Google is changing the search engine optimization game yet again. The search engine juggernaut announced that it would penalize websites in its search results if they’re not user-friendly for mobile devices. In other words, if you don’t maintain a mobile-friendly web page then you’ll get punished.
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This will indeed provide a substantial impact for various websites that aren’t equipped to be viewed on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. With that being said, the move on the part of Google does make sense considering that more and more people are browsing the Internet on their mobile gadgets, and marketers are spending huge sums on mobile marketing ($400 billion this year).
Moving forward, webmasters will have to impose various SEO measures into the website’s mobile capacity. Mobile SEO is a lot different than traditional desktop SEO. It’s important to remember that mobile searchers aren’t the same as desktop searchers in the sense that they have an array of needs, limited time and expensive data plans.
For tech-savvy marketers, mobile SEO is relatively a new concept that is only beginning to be understood and mastered. If you have yet to master the art of mobile SEO then here are six mobile SEO hurdles you need to overcome in 2015:
1. Advertising Real Estate
When a visitor peruses a website on their smartphone, the screen provides very limited viewing. This is why the mobile website should consist of minimal advertising because if it takes up too much real estate it could disrupt the person’s reading experience, and they could be turned off your brand almost instantly. Be conservative and abide by the old adage of "less is more."
Flash, a dozen or so pictures and intricate designs will diminish the quality of the individual’s viewing. These elements take a lot of time to load, eat up an immense amount of data and can frustrate the reader because they have to wait so long just to find out about the latest news or updates. Again, the "less is more" mantra is more suitable to mobile SEO because multimedia abundance can hurt the website’s reputation.
3. Mobile-Friendly Website
As Google warned, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly then you will notice the ramifications in the search results. Starting in April, your website will have to be able to be perfectly viewed on tablets, phablets, smartphones and other mobile devices if you wish to remain relevant on Google search results pages.
4. App Splash Page
You just unveiled your latest mobile app, and you want everyone to download it? Well, it’s wise to advertise it, but if you create a splash page for the app then this will immediately create waves of sighs from those on their iPhones or Samsung Galaxy devices. Why? Because splash pages are already annoying on websites, and it’ll be even more so on five-inch screens.
5. Responsive Design
In order to provide the best possible experience, install a responsive mobile web design to limit the amount of time and effort spent on optimizing the several components of the same information. Of course, remember that there should be two different responsive designs: one for desktop and one for mobility (see No. 6) because users seek out variations of searches and keywords.
6. Mobile vs. Desktop Searchers
This is one area that PR professionals scratch their heads: web owners tend to believe mobile searchers and desktop searchers are one in the same. This couldn’t be any further from the truth because research has regularly shown that a mobile searcher will type in different keywords than someone searching for something on a laptop or computer.
Here is what eConsultancy writes on the matter: "This is because those audiences are not the same, and often, they can have quite different needs. This is not an excuse to deliver mobile users a dumbed-down or reduced experience though - one of my pet hates is when websites give me a version of the page with only a fraction of the content when viewing it with my mobile."
Producing two separate entities will help you maintain a steady ranking in search results.
If SEO wasn’t a tough enough racket already then, "you ain’t seen nothing yet" when it comes to mobile SEO. With two billion people expected to own a smartphone and an astronomical number of web surfers using their mobile devices for their Internet needs, mobile SEO will be an even fiercer game than conventional SEO.
Get ready, take a deep breath and fasten your seatbelt...it’ll be a bumpy ride.
See also: Top 6 WordPress Plugins for Mobile Optimization
Have you already implemented a mobile friendly website? Have you seen any positive results in terms of traffic yet? Your thoughts and comments below please...