2016: Mobile SEO Best Practices

Written by: Jason Bayless | March 21, 2016

It’s the most popular subject on the web: the mobile SEO movement. Websites have been evolving to keep up with their mobile viewers’ needs for years. What’s new in 2016? As the mobile web continues to expand and search engines move to incorporating a more user-friendly interface, how do websites keep up?

With almost 90 percent of cell phone users choosing smart phones as their mobile device, websites will continue their shift to mobile-friendly sites in 2016. In addition, users will likely start to see some of their criticisms about mobile web pages addressed. One critique that most viewers have is with pop-ups and app redirects. These are frustrating features for mobile users because of the difficulty viewers have closing the app store or new web page and navigating to their previous destination. Mobile search engines are addressing these complaints by dropping the rank or altogether eliminating websites with pop-ups and app redirects from mobile search results. This will lead to two benefits: it will prevent the user from unexpectedly navigating to a difficult page, and it will force websites with these features to make a change.

With an increased emphasis on the mobile user’s ease of access and viewing experience, we can’t forget about mobile apps. Of all mobile sales, almost half originate from the company’s mobile app. Many websites place advertisements for their company’s app on the home page. Offering viewers a mobile app can be a simple alternative to changing the entire structure of the website. Just like mobile search engines, using specific key words in the app’s description section of the app store is critical to gaining viewers.
The year of 2016 will see a huge push for location-based mobile marketing. Not only does this strategy increase the app or web page’s popularity, it also offers convenience to the user. One example of an effective location-based marketing strategy is location incentives and alerts. Some store apps are designed to send the customer a coupon or another form of incentive when they are in close proximity to one of their stores. This has proven to be a very effective form of marketing thus far.

Another trend that is likely to continue in 2016 is the use of mobile pay. Websites will be working to make the checkout process as simple as possible for consumers. Additionally, stores will likely invest in the newest technology to further simplify and improve the process of paying with a mobile device in-store.
We will likely see many of today’s current mobile trends continuing into 2016. Websites will still need to look at the psychology of a mobile user. With most mobile devices making typing more difficult, users are more likely to alter their search phrase in order to shorten the number of words used. They will also use more abbreviations. When investing in mobile SEO, websites will need to consider keywords likely to be used on PCs and mobile devices. Another trend that will definitely remain for years to come is altering a web page’s graphics to better fit the mobile user. This means increasing graphic and font size, spacing out any links, and optimizing link size. The future of this tactic will likely move towards using software to automatically optimize a web page’s viewing based on which mobile device is being used.

Websites have worked for years to bring ease of access to mobile users. However, as technology in this field improves, we will see more advances in how the market approaches mobile customers in 2016. Websites have a huge opportunity to increase traffic both in-store and online by taking advantage of some of these new marketing strategies.