Google’s last algorithm update (the mobilegeddon) targets the mobile-friendliness of websites. In fact, Google have started to penalize “not mobile-friendly” websites. If you don’t want to be left behind in mobile SEO rankings, follow these few points:
1. You must let Google know that your website is mobile-friendly.
Make sure that Google can understand your mobile site setup. This allows Google to display relative content to mobile searchers.
Google has specified that the site must:
· Be responsive
Here are quick-facts about a responsive webpage.
It provides the best user experience
A responsive webpage adjusts its dimensions and content according to the resolution of the device. It provides the best user experience across different devices. It is easy to view, navigate, and read. It requires minimum panning, scrolling, and pinching.
It has the same codebase
It is not a separate page, it is practically the same page.
There is a “meta tag” at the head of the webpage (see below).
<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0″>
This meta tag instructs the browser to adjust the dimensions and scale of the page according to the device.
· Be dynamic serving
This is a setup wherein the server responds to different codes on the same URL. The response of the server is based on the user agent accessing the page. To simplify this, the site alters the HTML and CSS codes based on the device used (mobile or desktop). The page hides the “mobile” content when accessed by desktop users. On the other hand, it hides the “desktop” content when accessed by a mobile device.
Google recommends that you tell the Google bots to crawl the mobile content of the site. It can be done using a “Vary HTTP header”
Have separate URLs
This type of configuration requires the webmaster to create an optimized and mobile-friendly version of the desktop site. Like the dynamic serving configuration, it detects the user-agent accessing the site and redirects them – if needed.
In order to help Google find the URL of the alternative page. Add the following tags:
For desktop page, add rel=”alternate” pointing to the mobile URL.
Fore mobile page, add rel=”canonical” pointing to the desktop URL.
2. The site must be crawl-able
3. Avoid common mobile-site mistakes
Mobile site mistakes can annoy visitors. A lousy experience guarantees that they will never return. In fact, Google has released guidelines on how to avoid common mobile site mistakes. These include faulty redirects, the use of flash for videos, a page that redirects to download page of mobile app, duplicate content of mobile and desktop version of site, slow webpage load speed and many more. Let’s take one example, the slow webpage speed. Google recommends that you use PageSpeed Insight. PageSpeed Insight is a tool created by Google that can discover issues on your page. It analyses the webpage, generates report and shows recommendations on how to fix errors.
Mobile searches are on the rise. They have overtaken desktop searches since 2014 and are still growing. Do not get left behind! Make your site mobile-friendly or you’ll start losing mobile traffic. See you on our next blog.