Search engine optimization is an ever-changing practice. This means your SEO campaigns have to adapt and change with the times or else you’ll be banished to the bottom of the search engine result pages.
One of the changes you have to make is a shift in focus toward mobile optimization. While traditional forms of SEO are still relevant, Google is moving its attention toward mobile traffic, which means you should too.
We’re going to discuss mobile optimization in this article, touching on what it is, why it’s so important, and how to go about doing it.
So, What Is Mobile Optimization?
The general idea behind mobile optimization isn’t too different from traditional SEO.
If you’re unfamiliar with some of the particulars of search engine optimization, we’ll give you a brief rundown. After all, this is a beginner’s guide!
The Basics of Optimization
Search engine optimization is the act of making your site fit the specifications and preferences of search engines. Most of the time, we’re trying to optimize for Google.
Search engines like Google generate search results through the use of an algorithm, which takes roughly 200 factors into account before creating a list of sites.
When a user types a keyword phrase into the search bar, those terms are run against a search engine’s entire index. The algorithm then uses its numerous search factors to identify the pages on the web that are most relevant to the user search.
Optimization is an effort to rank as the top result for particular keyword phrases.
This entire process is also true for mobile optimization, although there are slightly different actions to take. Mobile optimization is the act of optimizing your pages to be more fit for mobile users, as search engines tend to make the distinction between desktop and mobile searches.
As the web shifts in a mobile direction, the distinction between mobile and desktop may get a little blurrier, which is one of the reasons why it’s time to shift your SEO focus.
We’ll talk more about the specifics of mobile optimization in a bit, but first, let’s talk about why it’s so important to focus on mobile traffic in this day and age.
Why Mobile Optimization Is so Important
Before we give you a layout of what to do for mobile optimization, we’ll give some insight into its importance. Take a look at the following points:
1. Mobile Searches Are Growing
It’s always a great idea to meet user needs. Users are progressively using their phones to access search engines, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing. As smartphones and mobile activity ramp up, mobile searches will follow.
In fact, mobile searches have recently surpassed desktop and tablet searches, becoming the most popular search method online. So it makes sense to optimize mobile pages if customers are operating online in a dominantly mobile way.
2. Search Engines Are Indexing Mobile-First
Google has recently stated that it will shift toward a “mobile-first” approach to indexing.
This means they’ll take the mobile version of a page over the desktop page. At this point, that doesn’t mean too much for site owners.
If you don’t have a mobile page on your site, it doesn’t mean you won’t rank well or be indexed. The current shift just means that, given the option, Google will rank your mobile page in place of the desktop page.
Your desktop pages will still work on user cellphones, although your interface might be less responsive to their needs and provide a poorer user experience. So you’ll still be available online, but your site might not be as enjoyable as a competitor’s who has optimized for mobile.
While mobile-first doesn’t have a huge effect yet, it indicates that Google is shifting in a mobile direction. They’re liable to make sweeping changes that heavily favor mobile sites.
If there aren’t grand changes to the algorithm, we can reasonably infer that there will be a progression of small changes that benefit mobile pages. It would be wise to get ahead of the curve and start optimizing for mobile now.
3. Voice Search Is Mobile
You may not be a huge fan of Siri or Alexa, but the fact is, voice search is on the rise. As technology makes voice search easier and more effective, people will begin incorporating it into their lives.
Amazon and Google’s voice search technology is now ubiquitous among family homes with Alexa and Google Assistant.
It’d be wise to get out in front of this trend as well, considering few businesses have considered voice search in their optimization campaigns. It’s important to note that these searches exist under the mobile umbrella, and will be hugely important in years to come.
4. People Shop Mobile
Many consumers are shifting their product research into a mobile activity. In other words, people search, think about, and buy products on their phones these days.
Think about it: when you want to find some kind of product or service, you search “best haircut near me,” or “best ceramics store near me.”
You aren’t the only one doing it either. In fact, mobile “best” searches like the ones listed above have grown 80% in the last couple of years. Those searches have always taken place, but they’re shifting into the mobile domain.
Now that we’ve covered a bit about why mobile is important, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to do it.
How to Optimize for Mobile Traffic
There’s a huge overlap between desktop and mobile optimization methods. Again, because this is a beginner’s guide, let’s cover some of the fundamental pieces of your overall SEO campaign.
We’ll begin with the factors that apply both to mobile and desktop optimization.
The foundation of any optimization effort is the keyword phrase. This is the term users type in when they’re searching for something.
Our goal as optimizers is to identify keyword trends, optimize for them, increase web traffic, and increase conversions. The first step in that equation is identifying keyword trends through research.
Google Analytics is the most common interface people use to conduct research. Through interfaces like Google Analytics, it’s possible to see the volume of keyword searches, the areas in which they’re searched, the competition you have when trying to rank for that keyword, and a whole lot more.
Once you find the term to optimize for, you should then create content that relates to the topic and contains well-placed keyword phrases in the correct spots.
However, don’t stuff your content full of keywords where they don’t fit. Try to use the phrase wherever appropriate: in the introduction, at least one header, and in the conclusion.
The next piece in the puzzle is the creation of regular content. When you conduct research and identify a high-volume keyword with low competition, create a blog post or a similar form of content that can be optimized for that term.
Once you get into the swing of things, pumping out well-optimized posts will become second nature. You need this stream of content to spread your content out to each corner of your niche and to push that content on your various social media platforms.
Having relevant, shareable content is an essential piece of both mobile and desktop optimization.
The two practices above are just a couple of the most important pieces of general optimization. If you’re interested in getting more insight into the foundations of SEO, professional optimization sites like SEOexplode are equipped with the comprehensive information you’re looking for.
With those things out of the way, let’s take a look at some mobile-specific practices:
1. Check Your Mobile Usability
The first thing you should do is run your site by the source itself: Google.
Google Search Console allows you to take a peek at some of your metrics, as well as run a search on the viability of your mobile pages. It can be difficult to comb through your website looking for errors that could affect your mobile rankings, especially if you’re new to the process of mobile optimization.
Luckily, Google Search Console gives you the rundown on issues that may be affecting your user experience, search rankings, and more. You’ll get a report that states whether or not your site is mobile-friendly, as well as a read-out of the issues your site contains.
This is the first step you should take in your mobile optimization efforts. You’ll have a clear idea of the work you need to do after your mobile usability report.
2. Get Rid of Those Popup Ads
There may be millions of sites that preach the gospel of popups, and they may lead to marginal increases in conversions, but get rid of them.
Sure, you’ll direct a small percentage of users toward a target page, but most people will get irritated. There’s nothing worse than not being able to read the full text of a page because there’s a constant stream of pop-up advertisements.
Google’s main goal is to rank sites with great user experience, and it knows that popups are the bane of most people’s online experience. So even though your mobile site has well-designed popups, your optimization will improve if you get rid of them altogether.
3. Check Your Site Yourself
It may like an obvious thing, but make sure you browse through each piece of your site yourself. Check with your desktop computer as well as your cell phone and tablet.
If you have a good user experience on your own site, odds are, Google’s algorithm is sophisticated enough to notice the quality of your page. Generally, if your mobile site runs smoothly on all fronts, you’re doing well.
Check all links, page arrangments, text sizes, and any other page elements you may have incorporated.
4. Mobile Keyword Optimization
Remember that people have less space to explore, read, and click when they’re operating on a phone. Meta descriptions, titles, and even keyword phrases in some cases need to be limited when optimized for mobile.
Try to be as concise as you can when thinking of all forms of mobile text.
5. Focus More Heavily on Local
Think about your own experience again. When you’re out and about and looking for a product or service, you’re more likely to conduct a local search than you are when you’re using a desktop.
“Near me” searches and “best” searches are increasingly mobile, and you should factor this into your optimization. This may mean creating more localized pieces of content, focusing your attention on existing locally-optimized pages, and ensuring all of your location-specific pages are optimized for mobile.
Have Faith in the Process
It’s crucial you have faith in the process of SEO and give your campaign time to flourish. Take in as much new SEO information as you can and incorporate it into your efforts as you see fit.
Optimization takes some time to take hold, and various pieces of the process take longer than others to start sending results back to your page.
Additionally, make sure you’re comprehensive and persistent with your campaign. If you’re feeling like optimizing your site will require more effort than you can give, it may be a good idea to talk to a professional.
You don’t have to go through the process alone, and there are skilled individuals out there who have a lot of experience in SEO. These are people who have actually grown a page to reach the top spot in a search result.
While there’s a lot you can do on your own, seeing exceptional rises in traffic is a lot more likely if you work with someone who has a solid understanding of optimization.
Think You’ll Need Some Help?
SEO follows a formula, but it’s a complicated one. It often seems like keeping a well-optimized site is a full-time job. Optimization done right takes time, effort, and skill.
If you’re interested in boosting your mobile traffic with the help of pros, then explore our site for the information you need.
When Is It Too Late to Start Blogging?
Ego sometimes clings to limiting ideas. One such idea is the notion that starting a blog at some specific age proves to be futile because of it being too late. I recall hearing Gary Vaynerchuk professing how people in their early 20’s ask him if it is too late to begin a business. Do you see why ego deludes you? Fear manifests as all types of crippling beliefs holding you back. Someone clinging to fear, being 21 years old, asks if being 21 is too old for starting a business. Why? Some 21 year olds observe 14 year olds who create million dollar ventures. Or some 21 year olds see fellow 21 year olds who already became millionaires, when the limited-thinking 21 year old simply has never been an entrepreneur. Guess what? It is never late to begin blogging. It is never too late to begin blogging. I recall a 73 year old new to blogging who bought 4 of my eBooks after I wrote a guest post on Build Your Own Blog. He began blogging at 73 years old. Imagine that? Yet 21 year olds some 50 years his minor fear being 21 is too old for beginning a successful venture.
Fear makes you think silly things. Be beyond fear. Feel fear. Release fear. Move in a direction of possibilities. Move toward opportunities. Now is the time to begin blogging whether you are 21 or 101. Now is the time to begin. Seize the moment. Do you plan to be around for a bit? Blog. Begin blogging. It is never too late to start blogging because you and I sit in the perfect place at the perfect time for our individual journeys. I began blogging in my mid 30’s. 35 years old, to be exact. Being a 35 year old beginner blogger never crossed my mind as being too old because I did not cling to the fear fueling that too old, aged, limiting belief. I saw actual 12 year olds blogging during my newbie blogging days. Who cares that a kid 20 years my junior began blogging? I had 20 more years LIFE experience than he. Possessing 20 more years life experience puts you at a tremendous advantage when it comes to learning the in’s and out’s of blogging the right way. Heck; the 73 year old new blogger may have zero blogging experience but 73 years of life experience. What seems more important at that point in your life? Does knowing how to format a blog post at 73 count more than the fearlessness, serenity and peace you acquired from facing 73 years worth of fears? Dude begins blogging with the mindset of a Blogging Yoda, for all he faced and for all the experience he has. Does THAT sound like it’s too late for blogging?
The only thing I would say is to begin blogging now because blogging experience is your best ally. Do not wait on the sidelines. Even though you can begin blogging at any age, why wait until you turn 45 when you can begin blogging now, at age 40? Why hesitate? Experience benefits you tremendously. Whether you start blogging at 13 or 73, experience earned and learned from, accelerates your blogging success. But you need to see the journey through and you need to begin blogging now. Go ahead. Blog. It’s not too late!
Do you fear deleting your worn out, failing blog to start over? Buy my eBook:
A Simple Guide to Collecting Feedback from Your Blog Users
Poor feedback from your readers and customers can spread like wildfire. So sometimes it’s best to go to the route of a problem and fix it before you lose your readers or hear them discuss your site around the web.
By making it easy for people to share their feedback about your website or service you’re providing, you can find out what your site users really think, improve your work and then watch your subscribers and conversions grow.
Prevent the trouble
Before going into much detail on how to collect and address your readers’ feedback, let’s start with the most important aspect of that: Prevention.
Whether you are starting a new blog or setting up a site to promote affiliate products, you can avoid a lot of problems by monitoring your competitors or the brands you are going to advertise on your site.
Let’s say you are going to resell a hosting service, and you may even like it yourself. But have you ever thought of unhappy customers of that brand? How likely are they to accuse you of promoting a poor service? Do a quick Google search and read though the customer review to understand common problems their customers are dealing with.
Run a quick question research to get a better idea of what their customers are dealing with and whether you can answer those questions. Text Optimizer is a great tool for that as it goes right to Google to extract data around any search query. Its question research feature will give you a good idea of the type of struggles your readers may be dealing with:
Don’t ignore the numbers
An easy and simple way of honing in on the problems of your site is to keep an eye on the numbers that your blog provides you with.
Web analytics will very clearly show you what pages on your site bring in the clicks and views, and which ones drive your customers away. You will also see what is and isn’t working and what requires your attention.
Get techy with it
If web analytics isn’t giving you all the answers, think about investing in some technology that goes straight to the source and tells you what’s going on in the background of your site.
Exit-intent technology is perfect for collecting customer feedback in terms of statistics so you can see exactly how many people are leaving your site.
Alter is a great option to use here as it uses Artificial Intelligence to personalize exit-intent popups and keep your blog readers on your site.
Alter needs 1 minute to install and no time customizing it (unless you really want to play with the features). The tool will analyze your blog visitors’ behavior and learn to engage each of them in a most effective way. It is also completely free unless you have too much traffic coming in to analyze.
Survey your readers
Surveys are often the easiest way to get feedback from your readers. The fact that they can be embedded straight into your blog means that they are eye-catching and difficult to miss when positioned correctly. A quick search online can show you many different ways to create surveys that can be attached to your blog, from the simple to the majestic, depending on your budget. Here’s a good option to get you started.
The problem with surveys is that people often get bored of them halfway through and click off before completing, particularly when the questions seem to go on forever, or are too long. So keep them short and sweet. Make the questions open-ended when possible to ensure that the answers you’re getting are not only honest, but also creative. This will lead you to original insight you may never have thought of yourself – and this can be like gold dust when it comes to improving your site.
Incentivize those opinions
Having trouble getting people to complete your survey? Well then make it worth their while! The easiest way to get people to do what you want (especially if it means their taking time out of their day) is to incentivize them, make them want to do this for you.
Make sure to do this by providing them a free gift, template, or entrance in a giveaway upon their contacting you with feedback. The choice depends on you and what your website is about.
Pick an incentive that is relevant to your blog to make sure that it’s something your users will be interested in and watch the feedback coming in… Just make sure to follow through on your promise of incentives or that feedback might end up being entirely negative.
Chat your way to success
If you are looking for a far more personalized form of feedback from your users and want to make sure that they are aware of you being behind the website, you could use a live chat to have a two-way conversation. This will help get to the heart of their opinions and struggles.
Not only is live chat convenient and affordable to utilize, but it also bridges the gap between the reader and the blogger which can help form bonds and ultimately build community around your site.
This also means that if anyone is particularly angry or has a complaint, they’ll be dealing with someone polite, apologetic and enthusiastically wanting to improve their service. So you can win their hearts back. This is something an automatic email cannot always achieve.
If you’re concerned about where to put a live chat, remember to put it somewhere clear that your readers will be able to see it. There are many different forms of live chat software out there for you to choose from. Make sure the one you decide upon is simple to use and won’t intimidate anyone who plans to use it. Here are a few live chat plugins for WordPress blogs.
If you are into lead generation business, it is a good idea to use a CRM solution to collect and organize feedback as well as turn those readers into leads.
What happens after you get your feedback?
Gaining feedback on your site is only useful if you actually go ahead and do something with it! Don’t have an ego about your work and make sure to listen to what your readers are saying. They have no reason to lie to you, so if you listen to them, your business will definitely be improved, even if it stings at first to see negative feedback.
Make an effort to reach out to the people who shared feedback not only to thank them but also to ask them any more burning questions you may have – what led them to their opinion? What do they think will help improve the problems? Make them feel included in the development of your site. They could be a great (free!) resource for you to make the most of.
And finally, declare any positive feedback you get as loud and as proud as possible – highlight it on your website and social media. Show people why other people were impressed with you and why they would be too!
Do You Surround Yourself with the Wrong Type of Blogger?
Who do you hang out with blogging-wise? Who do you learn from blogging-wise? What bloggers do you seek for counsel? Who do you surround yourself with as far as blogging buddies? Blogging feels challenging sometimes. Surrounding yourself with the wrong type of blogger only increases these challenges in a major league way.
What bloggers do you connect with daily? Most bloggers struggle. Many bloggers have no idea what they are doing blogging-wise. But foolishly, the majority of bloggers surround themselves with failing, struggling bloggers. How can these bloggers teach you to overcome blogging obstacles? None of these folks knows how to overcome resistance. Guaranteed, none of these bloggers teaches you how to succeed because they only know how to struggle, fail, complain or make excuses. Stop surrounding yourself with bloggers who make excuses. Cease surrounding yourself with complaining bloggers. Quit hanging out with bloggers who fail because failures do not teach you, goad you and inspire you to succeed. Connect with successful bloggers. Learn from these pros. Follow their lead. Model your blogging campaign on their shining example. Naturally, you slowly evolve into the person influenced heavily by your blogging buddy network. Culture shapes your blogging path. Environment plays a chief role in your blogging direction. Successful bloggers surround themselves with successful bloggers. Failing bloggers who wish to succeed lose failing blogging buddies and surround themselves with successful bloggers.
Imagine you drive 4 people to your blog daily. Look at your blogger buddy network. Everyone sits in a similar boat, driving 4 to 20 people to their blogs daily. The only lesson you learn from these bloggers is how to drive 4 to 20 people to your blog daily. Do you aspire to boost your blog traffic to only 20 people daily? Of course, you have bigger dreams than that! Aim higher by socializing only with highly successful bloggers. Learn their ways. Follow their lead. Position yourself to succeed. Learn from the best by surrounding yourself only with the best bloggers. Release everybody else. Never look at this releasing process as being personal or emotionally charged. But do see your blogging freedom, success and happiness as being at stake. I released a few negative nellie blogging buddies over the years for their energetic vampire ways. Suckers need to go. So, you can replace energy vampires with people who give energy, love, support and inspiration to you. Think gain, not loss. Be honest about assessing your blogging buddy network, too. Doing so feels uncomfortable because awkwardness, guilt and other fear-filled energies arise as you assess who needs to stay, and who needs to go.
Be with uncomfortable emotions triggered during these blogger buddy pruning lessons. Your success, freedom, happiness and peace of mind is on the line! Did you ever think of it that way? Let go struggling, negative bloggers. Communicate with happy, free, successful bloggers. Allow these pros to create a positive influence around you. Sponge up their inspiration. Follow their shining example. Take their inspired lead. Learn how to free yourself through their empowerment, and un-learn the victim mentality taught to you by your departed, failing, former blogging buddies. Surround yourself only with blogging heroes. Your success is on the line. Of course, your happiness, freedom and peace of mind is on the line, too. Honestly assess who needs to go and find new, empowered, successful blogging buddies to follow, to learn from and to gain inspiration from.
Where do you find these folks? Start with successful bloggers you follow on Blogging Tips. Virtually all of these bloggers are full time pros. Network with these leaders. Help them generously. Ask for nothing. Allow friendships to take root.
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