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The landscape of mobile SEO is like shifting sands, constantly evolving and requiring businesses to adapt. A significant shift is underway as the world moves from a desktop-centric focus to a mobile-first approach. Google’s mobile-first index is driving this change, and the stakes have never been higher for online businesses. In this article, we’ll cover the mobile SEO in BigCommerce, so let’s get started.

Google’s Mobile-First Index: Why It’s Crucial

If you think about your own browsing habits, you’ll realize how often you use your mobile device to access information. This change in user behavior hasn’t gone unnoticed by Google. They have switched to a mobile-first index, meaning they prioritize mobile-friendly websites when ranking search results. This seismic change reverses the traditional approach of using desktop content to rank mobile websites.

Evolution of Mobile Website Development: Five Stages

First Stage: Websites were often created with desktop in mind, relegating mobile to subdomains or subdirectories. This approach was distinctly desktop-first.
Second Stage: The concept of responsive design emerged, where content would restack and resize to fit any screen. However, the desktop was still the reference point.
Third Stage: This approach combined responsive design with adaptive logic to deliver a somewhat customized experience for mobile users.
Fourth Stage: A fully dynamic web design where desktop and mobile users are served different content altogether came into play. It offered more control but also more maintenance.
Fifth Stage: Single Page Application (SPA) websites are rising in popularity. These sites offer seamless experiences, and JavaScript frameworks like React.js are taking the lead.

Crafting Your Mobile SEO Strategy: What to Consider

As more people shop through their mobile devices, the importance of a robust mobile SEO strategy can’t be overstated. Users demand smooth, intuitive interactions with your online store. To meet these expectations, you’ll need a fast, streamlined, and mobile-optimized site.

E-Commerce Technology: Don’t Do All the Heavy Lifting

Gone are the days when businesses could afford to overlook mobile commerce. The technologies you select should lighten your load, not add to it. Opt for e-commerce platforms that offer built-in mobile optimization features, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

App or No App? A New Landscape

The relevance of app stores may diminish as more apps can now run without downloading. This trend provides another layer of options for businesses to reach their mobile-savvy audiences without necessarily investing in a stand-alone app.

Conclusion: Adapting to the Mobile-First Landscape

The winds of change in the realm of mobile SEO are blowing strongly, and those who don’t adapt might find themselves lost at sea. With a focus now on mobile-first indexing, your e-commerce site needs to prioritize mobile usability and SEO. Adopt technologies that facilitate this transition and consider the diminishing importance of traditional app marketplaces.

Rewriting the Mobile SEO Guide: A 2020 Perspective

What is Mobile SEO?

Mobile SEO aims to optimize your website for improved visibility on search engines, specifically for mobile devices. It builds upon standard SEO but adds mobile-specific considerations.

Why Mobile SEO is Distinct

Traditional SEO still holds significance, but mobile SEO introduces specialized factors. It targets user experience tailored for mobile users and ensures easy crawling by Google’s mobile-specific algorithms.

The Nitty-Gritty: How to Rank on Mobile

Configuring your website for mobile users

Google offers three options for making your site mobile-friendly: responsive design, dynamic serving, and separate URLs. Google recommends responsive design because it maintains the same HTML code across various devices.

Understanding mobile-first indexing

Mobile-first indexing has Google prioritizing your mobile site for ranking. When this shift occurs, webmasters receive notifications and can expect increased activity from Google’s Smartphone Googlebot.

Ensuring compliance with mobile-first best practices

To optimize both your mobile and desktop versions for Google’s index, adhere to Google’s best practices. These include maintaining consistent text, images, and videos, and optimizing structured data and metadata.

The Speed Factor

Why mobile page speed matters

Google incorporates mobile page speed into its ranking criteria. Poor mobile speeds can lead to increased bounce rates and weaker conversions, ultimately impacting your ranking.

Quick tips for speed optimization

Google provides a checklist for enhancing mobile page speed, including enabling compression and browser caching. Implementing these actions can substantially improve your site’s mobile performance.

User Experience: Don’t Underestimate It

The importance of mobile usability

Excellent usability can lead to better conversions and affect Google’s perception of your website. While not official ranking factors, high bounce rates and low click-through rates can correlate with poor search rankings.

User-centric design tips

Creating an easy-to-navigate mobile site with legible typography and properly spaced clickable elements is crucial. A user-friendly interface can significantly enhance the mobile user experience.

Structured Data and Markup

Why structured data markup matters

Structured data helps Google understand your content better. Properly implemented markup can enhance your search engine results page appearance and improve click-through rates.

Mark it right: Types of markup

Various types of markup can be applied, such as for reviews, products, and events. Validate your structured data using Google’s testing tools to ensure maximum benefit.

Sticking to SEO Basics

In the mobile landscape, fundamental SEO practices like keyword research and quality content still play a significant role. These core elements are crucial in any SEO strategy.

Prep for Voice Search

The rise of voice search

Voice-activated search via platforms like Alexa and Google Now is gaining traction. This trend is especially crucial for ecommerce sites, given the rise in mobile commerce.

What research tells us

Studies show that Google prefers concise answers for voice search, yet sources them from long-form content. High levels of social engagement can also boost your voice search ranking.

This guide offers a comprehensive yet easy-to-digest look at mobile SEO in 2020. Though the SEO landscape is ever-changing, these tips should offer a strong foundation.

Wrapping Up

The transition from a desktop-oriented digital space to a mobile-first ecosystem is shaping today’s SEO landscape. Google’s mobile-first index serves as a catalyst, driving businesses to rethink their online strategies. With the evolution of mobile web development reaching its fifth stage, including Single Page Applications, the conversation around mobile usability and SEO has gained newfound urgency.

E-commerce can’t afford to ignore this transformation. In this changing landscape, technology is an ally, offering built-in mobile optimization solutions to streamline your efforts. Concurrently, the diminishing role of traditional app stores opens up fresh opportunities.The overarching message is clear: adapt to the mobile-first world or risk becoming irrelevant.

If you’d like to learn more about best BigCommerce practices, check out our latest article: Boosting Organic Traffic: How BigCommerce’s Built-in Features Can Help.