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4 Mobile SEO Tips You Should Follow in 2017

It’s no big secret that Google has placed a much stronger emphasis on mobile in the last couple of years which all came to a head with the well-documented ‘mobilegeddon’ in April 2015. Fast forward to November of the same year and Google caused a further stir when they released a full version of their search quality evaluator guidelines (updated in March 2016) which demonstrated a new-found focus on mobile search and mobile user needs. This means websites have to be optimized to be found in mobile search and work well across all devices. If not mobile-friendly, search rankings will suffer.

While the importance of mobile SEO is now widely acknowledged, implementing and mastering it takes time, attention to detail, and regular alterations. So we decided to break down 5 ways you can start optimizing your site for mobile SEO, helping you maximize your mobile search-driven traffic and conversions in 2017!

1. Choose your weapon

There are 3 main methods for starting a mobile friendly website set up.

  • Responsive Web Design (RWD)
  • Dynamic Serving
  • Separate URLs

There are key differences between these methods, chief of which is that RWD and Dynamic Serving keep the same URL across all devices and RWD is the only method that serves the same HTML. Whatever method you choose, it won’t affect your website ranking if all pages are optimized for mobile.

2. Make your pages available for crawling

You want to make it as easy as possible for Google and its Googlebot web crawler to see and categorize your site content. The faster you do this, the faster you’ll get that green tick from Google for mobile friendliness, giving you a better chance of ranking above your competitors.

This means you have to use your robot.txt file with great care and make sure your JavaScript, CSS and images are fully accessible to Googlebot so that the bot can see the website like an average user. Google provides a couple of useful tools to help you do this. Their robot.txt tester tool enables you to find out whether your robots.txt file blocks Google web crawlers from specific URLs on your site. Also, you can use Fetch as Google which enables you to test how Google crawls or renders a URL on your site.

3. Keep page speed in mind

Despite the business case for mobile SEO, websites are getting bigger in terms of size as more and more of them are being launched. The result of these large, inefficient websites is a poor user experience as they take longer to load which effectively kill chances for mobile traffic and conversions.

The main causes of slow load times are tonnes of images, CSS and JavaScript, so it’s important to keep them as lightweight as possible. To limit the payload size you can use server-side device detection to select the right website components that work and look great on the user’s device.

4. Other optimizations

Along with ensuring page speed is strong and your website is mobile friendly, there are other optimizations that you should not miss. A common optimization mistake is using a large number of redirects. Redirects are very slow on mobile networks which hurt page speed, therefore you must ensure that you minimize the amount you use.

Another thing that you need to avoid is using software that may not work on mobile devices, like Flash. Webmasters should consider using HTML5 instead. It is also essential to use larger fonts that are easy to read on a smartphone screen, and tap-friendly links. This also includes avoiding large images and videos, OS-specific downloads, resource-hungry scripts, complicated forms, etc. which might work on smartphones but impede user experience.

 

One of the quickest ways to get your mobile optimized site off the ground is through SiteOnMobi, our website builder tool that allows you to come up with fast and lightweight sites that look great on any device. This is the first step you need to take in order to get Google to understand your site.