The Dynamics of Mobile Rankings and Ways To Improve It
The face of digital marketing has changed a lot with the advent of social media marketing. The social media platforms have given a new meaning to digital marketing, although it is a small part of digital marketing. Marketing through the internet now extends much beyond just selling brands and products. It creates branding and above all builds and maintains relationship with customers and the target audience. It is now possible to use social media to connect more effectively with customers and businesses of all shapes and sizes. New techniques and strategies of social media marketing are emerging at a rapid pace in order to meet the growing demand of mobile phone users.
Desktop and mobile rankings are different
With phenomenal increase in the number of mobile phone users worldwide, mobile friendly websites have become a necessity to take full advantage of social media marketing. But having mobile friendly websites is not the end in itself, it is just the beginning and the most important thing is to earn better rankings in mobile search results. There are various factors that affect search rankings but it has to be kept in mind that the factors that affect search rankings for desktops are quite different from that of mobile rankings. This difference has to be captured when optimizing websites for mobile devices in order to get the best results. Using desktop rankings as indicators for mobile rankings can have disastrous results. Therefore, there should be a separate strategy for mobile rankings to earn higher ranks in mobile search results. The differentiating elements that have to be focused on have been discussed below.
Become mobile friendly
The need to become mobile friendly was already felt by internet marketers but it got officially endorsed in April 2015 when Google presented the update named Mobilegeddon. The update highlighted mobile friendliness as one of the important factors that affected mobile search rankings in Gold Coast. SEO strategies and techniques have to be aligned with respect to the user behaviour of mobile devices taking into consideration their search patterns and queries. The impact of Google update is evident as more and more websites are being made mobile friendly with 90 percent of the top 100 websites now compliant with mobile devices, an increase of 10 percent since the time of the update. The other elements that have to be considered are user experience, content and technical features.
A lot of importance is attached to user experience because it is the feel of the user about websites that makes it likeable. In order to generate a positive user experience on mobile devices, all elements of the website, particularly fonts, have to be optimized so that it perfectly fits into the small screen space and is displayed emphatically. Mobile users have the habit of surfing while on the go and usually have less time to go through a page. The page layout should be such that it makes easy reading and does not challenge the patience of the mobile user.
- Bullet lists (unordered lists) – In order to make easy reading, make use of more and more bullet points so that messages are conveyed crisply. But number of bullet points should be restricted so that it does not strain the user’s patience.
- Fewer images – Images that are used should be fast loading and not more than four images per page should be used. Judicious use of images ensures better page optimization.
- Meaningful internal links – Use more internal links that are meaningful and well positioned that are easy to click and makes navigation through the website a pleasurable experience.
Mobile content is as important as desktop content in its impact on rankings. Content is king for websites regardless whether it is for mobile or desktop. The quality of content is driven by four key elements.
- Word count – The word count for mobile results should be shorter than desktops but it should not be too short that deprives complete coverage of the topic. The average number of words can be around 1000 but seldom overshooting the limit and it has to be comprehensive and complete.
- Readability – One should feel comfortable in reading the content and for any content achieving 70 as the Flesch index of readability is considered satisfactory.
- More keywords – An average of 5.48 keywords per content is the current level for mobile content and there is scope for nearly doubling the number to match with desktop content. But, be careful not to stuff content with keywords that can affect readability.
- Proof terms – On any page, use more terms that are closely associated with the main keywords. This can be achieved by covering all aspects of the topic.
The small screen size and limited bandwidth of mobile devices poses a technical challenge that every developer has to overcome to succeed in earning better mobile rankings. There are some other salient features that have to be adhered to.
- Fast loading- To meet the expectations of mobile users, fast loading websites is required. A slow and sluggish website can be quite disappointing. Loading speed should be as close as possible to one second.
- No keywords in domain – Avoid using keywords in domain name. This used to be the practice but since the past three years, the use of keywords in domain has come down significantly. The domain name is like a flag bearer that has to focus on branding whereas keywords should find its place in the content.
- Avoid flash elements – Mobile rankings are getting more and more delinked from flash elements. For correct display of content on all kinds of devices including mobile and desktop searches use HTML5 instead of flash elements.
Taking care of the above would ensure better website quality and content that results in more sharing on the social networking sites, which is a clear indicator of getting more exposure and visibility that eventually translates into higher rankings