendly. And over half of mobile users will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. So no matter how wonderful your desktop website is if it isn’t mobile-friendly don’t expect to tap into that mobile searching.

Mobile Ranking

Something not a lot of companies know is that mobile and desktop search engine algorithms are different. Google, for example, takes into account if a site is mobile friendly when it produces its search engine results on phones. This is incredibly important to SEO. Your site might rank number two under a keyword on Google desktop but if it isn’t optimized it might not even show up on the first few pages on Google mobile. As more and more people primarily search on mobile, not ranking there is almost worse than not ranking on desktop.

Mobile Keywords

A big part of SEO is targeting specific keywords. When it comes to mobile SEO, it’s important to know that people are searching for different keywords. Mobile SEO is all about what people are searching when they’re out and on the go. These keywords tend to be more localized and specific whereas desktop keyword searches may be more general. For example, someone could out shopping and want to know all the coffee shops within 5 miles of them. If they were at home their search would have probably been more general and along the lines of “coffee shops Toronto.”

So how does this impact your SEO campaign? Instead of focusing just on desktop keywords, look at mobile keywords too. Make content that is optimized for both localized and general searches.

Mobile Site

The big question is what do you have to do to make your site mobile-friendly. There are a few things that are important to make your site appealing to mobile search engines and mobile users. Page speed is important on all devices but when it comes to mobile, where users want quick responses, it is even more critical. Make sure your mobile site runs quickly both on WiFi and data networks. Having mobile friendly content is also great. People don’t want to read long posts to get their quick answer. Make posts that are dynamic, and appealing to both desktop and mobile users.

A big part of a site being mobile-friendly, especially in terms of user experience is appearance. You want to make sure content and images are scaled correctly so that people don’t have to scroll constantly. Make sure the font size isn’t too small when you scale, as this requires people to zoom in. Also, make sure that touch elements aren’t too close as this makes it hard for users to tap on the correct element desired. Pop-ups are another key point in terms of user experience. No one likes them but we get it, ads are vital to making money. However, don’t make them full-screen pop-ups. Not only do users hate them but also Google is starting to crack down on them and make SEO penalties for mobile sites that have them.

Conclusion

Mobile searching isn’t the future- it’s the now. With mobile searching outstripping every other platform not having a mobile-friendly site is like shooting yourself in the foot. You want to make sure your site is SEO friendly for all platforms. Make sure to keep mobile searching and users in mind as you create your SEO campaign and strategies.