If you’ve noticed a theme in this Google SEO update series, it’s that Google wants searching and web usage to work smoothly as they take over the internet. That will be extending even more to mobile devices this year, as over half the adults in America now own them, according to Pew Internet, and mobile data consumption will continue increasing (more online retail is done on mobile devices than PCs!).
In the words of Google, “Smartphone users are a significant and fast growing segment of Internet users, and at Google we want them to experience the full richness of the web.” That means there will be – you guessed it – changes coming to Google SEO in regards to mobile search.
Google’s take on SEO these days is more dynamic than ever, so you’ll need to reimagine your SEO approaches for your mobile site (or tweak your desktop site to make it more mobile-friendly). Mobile search queries tend to be about ¾ the length of desktop (according to one mobile survey), and there’s much less room to show off headers on a mobile screen. And check your analytics to see how your mobile traffic specifically behaves.
Mobile Search Matters
Simply put: if your website isn’t mobile-optimized, it’ll be taking SERP hits from Google as mobile search volumes increase. Which makes sense, because people have even less patience for irrelevant searches when they’re on their tiny iPhones while standing in line at the DMV.
Here are some common issues to really look out for:
- Mobile 404 errors
- Videos that don’t play on mobile devices (must be optimized for HTML5 for iPhones)
- Bad redirects that go from any link back to the site’s homepage
- Slow, clunky user experience
How to Fix Your Mobile Site
First, it starts with identification. Peruse your mobile site yourself and see what works and what doesn’t, then convey it to (or hire) your web person. If that’s you, then, well, you know what to do!!
To help, Google actually has a great smartphone error crawler, so run that, too! That’s bold for a reason!!
For bad links, be sure your mobile redirects are going to the mobile-version pages of the desktop pages (more tips on that from Google). Those errors can often be fixed by submitting mobile sitemap and “Fetch as Google” on webmaster. You can create a sitemap manually or download the WordPressMobile sitemap plugin.
For bad videos, there’s a good chance you’re not playing them on HTML5, so update your player.
If your site is slow and clunky, users will probably bounce and not come back, which hurts your SERPs. If there’s a lot going on your web pages and they take a lot of time to load, simplify them by scaling down on the excess graphics. Also, if you run pop-ups or supplements like “Further Reading” links, set a delay for them to come up on your mobile site so they don’t slow down the initial load times.
And for more website speed-up tips, look out for our upcoming post!
Got any more mobile web tips for us? Pleas share in the comments!