7-Step SEO Basics for Beginners: Go Mobile

Bike racers in a race by Markus Spiske If you haven't yet checked if your site is mobile friendly, do it soon. With 52% or more* of worldwide web traffic originating on mobile devices, it's no wonder that Google declared mobile-first all the way back in 2016. Responsive Design plays a huge part in site's search ranking.

If you're asking what 4% more mobile queries looks like, it's about 27.8 billion queries on Google alone. And that's on two year old data.

Google's mobile-first indexing is based on a few key principles:
  • content first, design second
  • simple navigation for maximum readability.
  • fast page loading times. Don't overload with images and media, plug-ins, scripts complex CSS, stacks of ads, or external third party content that may or may not load in good time.
  • bounce rate on mobile versus desktop. If visitors abandon ship more quickly on mobile than desktop, something's not working.
While I have 27 pages of analysis on Google's mobile-first indexing, the key advice is: test it yourself on mobile devices - phones and tablets. Get friends and family to test it on theirs. Get customers and readers to test it on theirs. maybe incentivise feedback with a prize draw, a discount code, a survey, a special offer. Frame it as market research or customer engagement. Get feedback from as many people as possible. It's not scientific, but it will give you the headline issues of your site on mobile.

Don't be offended at the responses. If your site is terrible on mobile you need to know - so that you can do something about it.

You can guarantee that if real humans don't hang around for a page to load and won't fumble around across seventeen layers of sub-menus to find content, then the search engine spiders certainly won't.

Yes, there are plenty of specific things you can do to make your site more mobile-friendly, but if you need a starting point, start here. RC

*Mobile traffic 2018, source: Statista.com

Image credit: Bike racers in a race by Markus Spiske, licensed under CC0 1.0