In 2016, Google started placing higher priority on mobile searches and using this information in their rankings. This switch to a “mobile first” model means you need to be more viewable and optimized for smartphones and tablets than ever before. While simply switching to a responsive design is a good start, you need to make sure your site is truly mobile optimized to get the best results. These tips will help you get ahead in a mobile first environment:

Focus on Local Content

Google places high value on mobile searches and many users who search via a smartphone are looking for something locally. Consider optimizing your site for your geographic location to improve your ranking. If you have a brick and mortar business or serve a local community, this is easy, but even digital marketers that are not tied to a location can create localized content for specific states, cities or regions to boost searchability.

Incorporate Video

According to a study by the Nielson Group, almost 30% of consumers use their mobile devices to watch videos at least once a day. Content marketers who embrace video can have a huge advantage with the mobile first market, simply by providing content in a compelling format.

Consider Mobile Search Intent

Consider your mobile content carefully based on mobile search intent; users looking for information are often seeking for different reasons than those performing a search from a desktop or static device. If you are not sure how mobile users are finding you, Google Analytics can help; just login and switch to your mobile overview. You’ll be able to see the terms that mobile users are entering to find your site. These may differ from the words you’ve optimized for and provide another way to optimize for mobile users.

Be Aware of your Mobile Conversion Points

What do you consider a conversion – and can that action even be performed on a mobile device? You won’t be able to measure the success of your efforts if you have no idea what you consider a conversion. If you view a whitepaper download or newsletter signup as a success on your main site, you may need to come up with a different conversion point for your mobile viewers; neither of these actions convert well on a phone or tablet.

Don’t Be Mobile User Friendly, Be Mobile User First

If your elements are too small, links are too close together or you have too many popups, your site could be difficult for users to navigate effectively on the small screen. Most people won’t keep trying they’ll just go elsewhere in search of a more user friendly experience. In this day and age, having a site that looks great and is easy to navigate on mobile is essential. Mobile searches outnumber desktop searches these days, so many businesses are ditching mobile friendly design for mobile first design. The easier your site is to use for smartphone and tablet users, the more success you’ll have in an increasingly mobile first environment.

Manager of SEO & Social Media at

Jordan is the Manager of SEO & Social Media at UpCity. With almost a decade of experience designing websites and writing compelling copy, Jordan has helped countless brands find their voice, tell their story, and connect with real people.