Impacts of Mobile Search on SEO

When it comes to mobile-first indexing, you need to make sure that your website is optimised for mobile search. As Google crawls websites using mobile-first, you need to take this into consideration when it comes to SERPs. 

This week’s blog at Get Your Mobi looks into Mobile Search and SEO, focusing on how changes are impacting on Google and its indexing process.

Optimising for Mobile SERPs

A mobile search engine results page (SERP) will often list fewer links than desktop pages because of the smaller screen size. However, Google incorporated infinite scrolling on smartphone SERPs, making pages 2 and beyond more accessible to users.

Writing concise, engaging meta descriptions is essential. Because of the reduced amount of space, they tend to be shorter than on desktop results. The maximum number of characters mobile SERPs show is 120 rather than 160 for desktop pages.

Location data also impacts SERPs as smartphones have more accurate GPS information. This means that you need to optimise websites for local queries when relevant and possible.

Personal & Conversational Search

Google’s Hummingbird update in 2013 made results more relevant by focusing to a greater extent on the intent of the user’s query. With the number of voice searches increasing, conversational search has become an essential element of SEO.

Rather than targeting specific keywords, the Hummingbird algorithm analyses the complete phrase and provides results based on intent. Smartphone assistants like Siri are increasingly being used, meaning conversational and natural language are what writers should adapt their content for.

Many mobile queries are used to solve problems and discover information about the location the user is in. This is known as personal search. Although desktop computers have some location data, smartphones are used more often for these types of queries and are better at providing results.

Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?

Mobile search has changed some elements of SEO, but it is not a drastic alteration. Content will probably do much better on SERPs if it is focused on relevant content for user intent. This can be difficult as queries can be interpreted in different ways.

However, the aim should be to create relevant content rather than just making sure you get the target keywords or key phrases in the text. Other aspects that may impact your website include:

  • Page Speed
  • Readability
  • Easy Navigation

Readability and navigation are important aspects of SEO. If the text is too small or your navigation panel is difficult to access, users are more likely to leave. Optimising usability increases the time they spend on your website, benefitting your rankings.

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