Making your website mobile ready is more important than ever. If you aren’t taking a mobile-first approach, you could quickly get left in the dust.In this guest post via Helen, content marketer at Ahrefs, you’ll learn what steps you can take to ensure you’re offering your users the best experience possible.

By the way, if you think you’ve got what it takes to be a contributor, you can find our guest post guidelines here.

With that, here’s Helen!

How often do you see people on the streets listening to music on their smartphones? Quite often, I bet! Stats also show that mobile device usage is growing exponentially.

One Statista report shows that mobile usage for music services outperforms usage on desktop computers. Smartphones have fast become the go-to for music consumption.

Mobile music streaming stats

That’s why music entrepreneurs should pay more attention to mobile SEO. Here are a set of tips for making your music website mobile-ready.

Perform a Mobile Audit

Google has a couple of tools that can help you test your website for its mobile usability. First, there’s the Mobile-Friendly Test where you can type in your domain and see the issues that keep your site from being mobile-ready.

Another worthwhile tools is Google Search Console, which will let you know what mobile usability issues your website has. You should log into your account and go to “Search Traffic” tab; then click “Mobile Usability.”

By using these tools, you can identify whatever issues you need to fix. It could be clickable elements that are placed too close to each other, the use of Flash, font sizes that are too small or too big, and so on. Mobile Googlebot will also check if it’s able to access all your website elements.

Keep an Eye on Loading Times

Heavy-loading websites annoy even desktop users. Mobile users hate it even more, especially when streaming music. You must identify all the issues that may cause slowdown on your website and eliminate them.

Google’s mobile page speed study shows that the probability of a user bouncing off the page increases in direct ratio to the page loading time. And, due to the mobile-first algorithm, Google is prioritizing pages that load quickly.

Mobile page speed study

So, you must get rid of any issues that slow your website or its elements down:

  • Reduce file sizes where you can. Of course, you may not want to sacrifice the quality of your music files. But you can optimize the album/single covers, your photos and other imagery to save bandwidth.
  • Use caching. Google advises using caching on your website to save on loading times. You’d better follow that advice.
  • Consider CDN. These networks deliver page elements much faster, improving the overall loading speed of the website.

Do Mobile Keyword Research

Google shows desktop and mobile results in different ways. And often SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for mobile show a different picture. On mobile people may type their keywords into the search field or use Voice Search. You should do keyword research for mobile with all these peculiarities in mind.

People often search on mobile using questions. You can check for those questions in two ways:

  • Use Google search for the keyword that fits your page or content. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and check out the “Related searches” section for more keyword ideas.
  • Use Google’s Keyword Planner for more keyword ideas. You can also use a “Questions” tab in Ahrefs and see what people ask when they are searching for related topics.

Mobile keyword research - voice search

Whatever method you choose, remember that your goal is to keep the searcher’s’ intent in mind. Target the keywords users are searching for when surfing the web.

Pay Attention to Your Content

Content is what mobile users are looking for. They don’t care about the gimmicks you use to decorate the desktop version of you website. They want to get the answer to their question, and they want it now.

Focus on the readability of your fonts. A small font size is the worst choice for mobile screens. A larger font size is also a no-no, because it takes up too much space and clutters the above the fold area. It’s better to use sans-serif fonts with a good amount of kerning between the letters and space between the lines.

Make your header images smaller to put essential info above the fold. Again, mobile users need information, not the decorations. So cut the imagery a bit in favor of giving your visitors the information they’re looking for.

You should optimize your media content for mobile viewing and listening. Use HTML5 videos and forget about Flash. Optimize your videos for touch (big buttons, full-screen playback, streaming preferences).

Rewrite Your Titles & Descriptions

Getting on the first page of Google is the primary goal of most music website owners. But it’s not enough if no one clicks the link and lands on your website. Only clicks bring your website traffic.

The titles and descriptions are the main things that users will see in mobile SERPs. Thus, you should lure the user to click the link. Here’s how:

  • Keep the title length short. A 45-characters title is the best option.
  • Smaller screens require shorter meta-descriptions too. Again, there are no clear rules for the description length. Just keep it around 155 characters.

Remember that Google gives no evidence that the title and description have any impact on website rankings. Sometimes it even shows the first phrase from the text instead of the meta-description if it finds it more relevant. You must write your metadata with your audience in mind.

Implement Schema Structured Data

Mobile SERP structured data

Google uses Schema.org structured data to show mobile results, especially when it comes to media and photos.

Mobile results above the fold are displaying in the form of cards. Music website that uses structured data will benefit in mobile search since its content will look more attractive. With the help of structured data, you can also show review stars, tour dates, posters, media files, and other relevant information increasing your page CTR.

The Bottom Line

The above are the main tips you should implement on your music website. There are more minor improvements you can make. For instance:

  • Optimize for local search. According to stats, over 40% of mobile searches are local. You can benefit from leveraging local-targeted keywords or geo-positioning features (e.g., HTML Geolocation API).
  • Use larger buttons when it’s possible to avoid the “fat-finger” issue.
  • Make sure any clickable elements are easy to tap on the mobile screen. Use the click-to-call function for phone numbers.

Check how your optimized elements look and behave on different devices. And do some testing to find out if there any other improvements that can be made.

Subscribe to the The New Music Industry Podcast on iTunes for more great content

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Helen Stark

Helen is a content marketer at Ahrefs. She explores new things every day to impress her readers with catchy stories. Apart from all that marketing stuff, Helen loves listening to rock music, reading and traveling. A lot! Feel free to follow Helen on Twitter.

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