Mobile Web Development
Despite the popularity of mobile, many sites still haven’t made the transition to a mobile friendly design. Google has included mobile design as part of their search algorithm in the past. Now, it’s more important than ever. A large part of SEO now lies with effective mobile and responsive site design.
Is Your Site Mobile Friendly?
This is the first question to ask yourself. You may have a mobile design, but is it easy to use? More importantly, does Google think it’s good enough to rank highly? Google has created an online mobile check tool to analyze your site. The tool lists what’s wrong and tips for how to improve. It’s a must for ensuring your site meets all of Google’s latest algorithm updates for mobile.
The Main Factors
SEO for mobile doesn’t mean keywords, though those are still important. It’s more about design and improving the user experience on mobile screens. The following factors are the top issues to consider:
- Content must fit the screen (no matter what the screen size)
- Text should be easy to read without zooming or needing to scroll horizontally
- Links must have ample space between them to prevent users from clicking the wrong links
- Avoid adding software to the site that Google can’t read, such as Flash
All of these are easy to fix. The best solution is a responsive design. It may cost more initially for development, but it helps with your rank and of course, that leads to more visitors.
Two Sites Or Responsive?
Some sites have a mobile version and standard version. That is one solution, but part of Google’s SEO mobile recommendations is sites should have a single URL for their site. Google sees a single URL as easier for users to interact with. Plus, Google only needs to rank one site versus two.
Responsive sites auto adjust content to a user’s screen size. Develop a site once and use the same site for all your visitors, no matter whether they’re on a small smartphone or massive desktop screen.
Meeting Google’s Expectations
Google understands every site is different. To help, they’ve provided an extensive guide covering different types of devices, working with search engines and common mistakes. The highest ranking sites will be those that stick to Google’s guidelines religiously. A few of the things you can do to make your site more mobile friendly include:
- Speeding up page loading times by removing unnecessary content, software and plugins
- Check all links
- Ensure all audio and video content is mobile friendly
One of the best ways to keep your site optimized for mobile is to test frequently. Test on different devices to check loading times, links, playable content, redirects and overall design. The easier it is to navigate, the better. Google’s main purpose with the mobile algorithm updates is to ensure users only get the best results for their mobile devices.
A good rule of thumb is to think of mobile the same as you would a standard site. Focus on creating an easy to use layout and optimizing page loading times. Do this and you’ll rank high no matter what device users are searching from.