How Mobile SEO Can Affect Your Rankings

Smartphones have been steadily replacing desktops and laptops when browsing online, so it’s no surprise that Mobile SEO can play a vital role in how your web page ranks.

How Mobile SEO Can Affect Your Rankings

If customers want to buy something quickly, they’ll turn to their smartphone instead of booting up their desktop.

Due to that, it’s essential to implement mobile SEO on your website.

What Is Mobile SEO?

Mobile SEO is a set of practices aimed at optimizing a web page for users accessing it through their smartphones and for mobile bots sent out from Google.

Nowadays, the number of mobile searches outdo the number of searches made from desktops.

Google has started putting more emphasis on ranking pages to help provide a better user experience on smartphones and tablets.

Due to this, mobile-friendliness can make a big difference to your rankings as Google uses a mobile-first index when they catalog and rank web pages.

Differences Between Mobile SEO And Desktop SEO

Mobile SEO doesn’t have too many differences from desktop SEO.

Many of the usual features still determine your page’s rank, such as your tech optimization, links, and content.

However, their main difference is shown through the user experience.

Different standards are applied to how information is presented on mobile devices due to screen size and technology limitations.

However, some guidelines may work for desktop and not mobile. Some of these examples may be the size of either the buttons or text links. 

These elements can be placed near text and graphics on desktops, as the user won’t have any challenges when pointing and selecting with their mouse.

However, mobile devices won’t require cursors due to the users’ use of their fingers.

By putting buttons near images and graphics, you may make it more difficult for your users to navigate to their desired content, and they will abandon the mobile page.

If this happens to your site, you’ll find that Google has received poor reports of your web pages UX signals.

The title tag’s length can be another significant example.

Regarding mobile search listings, Google sometimes allows more characters, but in other cases, it will remove helpful information that it would otherwise display on desktop searches.

If your title tags are poorly optimized, you won’t only have a low click-through rate but a higher bounce rate than usual and weak usability signals.

Mobile users have more than one search method, including Google Voice Search and Siri. 

How Can You Optimize Your Website For Mobile SEO

You can use three quick and easy ways to optimize your website for mobile SEO.

Optimizing your site for mobile SEO can encompass many topics, and these basic guidelines can help you get started.

Separate Mobile Website

Any website with a mobile version has its URL beginning with an “m.” prefix. These versions of your website are independent of your main web page.

Instead, a browser will determine what device the user is using to access the site and thus will serve them with either a desktop or mobile version of your site.

How Mobile SEO Can Affect Your Rankings

When this is done, it means that the HTTP redirects to a Vary HTTP header to the mobile page and serves the user a different code compared to your site’s desktop version on a separate URL. 

One of the main benefits of having a mobile version of your site is that you can create it so that it is native to the smartphone.

However, with this advantage, there’s also the disadvantage of managing two alternative versions of your site independently.

It’s also been noted that sites with different URLs will take more time to migrate to the mobile-first index.

Dynamic Serving

Dynamic serving uses the same URL but triggers mobile or desktop HTML pages depending on what sort of device the user used to access the page.

The benefit of dynamic serving is that you can also optimize your code for mobile devices. However, you will still need to maintain and manage two alternative codes.

Responsive Design

Google recommends using responsive design. A responsive design serves the same HTML code through the same URL, regardless of the user’s device.

By using responsive design, you just need to manage one single website.

This way, instead of serving a different site to mobile and desktop users, the site fixes itself to fit the screen size it’s on so that they can access the same one. 

Crucial Factors That Impact Mobile SEO

There are crucial factors that can affect the user experience on mobile, search visibility, and ranking. Here are six factors that can be crucial for your mobile SEO.

Content Legibility

If you look at content on your mobile and desktop pages, you should ensure that the content on your web page is legible for all devices.

One of the best font types you can use is a 14-point type. You should check your pages on your smartphone, examine the size, and review any issues with Google Search Console. 

You should also write any content in short paragraphs with a length of two or three lines.

Shorter paragraphs are less daunting to read on smartphones and tablets and easier to scan.

Contrasting text color and background can also have a significant effect, making it easier to read outside.

Page Speed

Page speed has been a ranking factor on Google for SEO for some time, and mobile pages being too slow can be a massive factor in the mobile-first index.

If you wait to access a site, the likelihood of the user leaving the page becomes higher.

Google offers a Mobile Page Speed Test to analyze how long it takes for your site to load in 3G. 

You shouldn’t only analyze the page speed on your mobile sites and your desktop site. The issues with loading speed can affect any of your users’ experience on the site.

CSS And JavaScript Access

SEOs tend to block Google bots from accessing any files that don’t tend to help the indexing process, but allowing access to all code can help the rendering process.

By not including access, blocking can be harmful to crawlers as some of these languages can contain code that fully renders the page and can help determine whether a page is mobile-friendly or not.

How Mobile SEO Can Affect Your Rankings

You can do a mobile crawl of your site to ensure a crawler has full access to the pages on your site and can help determine if Google can render the page.

You can utilize tools within the Google Search Console with the user agent set to a smartphone, and then you can confirm whether your site is mobile-friendly.

Hidden Content

Mobile sites tend to have less content than desktop versions and help streamline UX. Most companies remove anything that isn’t necessary to the actual site.

While some have deleted the content, others have hidden content behind JavaScript and require the user to press something to view it.

Google suggests hiding content behind “Read More” buttons and finds that it helps the user experience as it makes sense on mobile devices.

While “Read More” buttons aren’t necessary on desktop as they don’t require any expanding to access their content.

While you may need to reorder content, it should be vital that you don’t cut out information in case you accidentally remove anything essential to the user.

Search Behavior

Google tends to interpret a user’s intent through micro-moments that can impact SERP construction and the content that appears.

If Google believes you want to find a restaurant, it will show local restaurants. However, Google will display a quick answer if you want to know something.

Google will use different lengths for meta descriptions depending on whether you use mobile or desktop.

For mobile, you can have a maximum of 120 characters, while the desktop has a maximum of up to 160 characters. 

To utilize different meta descriptions, you should adapt your content strategy to work to your advantage.

Local Info

If your company wants to target customers in a specific location, you must incorporate the essential information on both your page and metadata.

You need your name, the correct address of your business, and a phone number that works.

You should also ensure that relevant HTML tags allow a mobile user to either press a button to call you or find directions. By not having a call function, you can miss some vital customers.


Mobile SEO and user accessibility can play a vital role in becoming more visible in SERPs by having a more responsive design.

SEO factors are essential in ensuring your website gets brilliant results from Google and that they have tools accessible to you.

By utilizing Google Search Console, you can find out where any issues are and can help you figure out how to remedy them.

Having your website accessible to mobile devices can make or break your business, so you should ensure that your website is suited for desktop and mobile users, without having to do too much work to maintain alternative codes for each version.

Justin Shaw