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Research Reveals What It Takes to Rank in Mobile Search Results

Posted by Avasoft Team | Posted in Site Traffic | Posted on 17-12-2015

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Most website owners now realize that it’s important to be mobile friendly, but they don’t realize how different the ranking factors are between mobile and desktop. What works for desktop ranking just doesn’t work for mobile.

Mobile is More Important

It’s surprising to say this but we’ve now reached a point where mobile searches are more important than desktop searches. More people look things up on their phones and tablets than they do on their computers in 10 different countries around the world including the United States, and worldwide there is a greater volume of mobile searches than desktop. That’s huge.

You Need Two Strategies

Gone are the days of just using one strategy for your SEO rankings. Now businesses really need a strategy for desktop SEO and for mobile SEO. Without focusing on each of the things individually you aren’t likely to rank as well as competitors and it will be tough to keep up in mobile which is now the most important of all. Fortunately Searchmetrics has been tracking mobile search patterns very closely and they’ve put together a list of ways to optimize your website for mobile SEO.

Load Speeds Matter

Each of the top 10 ranking pages that Searchmetrics featured had a loading speed that averaged 1.10 seconds. That’s pretty darned quick and it shows that you really need a fast loading site to compete. Use a resource like GooglesPageSpeed Insights tool to ensure that you have a page that loads fast enough and to find out how you can speed things up.

Flash is Bad

Flash sites aren’t ranking nearly as well as they used to and making use of Flash elements on your website is a sure way to pull it down the ranking ladder. Switch in HTML5 instead of Flash to improve your rankings and make sure your website works on all the mobile devices.

Don’t Worry About Exact Match Domains

Ever since the update in 2012, there hasn’t been nearly as much of a benefit from having keywords in the domain name of a website. That means you shouldn’t name your website something simply because you want to rank for a specific keyword. Instead go for something that is short and catchy. If it’s easy to remember it will do more for your site than any exact match domain will.

Use Small Unordered Lists

Mobile screens are small and you need to get the top information to visitors quickly. That’s why many of the top ranking sites rely on unordered lists to fit more information in, but the lists are short and focus on the most important points.

Use Images and Internal Links Sparingly

A well placed image can really liven a page, and a good internal link makes it simple for users to get the information they want. However, too much of a good thing quickly becomes a bad thing. The top ranking mobile sites have an average of four images per page, while desktop sites have nine. Fewer internal links are also more common on the top ranking mobile sites. Focus on high quality in lower amounts to really maximize your ranking.

Modify Your Content

Top ranking mobile sites have different content than desktop sites do, that’s why you have to really focus on making the changes if you want to improve your results. The top ranking sites had on average 868 words per page on mobile and 1,285 on desktop. That means you should cover topics comprehensively, but use fewer words than you would for a desktop website.

Social Signals are Important

Most of the top ranking mobile content had a high number of social signals as well, which should come as no surprise since mobile users are on social media so much. To really bolster your site rankings you have to increase your social media involvement as well. Try to get your site out there on social media and hopefully you’ll get enough shares to really help springboard the site up to a higher ranking level.

Backlinks aren’t What they Used to Be

Top ranking mobile pages had significantly fewer backlinks than top ranking desktop pages. That shows that Google is putting less emphasis on backlinks when ranking mobile content and focusing more on social signals. If you can gain traction in social media you shouldn’t have to worry about building backlinks like site owners used to.

What you should take from all this is that you really can’t rank well on both mobile and desktop search engines with the same web tactics. Sites that are designed with desktop users in mind simply aren’t right for mobile users. It’s best to offer alternate versions of your site to both users if you can manage it and if not you should at the very least try to find a good middle ground between optimal ranking factors for each type.

Avasoft Solutions offers web design, search engine optimization, social media optimization, and pay per click advertising. Contact us today!