Smartphones have become the access points for web running on Android, iOS, or windows since millions of people are glued to their smartphones. These have become imperative, and the websites have adapted themselves to this changing environment; the suitable changes are made so that the website can attract more viewership. The desktop version is slightly tough to function on mobile device; the version is not mobile-friendly, and requires the user to zoom in the content. To avoid this frustrating experience, mobile version came into site, and today have become a trend.
It is mandatory for a website to be mobile-friendly so that the mobile search engine is effective enough. Any website which is not mobile-friendly will not have any impact on regular engine either.
What makes a site mobile-friendly? A site is mobile-friendly, if the:
- Content presented on the mobile screen is well
- Content is not pinched or zoomed
- Content can read easily on small screens
- The navigation is done easier with a finger
- Phone is used easily by the person
- Google properly understood the site
What is Mobile SEO?
Mobile SEO is a process of website designing, which makes it suitable for viewing on the mobile devices having different screen sizes of low bandwidths. In spite of following certain SEO rules that are applicable to a desktop website, you need to care for certain things while designing a website for mobile devices. There are many affordable SEO packages, which you can use to attract more traffic to your website. But before that, know the following attributes:
- A good mobile website that performs well on desktops and mobile devices should have a responsive design. It reduces the maintenance of the website and makes the content consistent for the search engines.
- The contents should be easy to read on mobile device without zooming the screen. The fonts, colors, and layouts should be proper.
- The mobile website should be easy to navigate, and the links and buttons should be maneuvered using a finger.
- A good mobile website takes less bandwidth and time to load mobile networks.
- The homepage of website and mobile website is the most important aspect to attract a user to the website. Good mobile websites are important to display the most important homepage, so that they get enough traffic.
The ranking of website depends heavily on how much traffic it attracts or how user-friendly it is. The desktop version can be converted in mobile version using three main ways. They are:
- Responsive Design
- Dynamic Serving
- Separate URLs
Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design is recommended by Google because of its simplest mobile configuration and easy implementation. The HTML code is same as the URL, and adjusts the display based on the screen size of the mobile device.
If a site is using dynamic serving, then it provides different content to desktop users than to mobile users. It is hard for Google to detect automatically, if the content is being dynamically served; we have to tell Google what is exactly happening. We tell Google through Vary HTTP header. If you are not using this header, then your site is dynamically hurt in terms of ranking as Google will not be aware of your site as mobile.
If you are maintaining two URLs, one for mobile users and another for desktop – make sure you inform Google explicitly when to serve which version. Google can easily detect that your mobile pages are different from your desktop pages, and that’s why Google doesn’t recommend separate URLs.
This approach is not considered practical, if you have a big website, as maintaining two versions of same website will need more effort and money. Also it is difficult to avoid various discrepancies while maintaining two versions for the content.
If you want to consider the SEO viewpoint, then each URL performs separately. Your desktop ranking will never be added to the mobile ranking and they will always assume it as separate websites. There are many cheap SEO services available, which will not only help attract more traffic but also improve your website ranking on Google.
Google has a number of tools for testing the mobile usability and search console, which details problems on a page-by- page level. If you are looking for optimizing your website, then utilize these tools while developing your new site and keep tabs on problems using ‘search console’ throughout the site.
Search console keeps a check on the following issues:
- Flash Usage – Most of the mobile browsers do not extract Flash, and it will make you use other modern technologies.
- Viewport is not configured – The browsers are aided with viewport metatag that scales a page to suit the specific device.
- Fixed-width viewport – This problems deal with circumvent mobile design with fixed width pages and is best kept when a responsive design is adopted.
- Viewport size is irrelevant for the content – The page doesn’t fit the window, and the user has to scroll to read the content. It can be taken care of with relative widths.
- Small font size – This is termed as scaling issue and requires zooming in the screen.
- Touch elements very close – the most common usability issue, where it becomes hard to tap an element without hitting the neighboring element.
- Interstitial usage – A full screen pop-up which represents poor user experience on the mobile website and which would be crack down soon.
Augment your site to eradicate these issues and you will see constructive effects on the usability of your site and have positive implications for the users.
What are the common mistakes you can avoid?
To optimize your website for mobile devices, keep a check to avoid following mistakes:
1. Slow Mobile Pages
As compared to wired Internet networks, mobile networks are slower; so it is important to pay attention to the speed of your mobile pages. This is critical Google ranking factor. So use a mobile SEO tool to find out you mobile page speed.
3. Mobile Redirects
There are too many redirects, which can hurt your page speed because of the slow speed of mobile networks. If you have maintained multiple URLs, then link all points to the relevant pages. In case you keep up several URLs, and a user is visiting a desktop page from mobile page, then redirect the user to that URL instead of displaying a 404 error page.
4. Heavy Images
They increase the load time, and we cannot get rid of them totally as they are useful and effective. Therefore, keep up a good balance between text and heavy images. Make sure you use a good tool to optimize the images and save them at low resolution.
5. Avoid plug-ins and pop-ups
Avoid Plug-ins like Flash and Java, as they are not available on user’s mobile device. Make sure you don’t have unplayable content on your mobile page. Avoid using pop-ups on mobile devices as they become quite clumsy to close.
When planning to create a mobile page, keep in mind that user has limited space to work on. So be concise while creating titles, URLs, and meta-descriptions.
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