If you’re already on our website, you no doubt understand the importance of SEO as a part of your tradie marketing mix.
But what about mobile SEO?
We’ve mentioned it a couple times, but with the way the industry is going, we felt like it was time to give this topic the attention it deserves.
Today, we’ll be focusing specifically on explaining mobile SEO, what makes it different from desktop SEO and most importantly, why it’s so important for tradies like yourself!
Mobile SEO in a nutshell
You know that SEO is all about understanding the type of content that Google’s search algorithm prefers and filling your site with that type of content, pushing your website up in search results.
The idea is that a higher rank means more visibility, which in turn translates into more visitors to your website and more quote, phone calls and jobs for your tradie business.
Traditionally, SEO strategies were executed with an eye towards desktop internet users. In recent years however, that’s been changing.
Look at your own internet use. How much of it is on a desktop, and how much of it is on your mobile? We’re willing to bet it’s heavily stacked in favour of the latter!
Granted, tradies like yourself are a bit different, in that you spend most of your day either on the road or at worksites – places you can’t exactly bring a desktop computer with you.
According to Statista, half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. No wonder search engines like Google are changing their search algorithms to place greater emphasis on mobile-friendly websites and content.
Up until recently, mobile search was treated as a second-class citizen. No longer – with mobile search taking up increasing amounts of web usage, search engines are tweaking their search algorithms to factor in mobile-friendliness.
Google in particular has gone the extra mile, changing its core algorithm across mobile and desktop to use mobile-first indexing.
That means mobile-friendliness has turned into one of the most important determinants of your website ranking, almost overnight!
If you don’t want to miss out on the 50% of web users who find your website via mobile search, you need to incorporate mobile SEO into your tradie marketing strategy.
Do tradies need mobile SEO?
In a word, “yes!”
As we mentioned above, a lot of your customers will find you through Google. Many of those will find you through mobile web search specifically – that’s a lot of potential customers.
In addition to giving you access to a huge number of potential clients, mobile SEO is especially important for tradies that offer mobile and emergency service.
For many tradies, a good chunk of their jobs and callouts will be for emergencies and other last-minute services. Many tradies also offer emergency service for these unexpected problems.
For certain tradies, many of these callers will be away from home, with only their mobiles available to find a tradie to fix the problem.
Let’s use one of our clients, Galmier Locksmiths as an example. As an automotive locksmith, many of their callers come from people who have lost or broken their keys while out. That inherently means that most of their emergency callers will be using mobile search.
Another example might be a plumber.
Examples of plumbing emergencies can include burst pipes and gas leaks. Both of these plumbing emergencies can force residents out of the house, leaving them with only their mobiles to find an emergency plumber.
A lot of customers who need emergency jobs will be finding you using mobile search – if these kinds of callouts make up a large portion of your jobs, mobile SEO is extra important to your tradie marketing!
Improving websites for tradies: the differences between desktop and mobile search
The thing is, the mobile web experience is very different from desktop, thanks to smaller screens.
As such, your website and content need to be tailored for mobile phone users, and the limited screen space available to them. Not only does this improve the user experience, but also because it can affect how well your tradie website ranks for mobile search!
Don’t know where to start? Here are some pointers to get you started…
Responsive web design
Mobile phones have smaller screens than computer monitors. It’s a fundamental limitation that changes how websites need to be laid out.
Google understands that trying to navigate a desktop site using a mobile is tough. That’s why it prioritises mobile-friendly sites in mobile search – fail to optimise your web design for phone screens, and your mobile search rankings may suffer.
Whip out your phone and search up the Space Jam website (yes, it’s still up 23 years on!) You’ll be greeted with tiny font and constant scrolling – not exactly a pleasant browsing experience.
That means you need a specially-designed mobile site, or better yet, a site that uses responsive web design.
Responsive design means that your website automatically reformats itself to fit the size of the visitor’s screen. This allows your site to offer the optimal user experience no matter the device they’re using, without having to invest in building a separate mobile site.
Loading times have always been an important consideration in SEO – with mobile search however, it has taken on even greater importance.
According to Google itself, people want results as fast as possible, which is why Google is putting more emphasis on page speed in mobile search. As of 2018, it’s also officially a ranking factor for mobile.
Essentially, Google punishes mobile sites that load too slowly by pushing them down the results page.
One of the first things you should do when optimising your tradie website for mobile SEO is to look at speed. There are a lot of things that can influence page speed:
- Excessively large image files
- Unoptimised plugins
- Widgets and add-ons
- Poor optimisation for less-common browsers
- Bad hosting
This is highly technical, so this step may require help from a professional digital marketing agency to implement.
Not to mention, it’s also important from a user experience standpoint too. As a tradie, most of your customers need help, ASAP, be it with a pipe, wiring or their car. They don’t want any delays that could stop them from getting in touch with help.
Optimising content for smaller screens
It isn’t just the web design that needs to be optimised for phone screens – so too does your web content.
Again, mobile screens are a lot smaller than PC monitors. That means your web content will also have to be much less dense, and easier to follow on a small screen.
Some pointers include:
- Shorter, snappier paragraphs
- Usage of dot-points when possible
- Avoiding tables and matrices
- Using lists (Buzzfeed has this down to an art)
This is the type of web content that’s preferred by Google for mobile search. By rejigging your website content to be friendlier towards those with small screens, you improve the chances of your tradie website ranking for mobile searches.
Take your digital strategy to the next level
Tradie marketing strategies that work
Improving your mobile SEO, just like the rest of your tradie marketing strategy, can be a long and time-consuming process. Between your invoicing, all the different calls you get and travelling between jobs, it’s difficult to find time to implement any of these changes yourself.
So why not hand your tradie marketing off to a professional?
At iformat, our mission isn’t just to help tradies like yourself get more phone calls and bookings. Our goal is to ensure that you’re getting the right calls, from the customers you want for the jobs you want.
Mobile SEO is just one part of our toolbox – combined with other techniques such as PPC advertising, split-testing and ongoing analytics and reporting, we keep the phone calls coming in.
Don’t believe us? Find out what some of our other tradie clients have to say about our services!
Just be sure to move quickly – our exclusivity guarantee means that we’ll only work with one plumber, electrician, mechanic or builder per city or suburb. Find out if you can use our tradie marketing services by getting in touch on 1300 88 64 50 or by clicking this link.