Prioritize Mobile SEO to Rank Higher in Search Results

Camryn Rabideau / April 18, 2019

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When building a website, one of the key factors to consider is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the practice of structuring your site in a way that allows people to find your business via search engines like Google.

If you want to rank favorably, it’s also imperative to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly. Here’s why mobile SEO matters, and what you can do to maximize yours.

Mobile browsing is at an all-time high

Over the past few years, search engines like Google introduced more mobile-focused criteria into SEO algorithms — and for good reason.

According to The Guardian, mobile web browsing became more common than desktop browsing in 2016. Since then, its popularity has skyrocketed. This trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down, so it’s no surprise that search engines are placing increased emphasis on mobile optimization.

Mobile sites are used for indexing and ranking

Mobile performance has been an important piece of SEO for years, but Google‘s 2018 algorithm updates made this ranking factor more important than ever.

According to search experts from Google, “mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our — primarily mobile — users find what they’re looking for.”

Previously, Google’s ranking system used desktop versions of websites for crawling and indexing. Now, websites are evaluated by their mobile versions. This is why mobile SEO should be an integral part of your website-building efforts.

The ingredients for a mobile-friendly site

Once you understand why mobile SEO is important, learn what constitutes a mobile-friendly website. In its initial mobile-related SEO update in 2015, Google highlighted these key indicators:

  • Text is readable without needing to zoom.
  • Tap targets are appropriately spaced.
  • Pages do not feature unplayable content.
  • Pages avoid horizontal scrolling.

When it announced mobile-first indexing, Google released additional guidance, saying that customers shouldn’t have to struggle to complete common tasks like reading blog posts, checking reviews, or shopping on their phones.

Additionally, the search engine giant placed emphasis on having a consistent site design across all devices. To do this, one of your best options is to use a responsive web design, which utilizes the same URL and code structure, but automatically adjusts based on the visitor’s screen size.

WordPress.com offers a variety of responsive website themes that are both beginner and mobile-friendly.

Test for mobile-friendliness

Because mobile is such an important aspect of SEO, Google created a Mobile-Friendly Test so that site owners can evaluate their websites. Input your site’s URL to begin the test.

Google Mobile Friendly Test

If your site fails, Google will provide suggestions for how to fix any issues.

Google Mobile Friendly Test Results

This tool also highlights any loading delays, which is another factor that can impact your search engine rankings.

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