Mobile is big in today’s digital marketing and SEO world. In many areas, mobile is now even bigger than desktop.
That’s why you can’t afford to make any mistakes when it comes to mobile SEO.
Here is a list of 5 big but common mobile SEO mistakes that you should avoid.
1. Slow website speed
Slow website speed should not be an excuse. Websites with slow loading speeds lead to poor user experience and low search engine rankings.
Your website should not only be fast to load but also fast to interact. This is especially true for mobile devices — where the expectation is that users are on the go and want information as soon as possible.
It is not uncommon for websites to load slower on mobile devices than desktop devices. Make sure to check your website performance with free tools like Google PageSpeed Insights.
If it takes a long time to load, you can take the necessary steps to remedy the situation. For example, compress images and files, minimize requests, minimize redirects, minify CSS and JS files, upgrade your hosting solution, implement smart techniques like lazy loading, etc.
According to Google, 53 percent of people will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds. Google may demote your website in the SERPs if it continues to receive such negative signals.
2. Poor redirection
Websites that aren’t fully optimized — or websites with separate desktop and mobile URLs — may have issues like bad redirects.
Ideally, every web page should be fully viewable perfectly fine on mobile devices. If you have separate versions for mobile and desktop, make sure that there is a mobile page version for every desktop page.
In case a mobile user lands on the desktop version of your web page, they should be redirected to the mobile version of that same page instead of redirecting them to the home page — which is an example of a poor and frustrating user experience.
Google hates intrusive pop-up ads, sign-up offers, and banners that disturb the user experience — especially on mobile devices. If a user who comes from search results is greeted with an intrusive interstitial on a mobile device, Google does not like it, and it is more likely to demote that website in favor of other sites that offer a more user-friendly experience.
In 2017, Google confirmed this:
“Pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as high.”
Any pop-ups that are not a part of the web page may be considered intrusive and can affect the website’s search engine rankings. This is especially true if the pop-up covers a major part of the web page.
As mobile devices have smaller screens, you have to be even more careful with large interstitials.
In addition, make sure to avoid interstitials that are hard to close. Sometimes, closing a pop-up may redirect you to another web page. Deceptive tricks like this can damage your website’s credibility and SEO.
4. Poor design and user experience
Poor mobile design leads to poor user experience — which ultimately negatively affects your website’s SEO performance and search rankings.
Not specifying correct viewports or using fixed-width viewports that are only optimized for certain devices is a common mistake.
Second, you also need to think holistically about the design of your website on mobile devices. Because the focus is shifting on mobile devices rapidly, the website should be designed for smartphones and tablets first, not for laptops and desktop computers.
This means avoid common mobile design mistakes such as:
- Hard to find call-to-action buttons
- Hidden or inaccessible navigation menu
- On-screen design clutter
- Incorrect and conflicting use of colors
- Incorrect use of whitespace
- Unreasonably small font sizes
5. Ignoring local SEO on mobile
Depending on the type of your business, local SEO may play a key part in driving engaged traffic and potential customers to your website. That’s why local SEO should not be ignored anyway.
However, the importance of local SEO increases significantly when it comes to mobile SEO and mobile traffic.
Studies reveal that users search for local terms at a higher rate on mobile devices than they do on desktops.
Therefore, if you have a mobile-first website and a business that depends on local traffic, make sure to spend additional time and resources to find relevant local keywords and optimize your mobile-first website for local SEO.
Mobile plays a key role in any SEO strategy today. By avoiding these aforementioned mistakes, you can optimize your website for mobile and improve search rankings across the board.
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