With the steady rise of mobile search, SEO practitioners these days need to consider how to optimize both their websites and apps for mobile search visibility.
Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm update, released in April 2015, gave a boost in mobile search results to pages with good mobile user experiences. Along those lines, Google has sought to increase the visibility of app content within mobile search results through app indexing. Thus, it’s key to have a strategic approach to our mobile optimization efforts — both on our websites and apps.
The now more mature mobile web and app optimization tools make this analysis possible, and straightforward, too.
1. Which Are Your Industry’s Top Mobile Web & App Competitors?
Let’s start with the fundamentals by identifying your competitors in mobile web and app search visibility. Are your competitors the same for both mobile web and apps? Are they the same as your desktop search competitors?
2. How Does Your Overall Mobile Traffic Performance Compare With That Of Your Competitors?
A question that arises frequently at the beginning of a mobile optimization process is, “What type of traffic can be expected from the optimized mobile presence?”
Although there’s no completely accurate way to answer (as it depends a number of factors such as your own efforts, your competitors’ activities, audience trends, industry seasonality, search platforms, algorithm updates and so on). That should give you an idea of what is achievable if you maximize the visibility of all your channels:
Mobile Web Traffic Potential
You can do something similar with your mobile app competitors and look at installs, active users and sessions. This data can also provide a reference to take into consideration:
Downloads Estimation App
For apps specifically, it’s good to look at traffic from within app stores, as well. SimilarWeb lets you see this information not only for in-store search, but also for all in-store related traffic.
3. What Are Your Current Mobile Web & App Search Rankings Versus Your Competitors’?
Once you have identified your competitors and their overall performance, you can dig deeper and analyze rankings. Look not only at your own mobile search rankings and trends, but at those of your competitors, too.
Besides in-store rankings and keywords, it’s also possible to obtain external search queries from search engines referring traffic to your mobile app (and your competitors).This will give you a much better understanding of the keywords generating visibility to your app presence and how your competitors are leveraging it already:
Now is also a good time to identify queries for which your competitors are ranking higher than you in mobile web search results and for which they have lost their rankings. You should strengthen your presence for these queries, and in cases where they have lost rankings, take the opportunity to fill the rankings gap.
4. How Does Your Mobile Search Visibility Differ From Your Desktop Search Visibility?
Take the keywords that you have identified in the mobile search analysis above and compare them with the top ones that you have been prioritizing in your SEO efforts until now. Are they different or the same? Use your current organic search traffic engagement and conversion metrics to prioritize keywords that will likely bring you greater benefits.
5. Which Of Your Best-Performing And High-Priority Pages Are Still Not Mobile-Ready Or Mobile-Optimized?
Once you have the keywords that you should target for your mobile optimization efforts, identify which pages you should be optimizing for them, and determine whether or not they are already mobile-friendly.
You can automate this by aggregating the relevant or already ranking URLs for the keywords you want to target and importing them into URL Profiler. From here, you can easily verify if they pass Google’s “Mobile Friendly” validation and their “Mobile PageSpeed” score by integrating with Google’s API.
6. Which Of Your Competitors Are App Indexing, And How Significant Is The Impact? For Which Of These Queries Are You App Indexing, Too?
Besides prioritizing those queries for which you have identified there’s a high interest in both mobile app and web search, you should also take into consideration the ones that your competitors are already targeting and benefiting from.