Optimizing your Website for Mobile Search

Mobile optimizing is the process of ensuring that visitors who access your website from mobile devices have a good experience and website optimized for the device.

What is Mobile Optimization?

Every year people spending time on mobiles and tablets are increasing drastically, but many of the websites still aren’t designed to optimize the website for different screen sizes and load times. Mobile optimization takes a look at website design, website structure, page loading time, and more to make sure you’re not inadvertently turning mobile visitors away.

Best Practices for Mobile SEO

If your website is already well optimized for search engines, there are only a few additional things that you need to think about when optimizing for mobile.

Page speed

Because of hardware and connectivity issues, page loading speed is even more important for mobile users than desktop users. Beyond optimizing images, you’ll want to modify the code, leverage browser caching, and reduce redirects.

Don’t block CSS, JavaScript, or images

In earlier days, many mobile devices couldn’t support all of these elements, so webmasters of mobile sites blocked one or all three. But for the most part that’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 to understand if you have a responsive website or a different mobile solution.

Site design for mobile

Mobile devices are simplifying and revolutionizing the ways websites are designed. “Above the fold” no longer has meaning in a world where we scroll endlessly

Don’t use Flash

The plugin may not be available on your user’s phone, which means they’ll miss out on all the fun. If you want to create special effects, use HTML5 instead.

Don’t use pop-ups either

It can be difficult and frustrating for the user to try and close these 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.

Optimize titles and meta descriptions

Remember that you’re working with less screen space when a user searches using a mobile device. To show off your best work in Search Engine Result Page Section, be as concise as possible (without sacrificing the quality of the information) when creating meta titles, URLs, and meta descriptions.

Use Schema.org structured data

Because of the limited screen space, a search result with rich snippets is even more likely to stand out than on a desktop.

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 and state name in your site’s metadata.

Mobile site configuration

Probably the most important decision you’ll make when setting up a website is deciding whether you want to use a responsive, dynamic serving, or separate site configuration. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Google prefers responsive design but supports all three options as long as you have set them up properly.

Responsive web design

Responsively-designed sites use CSS3 media queries to serve the same content to mobile and desktop users using a fluid grid and a flexible design to automatically adapt to the size of a user’s screen.

Separate mobile URL

The other option is to create a second, parallel site for mobile users. This allows you to create completely custom content for mobile visitors. To avoid URL confusion, most parallel mobile sites use an “m” subdomain.

Parallel mobile sites can be as imperfect as dynamic serving sites at sending visitors to the right version, so be sure to make it easy for visitors who end up in the wrong place to click over to their preferred experience.

You’ll also want to make sure that your site redirects are all in place and as lean as possible to decrease page speed. And to avoid duplicate content issues, you’ll need to set up rel=”canonical”.