Google has been the driving force in the evolution of search towards mobile computing. That’s because mobile devices now dominate all search traffic and almost everyone has an internet-connected device. Google’s last update emphasised the importance of responsive design and soon a new update will take it a stage further. In short, you need to ensure you are mobile-focused. Follow this checklist to make sure you’re keeping up with mobile marketing strategies.
- Responsive design
Because so many people use mobile devices to view content your site needs to be mobile-friendly. Content developers refer to this as responsive design. It means that regardless of the device your visitors are using, your content will be adapted for best viewing on the given screen size. The easiest way to do this is to make use of a framework and developing your content from scratch. Bootstrap 4 has just been released and is free to use so start by visiting their website.
- Fast load times
One of the key aspects of the user experience is page load time and this is what Google’s next update addresses! Unfortunately, mobile connections are often slow and unreliable, particularly in developing countries and areas using older network hardware. This means content developers need to pay a lot of attention to optimising their pages so they load blazingly fast! Visit Google Page Speed Insights or check out the list below for some ideas:
- avoid using plugins like Flash, Silverlight, or Java. Adopt HTML5 web technologies—they’re built into all modern browsers and can do the same but with less load.
- optimise all images. It’s possible to compress images by up to 90% without visible loss of quality. There are lots of free, online tools to help you do this.
- optimise video for streaming. These days we have some impressive algorithms for compressing videos so they’re light enough to stream.
- Easy navigation
Often one of the most difficult aspects of mobile browsing is trying to navigate a website. This why you should develop content using a mobile-first strategy. If your navigation and links require manually zooming in just to click them, your visitors are going to lose patience and go elsewhere. Navigation must be effortless even on the smallest screen!
- Mobile-friendly content
If navigation is important then so too is the content you’re serving. Most of us have given up trying to read a page of text on a smartphone that was designed for a laptop screen.
pages should be shorter. shorter descriptions for products and services. Think quality not quantity.
- keep important features like headings and Call-to-Actions prompts in the visible part of the screen; if visitors want more they can scroll down.
- learn how to use structured data markup to assist search engines in providing user-friendly “rich snippets” in search results.
- ensure you’ve covered all the traditional Search Engine Optimisation strategies: metadata like page descriptions, long and short-tail keywords, ALT descriptions for images, XML site maps, and so on.
5. Don’t forget voice search
Voice search has really taken off as more and more of us have embraced mobile devices. That’s because people are in a rush and it is often too cumbersome to type search queries. Why type when you can speak! But voice search requires that you use a different strategy for your content. Voice searches are in natural language and longer. Your content needs to directly answer those questions if you want to appear in voice search results. Creating an FAQ page that has answers to these long-tail keyword-based search queries is a simple and easy way to meet this need.
- Embrace supporting platforms
Mobile search is very much real-time in the sense that people are looking for answers and solutions now. Help users use their mobile phone by taking advantage of built-in supporting features, for example:
- include up-to-date contact details like phone numbers (think “click-to-call”).
- integrate your site with Google Maps so users can get directions.
- include instant messaging support (such as “click-to-chat” with Facebook Messenger).
- don’t forget to research how AI Chatbots can help in messenger services.
- ensure you have a social network presence on all relevant platforms.
- integrate your business into local directories so that you can be found by people searching for local solutions.
- Use mobile-optimised advertising
Finally, where possible use advertising options that are tailored for delivery to mobile devices. You’ll also want to make use of the metrics that are generated so you can measure your campaign’s effectiveness in real-time. Google Search Console is a great starting point.