SEO for Mobile is Mobile SEO. Is it THAT simple?
In true sense, mobile SEO is when your site is perfectly aligned and compatible with a mobile. Typically, if your user is accessing your site from his smartphone then would you want to mess with his experience? No. Hence, Mobile SEO or an optimization just as great as a desktop site ensuring a fitting site design, site structure, page speed, and more to make sure you’re not inadvertently turning mobile visitors away.
How will my users know that my site is ABSOLUTELY mobile friendly?
Your site will be 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
Sounds like a lot of work. How do I go about it?
- Choosing a mobile site
- Updating website code
- Verify mobile friendliness
- Tell Google
Which type of Mobile Site should I go for?
Here is a tabulated form for a sound decision:
|Variant||Features||Does URL stays same||Does HTML stays same|
Which among them is the best method?
Google recommends Responsive Design because:
- It is the simplest and least risky
- Needs no duplication or redirection.
- Uses media queries to target the layout based on screen width, orientation, and resolution
- 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. Whereas, Google cannot detect automatically when content is being dynamically served, so you have to tell Google specifically what is happening.
You’ll need a Vary HTTP as User Agent Heading in Dynamic Serving which will declare Google that you have a mobile alternative and then the content being crawled by the latter may look different depending on who is looking at it. Not using this header when your site is being dynamically served can hurt your rankings because Google will not know your site is mobile.
As for the case of Separate URLs, many things can go wrong in its SEO. Google will not detect automatically that your mobile pages are different versions of your desktop pages which is why you must tell Google what is going on. The way we tell Google about our separate urls requires some work, as explained below:
On the desktop page, add a special link rel=’alternate’ tag pointing to the corresponding mobile URL. This helps Google-bot discover the location of your site’s mobile pages and clarifies it that if the screen is less than 640 pixels it should refer to the alternate mobile page.
On the mobile page, add a link rel=’canonical’ tag pointing to the corresponding desktop URL; this lets Google know that the page is a version of the desktop page listed.
It incurs lot of content duplication risks and more of redirects. It’ll also be costly to maintain.
I pretty much got the pros & cons of each of them. What else should I keep in mind?
- Configure the viewport.
- Avoid interstitial ads.
- Use legible font sizes
- Avoid plugins
- Tap targets which will vary with device’s size
- Sizing content to viewport
Got it. What next?
Signal Google when your page is formatted for mobile: This helps Google accurately serve your content to mobile searchers in its search results.
Avoid ‘common mistakes:’ such as featuring unplayable videos or Flash video as the page’s significant content),” don’t use pop-ups either,” optimize button and scroll sizes, optimize titles and meta descriptions since you are targeting a smaller screen space and integrate local search like standardizing your name, address, etc. if necessary.
Mobile pages that provide a poor searcher experience can be demoted in rankings or displayed with a warning in mobile search results. Your bounce rates can go up and if you aren’t concise on content, your listing on SERP can be frustrating.
I’ll keep that in mind. Lastly how can I ensure the best mobile experience for my visitors?
That’s simple. Just follow these points:
- 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. Examine your pages for speed using the mobile SEO tool (easily available over internet) using Google page speed insights tool and get a list of what is affecting your page speed. Rectify those issues.
- Mobile Redirects: Make sure your mobile redirects are not hurting your page speed. Redirects on mobile networks are very slow and use them only when it’s absolutely necessary.
- Mobile SEO articles: Use readable fonts regardless of the mobile screen size, never block resource page, allow conditional resource loading- load different resources for mobile version, follow a mobile- first method to ensure that your mobile strategy is not just “to make things fit on a smaller screen”, use CSS instructions that display the same webpage differently to desktop users and mobile users for media and use AMP(Accelerated Mobile Pages) which is an open source project led by Google that make faster mobile pages.?
And Voil! You have successfully optimized your mobile site that will not only enhance your customer experience but also increase your visitor base.