Mobile SEO: Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

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If your website is not mobile-friendly yet, then it is a big mistake. You are missing out big time on your potential customers.

The total number of mobile internet users in Thailand is 50.18 Million, and the share of web traffic via mobile is 44.6%, according to Hootsuite Digital 2020: Thailand report. The number of mobile searches is skyrocketing, 58% of all searches in fact, making it increasingly important in generating leads and making sales. 

Mobile is the future of search engine marketing, but many websites still perform poorly on mobile. This is where Mobile Optimization comes in. 

What is Mobile Optimization?

Mobile Search Engine Optimization, alias Mobile SEO, is customizing your website to ensure that mobile and tablet users have the best experience accessing the website on their device. This process helps you improve organic traffic, which is traffic coming to your site from search results pages (SERPs). Mobile optimization also includes making your site resources accessible to search engine crawlers. 

Mobile Search Engine Optimization is customizing your website to ensure that mobile and tablet users have the best experience accessing the website on their device.

Mobile experience factor has quite an impact on your ranking after Google's move to mobile-first indexing and the Mobilegeddon Update. So the priority for web developers has shifted to making the site mobile-friendly FIRST. (See more Google ranking factors in our 'What is SEO?' article.) 

Also note that a 'mobile' device only includes smartphone, as Google puts tablets “in their own class” and states: “when we speak of mobile devices, we generally do not include tablets in the definition”. Still, the main idea here is to optimize your site for ANY device.

If you're not sure if your website is optimized well enough for mobile users, the easiest place to get started is the 'Mobile-friendly Test' by Google. 

Mobile Seo Mobile-friendly Test

So, what is there to consider to improve your mobile-friendliness? 

Mobile User Experience

One area that’s crucial to optimize is mobile user experience. If you do not get this right, people won’t stick around long enough to read your content. A great place to start making improvements is the bounce rate. 

Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate

Since dwell time (the time visitors stay on the page after following a link to your site) is a major SEO ranking factor, the more people bounce, the worse it is for your mobile search ranking. One of the reasons for bounce rate is page speed.

Page Speed

According to Google, 53% of visits are abandoned if sites take more than 3 seconds to load. Besides, half of your visitors expect pages to load in 1-2 seconds. See how important page speed is? A good starting point is to use Google’s mobile speed test to see if there are any speed issues on your site.

Many factors contribute to making page speed faster or slower. Page speed is even more important for mobile users than desktop or laptop because of hardware and connectivity issues unique to mobile. Try optimizing image sizes, simplify code, leverage browser caching, and reduce redirects.

Mobile Optimization Site Config

Mobile Site Configuration

To succeed with mobile SEO today, your site needs to work well on mobile devices. Don't just serve mobile visitors with a mini version of the desktop site. There are 3 different ways to configure your site for mobile. Each has its pros and cons. 

Separate URL (aka. the "m." configuration)

You have a different version of your website with a different URL, mostly starts with "m.", to redirect mobile users to it. It was popular back in the day. Now it's a huge deal to manage as it's prone to content duplication risk and lots of redirects reducing the page load speed. 

Dynamic Serving

You keep the site on the same URL, but show each user different HTML/CSS version depending on the device they use. 

Dynamic serving is obviously better than having separate URLs, but they pose some disadvantages as well. They often accidentally show the desktop version to mobile visitor. You also need to constantly create different versions of your content for new devices that come out. If you don’t, your site might show a version that looks terrible on that device. So we also don't recommend this method. 

Responsive Web Design

This is by far the best configuration for Mobile SEO in 2020. Your page resizes to fit each screen individually without having separate URLs or different HTML for each device. 

Google prefers responsive design above all the rest.

Mobile Optimization Responsive

Responsive design ticks all boxes for an optimal mobile experience. No SEO headaches like “rel=canonical tags”, duplicate content issues etc. And no redirects, as we said would cause technical SEO issues and can slow down your site.

Google prefers responsive design above all the rest. If you’re running a WordPress website like us, making it responsive can be as simple as installing the right theme. If not, ask your web developer to implement Google’s guidelines for responsive web design.

Mobile Site design best practices

Don't block CSS, JavaScript, or Images. In the old days, some devices could not support all of these elements, so web developers blocked them on mobile. But for the most part, it's no longer true, and the Smartphone GoogleBot wants to be able to see and categorize the same content that users do. So don't hide it. These elements are also critical to helping Google understand if you have a responsive site or a different mobile solution.

Don't use flash. Flash Player may not be available on your user's device. If you want to create special effects, use HTML5 instead.

Don't use pop-ups either. It can be difficult and frustrating to try and close those pesky pop-ups on a mobile device. This might lead to a high bounce rate.

Design for the fat finger. Touch screen navigation can lead to accidental clicks if your buttons are too big, too small, or in the path of a finger that's trying to get the page to scroll.

Other factors to consider

Optimize titles and meta descriptions

Remember that you're working with less screen space for mobile SEO. To stand out in SERPS, be as concise as possible when creating titles, URLs, and meta descriptions. And try your best not to lose the quality of the information.

Optimize for local search

If your business has a local element, remember to optimize your mobile content for local search. This includes standardizing your name, address, and phone number and including your city name in your site's metadata. 

Need help optimizing your mobile site?

Does your brand need help with Mobile SEO? Our team at Sphere Agency is here to help you optimize your website for the highest ranking on Google. Check out our SEO Services and Web Design & Development for more information. Getting interested? Contact us today.

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By Napat Charoengun on October 26, 2020

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