Mobile SEO Guide: Introduction & Optimization in 2021

Have you got a mobile SEO strategy for your business? If you don’t, you’re ignoring most of your potential buyers.

That’s a big mistake.

The stats show that mobile has become increasingly important in generating leads and making sales.

Plus, Google’s tweaking all of its algorithms – even for desktop search – to reflect this change. That means unless you bring your SEO practices in line, your site could be virtually invisible in search results. By the end, you’ll be poised to capture more leads and sales from this important market segment and to future-proof your mobile marketing strategy against the next big change.

By the end, you’ll be poised to capture more leads and sales from this important market segment and to future-proof your mobile marketing strategy against the next big change.

Recommended Resource: Need more website traffic? Learn SEO Strategy in 2021: Effective SEO Techniques

Mobile SEO Guide: Introduction & Optimization in 2021

What Is Mobile SEO?

Mobile SEO stands for mobile search engine optimization. It’s the practice of optimizing your content to achieve a better ranking for your web pages in search engine results pages (SERPs).

This process helps you improve organic traffic, which is traffic coming to your site from search results.

While there are several search engines, when it comes to mobile SEO, Google is the most important one. That’s because it accounts for almost 95% of the mobile search market.

What makes a site mobile friendly?

A site is mobile friendly when it…

  • presents content well on a phone
  • does not need pinching / zooming
  • is easily readable on small screens
  • is easy to navigate with a finger
  • is helpful to someone using a phone
  • is understood properly by Google

This guide will discuss the steps to making your site mobile and improving your mobile SEO from the perspective of Google documentation.

Getting to your best mobile ranking

Mobile SEO Guide: Introduction & Optimization in 2021

The quicker you can make your site mobile and ensure Google understands it, the quicker Google can rank you appropriately.

Mobile SEO means “mobile search engine optimization”. Even if you already have a mobile site, it may not be recognized as mobile by Google and this can affect how your pages are ranked.

This page will explain how to get your pages optimized for mobile and how to make sure Google understands your mobile solution well.

  • Get mobile friendly now
  • Ensure Google knows your site is mobile
  • Tweak and optimize

Google does not rank you on where you plan to be later, it ranks your site the way it is today. Mobile is important right now.

Optimize Mobile SEO in 2021

This article will cover each of these steps:

  1. Choosing a mobile method
  2. Updating website code
  3. Verify mobile friendliness
  4. Tell Google
  5. Optimize

Mobile SEO Guide: Introduction & Optimization in 2021

Responsive design

The reason both webmasters and Google like responsive design is because it is the simplest and least risky method.

For SEO purposes responsive design is a wise choice.

  • It is recommended by Google
  • It has no SEO risks
  • It is the easiest to implement
  • It is compatible with other methods

Mobile SEO Guide: Introduction & Optimization in 2021

2. Updating website code

Often this is much easier than you might expect. In fact with WordPress and other such content management systems it is as simple as getting a new theme. If you are running a static site, there are many responsive html templates out there.

Mobile SEO Guide: Introduction & Optimization in 2021

Future Read:

3. Verify mobile friendly

The way Google determines if a site is mobile friendly depends on several mobile usability issues that are easily tested

Mobile SEO Guide: Introduction & Optimization in 2021

Make sure to check your pages using the official Google mobile friendly test.

4. Tell Google

Likely the most important step of mobile SEO is ensuring Googlebot understands your page.

If Google does not understand your mobile solution, it may not credit you for having a mobile site at all.

This is bad.

Making sure that Google understands your mobile configuration is essential to how your website will rank in Google.

The four ways of going mobile (responsive, dynamic, AMP and separate urls) each have their own way of letting Google know that your site is mobile.

Responsive Design

When your site uses responsive design, Google can understand it without any hints or extra code. The main thing that Google suggests when it comes to responsive websites is how to set the viewport. The viewport will typically already be set when you get a responsive theme or template.

Mobile SEO Guide: Introduction & Optimization in 2021

Google recommends that your viewport has the following content:

<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0″>

The viewport is simply the size of the window your webpage will display. In responsive design, the the size we want is whatever the size of the device screen is. By declaring a viewport, your web page can render correctly on any device.

Separate URLs

When a site is using different urls for mobile users than it is for desktop users, many things can go wrong as far as SEO goes.

Google will not detect automatically that your mobile pages are different versions of your desktop pages and because of this we must tell Google what is going on.

The way we tell Google about our separate urls requires some work.

  • On the desktop page, add a special link rel=”alternate” tag pointing to the corresponding mobile URL. This helps Googlebot discover the location of your site’s mobile pages.
  • On the mobile page, add a link rel=”canonical” tag pointing to the corresponding desktop URL.

Mobile SEO Guide: Introduction & Optimization in 2021

Let's look at that a bit deeper:

Desktop page

<link rel=”alternate” media=”only screen and (max-width: 640px)” href=”″ >

Mobile page

<link rel=”canonical” href=”″ >

When you have two different urls, one for mobile, and one for desktop Google needs to know when each page is appropriate to use.

The desktop page with the above rel=alternate code tells Google that that if the screen is less than 640 px it should refer to the alternate mobile page.

The mobile page with the above rel=canonical code lets Google know that the page is a version of the desktop page listed.

5. Optimization Mobile SEO

Mobile optimizations for the purposes of this article refer to optimizations for users, search engines and avoiding search engine penalties.

Mobile page speed

Page speed is a Google ranking factor and nowhere is speed as important as it is for mobile.

Mobile networks are much less fast and reliable than our home internet. The mobile seo tool at the top of this page will let you know if you have page speed problems on your pages.

Examine your pages for speed using the mobile seo tool at the top of this page or the Google pagespeed insights tool or Pagespeed checker and get a list of what is affecting your page speed.

Mobile SEO Guide: Introduction & Optimization in 2021


Page Speed Checker

Time Taken 5.61 Sec
CSS Links 4
Script Links 14
Image Links 7
Other Resource Links 16

Once you know that, refer to the page speed section to learn how to fix those speed issues.

A slow website will make an even slower mobile website.

Future read:

How to Speed up WordPress: Boost Speed & Performance

Blocked page resources

Make sure all css, javascript and images can be seen by Googlebot.

Blocking page resources can give Google an incomplete picture of your web site.

This issue often happens when your robots.txt file is blocking access to some or all of your page resources.

This happens often.

WordPress sites will often have important folders containing the css and javascript files blocked.

Interstitials / popups / modals

Having a window pop up to request you subscribe to a newsletter or download an app are irritating enough on desktops. On mobile devices they are a nightmare and sometimes can not even be closed.

Any offers, requests or any other reason you would open a window to a desktop user just will not work for mobile users.

Google suggests using an information bar or simple banner instead.

Google further warns that mobile interstitials can cause indexing issues and says it disrupts users.

Mobile SEO Guide: Introduction & Optimization in 2021

Mobile redirects

Make sure mobile redirects are not hurting your page speed.

Redirects on mobile networks are very slow and you may find that some of your redirects are not even needed in the first place.

Mobile SEO Guide: Introduction & Optimization in 2021

Getting Ready for Voice Search

So what about the future of mobile SEO? The experts agree that voice search is going to be huge.

According to ComScore, half of all smartphone users use voice technology, and one-third of those use it daily.

Mobile SEO Guide: Introduction & Optimization in 2021

In addition, half of all smartphone users expect to use voice technology more. Using voice technology on smartphones results in an increased desire to buy smart speakers, which means voice search usage is likely to increase.

As well as using LSI keywords and schema markup as outlined above, there are a few more things you can do to nail mobile SEO for voice search.

Google’s search quality ratings for what it calls “eyes-free voice assistants” emphasizes:

  • Answering questions fully or delivering the right information in response to a voice search query
  • Having answers that are the right length to answer a query (we’ll tell you what the research suggests below)
  • Having correctly formulated answers

Mobile SEO Guide: Introduction & Optimization in 2021

A good shortcut to optimizing for mobile voice search is to optimize for answer boxes and featured snippets. To improve mobile SEO for answer boxes, you need to:

  • Answer questions correctly and relevantly
  • Use the questions as subheadings
  • Include lists or tables in the article

In addition, a study says:

  • Most voice search results are on average 29 words long
  • Sites with a high domain authority are more likely to be seen in voice search results
  • Content that ranks well in desktop search is also likely to do well on voice search

Keep these tips in mind so your content will already be optimized for the voice search revolution.

That’s it! Now you know the ins and outs of mobile SEO, you can nail mobile optimization for 2021 and beyond. Next, check out our articles on how to do an SEO audit

Why is mobile SEO important in 2021?

Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is a process of optimize the websites to get organic traffic from search engines. It is very important for a website to promote your business for updates visit If you need to generate organic traffic and leads from search engines for a website, SEO is best option.

Is AMP good for SEO in 2021?

How AMP helps SEO. The main benefit of AMP is speed. If your website is currently super slow-loading for users on a 3G mobile connection then you will notice an instant improvement in load speed times through using AMP.

What is mobile friendly SEO?

What Is Mobile SEO? Mobile SEO is the practice of optimizing your website for users on smartphones and tablets. Mobile optimization also includes making your site resources accessible to search engine spiders.

What is AMP SEO?

Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source coding standard for publishers. The aim for AMP is for publishers to be able to load their sites quickly on mobile since mobile responsive could be clunky and slow because desktop resources are heavy and plenty.

What is optimize in Mobile?

Mobile optimization is the process of adjusting your website content to ensure that visitors that access the site from mobile devices have an experience customized to their device. Optimized content flows easily between desktop and mobile devices to provide the user with an outstanding experience.


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Mobile SEO Guide: Introduction & Optimization in 2021

Mobile SEO Guide: Introduction & Optimization in 2021

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