One of the many hurdles that every website owner has to face is getting their website to rank high on search engine results. At the start of the internet’s evolution, ranking sites wasn’t as hard as today. You only had to battle for relevance with maybe a thousand other websites. Fast forward to today’s internet world, with over 1.8 billion websites, and you definitely have your hands full.
Then came mobile devices. Everyone wanted them, and almost everyone now has them. They’re the go-to devices used to access the internet. As such, it has become imperative that websites are mobile-friendly or mobile optimised.
If you’ve been a website owner for a while and have been paying attention, you would have noticed that websites rank differently on mobile and desktop-based searches. Since most people access the internet more frequently through their mobile devices, you must ensure your website is mobile-friendly and optimised.
To increase your website’s mobile ranking, it’s best to understand the factors that affect it. So, in no particular order of significance, here are some factors you should examine closely to boost your website’s mobile ranking.
Factors that Affect Your Website’s Mobile Search Ranking
As a website owner, it’s never too late to know this if you’re just reading about mobile-first indexing for the first time. So, what’s mobile-first indexing? Well, the long and short of it is this. Google now uses the mobile version content of your website for indexing and ranking. In the past, the focus was solely on the desktop version of a website.
Since times are changing, and Google is not one to be left behind, they have realised that more than half of all searches are being done from mobile devices. So, how well a website is mobile-optimised would ultimately affect its ranking either positively or negatively.
A mobile-friendly and optimised website may seem a vague term, but a lot of things have to be considered to determine which site is more mobile-friendly than another. However, Google has been clever enough not to reveal what parameters or exact factors it uses to rank mobile websites. Instead, they are good at hinting at possible factors.
Mobile-first indexing may seem like a recent addition as it was only introduced in March of 2021, but Google has actually been working on it since 2017. Since, in their infinite wisdom and understanding of patterns and trends, Google has eventually finalised and launched Mobile-First, you have to ask yourself if your website is mobile-first ready?
Webpage Experience and Optimisation
User experience (UX) plays a vital role in a website’s SEO. When you undermine the importance of UX in your website, search engines will rank your website lower. To put it in a more practical way, search engines would consider it trash.
User experience relates to how easy it is for visitors to navigate and use your website. Therefore, the site’s architecture and navigation should be designed for the mobile experience. A better user experience would improve the website’s SEO and ultimately increase your ranking on SERP.
Webpage optimisation relates to the quality of the content and SEO, as well as the page speed. The focus here is on optimising the speed of web pages. Google officially made page speed a ranking factor for mobile websites in 2018.
People do most searches on their mobile devices because they want quick solutions. But unfortunately, mobile website pages with slow speeds frustrate the visitor and drive them away. Guess what? This affects your mobile website’s ranking on SERP.
Does it really matter? Here’s a good example. Amazon will reportedly lose about $1.6 billion in annual sales if its page speed is slower by just one second. That’s how short the attention span and patience of visitors can be. So, how many seconds slower do you think your mobile website can afford to be?
Quality of Content
As far as mobile website SEO goes, content is still king! One of the search engines’ major goals is to provide as much detailed and trustworthy information to users as possible. With nearly two billion websites on the internet, search engine algorithms are always on the lookout for the best content that adequately answers users’ search queries.
When you produce low to moderate quality content just to increase your overall website pages, Google’s police algorithms like Panda will work faithfully to rank your mobile website low, where it belongs.
High-quality website content would naturally have a low bounce rate since it is useful to search engine users. Since this is what search engines want, they’ll push your mobile website high up on the SERPs.
Quality content is good only when it can be found. When it comes to search engines and mobile website ranking, one sure way to achieve that is through targeted keywords. By searching for competitive keywords including longtail keywords and creating content around them, your content stands a better chance of being noticed by the search engine algorithm.
Again, the content has to be relevant and helpful to the user for keywords to be useful in ranking a website. When users use these specific keywords, search engines look for web pages that have meaningful answers.
For instance, when a user searches for “the best restaurant in Cancun”, Google would only present websites with these keywords strings to users.
Mobile websites get ranked low when keywords are not correctly used or used with little relevance to the entire content.
Internal and External Links
Internal links help search engine users and search engines find helpful pages and rank them. In addition, they direct users to other pages within your website. There are several benefits of optimising your mobile website’s internal links. An important use is that it can help build a roadmap around specific searched content.
If search engine users can find related answers to queries through well-linked pages, search engines would rank your website higher because it is useful. The opposite is the case with poor internal links.
Some may argue that external links are not necessary, but they can play a role in helping rank your website. In addition, the quality of these external links or backlinks can help either improve or drown your mobile website ranking.
Look for and link to authoritative and relevant websites with good rankings. Think of it as having the right association. While it’s not certain that links will continue to impact a website’s SEO in the coming years, there’s no harm in using them right now while it’s still effective.
With more searches being carried out through mobile devices, it was only a matter of time before search engines would demand mobile optimisation of websites. Search engine giant, Google, took the bold step in 2021 with the launch of mobile-first. Now, websites can have different mobile and desktop rankings if the former is not optimised correctly. Therefore, to improve your website’s mobile rank, you have to be intentional in making your website mobile-friendly.
with so many people turning to their mobiles to search for almost everything, you have to ensure your site is mobile-friendly to beat your competition. But you don’t have to do everything on your own. Engaging an SEO expert is all you need to do. They will not only take care of your mobile site but also your website to make sure your site is on the top everywhere.