As web usage via smartphones increases the importance of mobile SEO is more relevant than ever. Websites need to be fully optimised for mobile viewing to enable a great viewing experience for the user and to help rankings with Google and other search engines. With around 40% of the UK adult population using a smartphone it is vital for businesses to take their mobile SEO seriously.
Last month Google announced that their rankings would be taking more account of how sites deal with mobile access. It is their aim that websites will improve how users are able to have the best mobile user experience possible. This includes faster loading times and easier navigation. Any sites with smartphone issues will not rank as well.
Tips for Mobile SEO
Separate mobile urls
Traditionally this has been the most common method for delivery mobile-optimised websites. A mobile site is on a different sub-domain, usually with prefix – m. So all mobile content is viewed on separate URLs.
Basically the website serves the same content on both desktop and mobile device but the page detects when it is being viewed via a mobile device and adjusts the screen size and layout accordingly, hence being responsive. For example, when viewed via a mobile device the page may display fewer images, less text or more simplified navigation.
Page load times
It is vital that understanding and optimising for mobile performance is a priority. Using the Google Developers Page Speed Insights tool will help to analyse your website’s mobile performance. Search engines rank favourably on faster page load times.
Fix irrelevant redirects
If using separate mobile urls be careful not to redirect pages to irrelevant mobile optimised pages. For example, if not all pages on your site are optimised for mobile and you redirect all mobile users to the homepage it can harm your bounce rate along with the user experience. If there is no mobile version of that page then redirect to the corresponding the web version instead.
Avoid using flash
If your website requires Adobe Flash then users on iphones or Androids won’t be able to view the content so do avoid if possible. If sharing videos, try embedding in non-flash supported formats, offer links to video hosting sites such as youtube or vimeo, or provide a transcript of the video.
As Google is now taking a stance on mobile SEO saying that it will demote sites that are not mobile-friendly or misconfigured, it is vital that websites are fully optimised for mobile usage. The key issues are page load time, error pages and irrelevant redirects. Google is hoping to return the most relevant mobile search results and is pushing for web developers to get up to speed on mobile-optimisation.
FirstClick Digital is a London based digital marketing agency with a wealth of search marketing experience backed up with the technology and valuable knowledge needed to deliver a healthy ROI for any campaign. Feel free to give us a call on 0207 289 3218 or fill out the contact form and see how we can help your business grow!