Mobile search is becoming more critical by the day. Just a few years ago, mobile search made up a quarter of all website traffic while today it accounts for more than 52%. With 1 out of every 2 potential readers or customers coming to your website from a mobile device, you need to have a site that performs well in mobile search.
Improve Load Speeds
Before anything else, your website needs to load quickly. This is true for any type of SEO. If you’re trying to improve your overall search rank as much as possible, you want your website or at least its mobile version, to load in under a second. If you can’t achieve that ideal, you should at least get everything above the fold to load in less than five seconds, doing so will put your website in the top 30% concerning mobile load time, according to Google.
Opt for Quality Over Quantity
Bounce rate reduction has always been a significant component of SEO. If people can’t find what they’re looking for, they leave. This is just as important on mobile as it is via desktop browsing. Taking things a step further, the longer you can keep people on your website, on average, the more authority a search engine will attribute to your site. The more quality content and easy in-linking you have, the better.
Use an Adaptive or Responsive Design
Having a website that can detect a mobile device and serve up a mobile-specific version will dramatically improve all of the most important ranking factors, as long as that mobile version is fast and flexible. Ideally, you may even want to contact an iOS developer and an Android developer to come up with specific versions or even apps that make the most of mobile capabilities.
Format for Quick Reading
While you want to keep people on your website as long as possible, your first step is to capture their attention in the first place. Reading on mobile is different than reading on a desktop. There need to be more headings, shorter paragraphs, and more line breaks. Content should be compact and easy to read and digest. If you suspect something is even a bit too long, break it up.
Streamline the Mobile Experience
Test your designs, themes, and general website experience on multiple mobile devices. What might work well on an iPhone could be a nightmare on Android devices. Popups are usually the worst offenders. Where possible, consider removing banner ads, pop-ups (including opt-ins), and any motion features or carousels. Not only does this lower data consumption for mobile users, but it can dramatically decrease load times.
All-in-all, when you’re trying to rank on the first page, it will ultimately come down to fast load times and the overall authority rank of your site. Optimizing these two things will help improve your position as quickly as possible in mobile search results, provided you already have your keyword and category focus optimized as much as possible.