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Mobile SEO Rules to Boost Your App Design Productivity

Currently, mobile devices are responsible for more than half the total traffic on the Internet, which is why mobile SEO should be a part of any marketer’s toolkit. Besides, when it comes to search engine rankings, mobile friendliness is one of the most crucial aspects used by providers such as Google. Typically, responsive sites are bound to be given a higher ranking than their counterpart non-responsive ones.

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A future-proof, sustainable business has to follow the latest technologies and embrace them closely. The most recent of these is mobile optimization through various SEO rules that are important to remember during the app design phase. So here are our top ten tips on how to make website mobile friendly.

Fast Initial Load Times

The first metric to set you apart is how fast your page loads are. The initial load time for your website shouldn’t be more than three seconds on mobile. Most developers are used to creating dynamic sites for the web – featuring a slew of scripts and style sheets. However, mobile phones don’t pack the same power as desktop computers.

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If anything, their processors are often weaker, which means all those scripts will take a second or two longer to load. Before launching your site, it would do you a lot of good to use the page speed insights tool for mobile-friendly SEO provided by Google.

How to make website mobile friendly? You could go about optimizing your site by removing some of the analytics on the mobile site or redirecting users to a different subdomain based on their device. This subdomain could contain an optimized site built specifically for mobile users.

Watch Out for Fat-Finger Error

Fat finger error is a lot more common than most people are willing to admit. Most developers design with their own prejudices in mind. One of these is that their site will be easy to navigate regardless of who visits it.

For instance, Joy McMillan, Team Lead – Term paper writers at Aussie Writings, says, ‘’Spelling mistakes are common in our field of work. This extends to the mobile SEO space as well.’’ She adds, ‘’You strive to get your keywords right and then to waste the opportunity by misspelling them is something you cannot afford to do.’’

When designing your site, create a margin of error. Imagine the average, not-obese-but-really-is American and think of how easy it would be for them to click a button or link on your site. Mobile menus and navigation options should be large enough to be seen and wide enough to be easily clickable by fat-finger Sally.

Compress Your Content

Videos and audio can dramatically slow down how fast the page loads, which is especially true for limited-power mobile devices. You could cut the length of your videos, but that really won’t do if you want to deliver them in HD.

The alternative, techy way would be either tell your developers to use gzip compression on every request delivery or manually compress everything yourself. The former option is preferable because it means a lot less work for you in the end.

Manual compression would entail visiting size shrinking sites for every photo, audio, and video you want to put up on your website. On the other hand, gzip compression is a lot better for mobile friendly SEO since it works on everything – from fonts to scripts and even multimedia content such as audio.

Don’t Block the Page While Loading Content

A common design-fail some developers make is to block the loading of the rest of the page using various scripts and images. Normally, when the browser meets a script, for instance, a javascript link in the HTML ‘head’ tag, it will fetch the script, execute it and move on to the next one. If it meets a CSS script, it will be fetched and rendered before the next element is catered to. This will lead to some serious issues with load times.

If you can, server-side rendering is a lot more convenient and lighter on the browser than client-side rendering. Server-side rendering is more convenient for crawlers and bots, which is a big plus for mobile search SEO.

Lastly, scripts that don’t have to be loaded right away can be marked with the ‘async’ option, and those that aren’t strictly necessary can be marked with the ‘defer’ option. If the user’s internet connectivity is slow, any ‘deferred’ scripts will be skipped altogether.

Have Different Landing Pages

Any business person will tell you your landing page could be the single piece of the puzzle that makes or breaks your business. Landing pages are what welcome customers. It is what helps them to explore more of your site and lead to lower bounce rates.

Having a single, really long page, or even multiple long pages to cover the various aspects of your business is a prevalent and harmful idea. The better mobile search SEO strategy would be to have different landing pages for each campaign. This will not only help keep every page as simple and uncluttered as possible, but it will also improve interactivity with the site. The best way to improve user engagement is to improve the overall aesthetic.

Avoid Pop-ups at All Costs

Alongside landing pages, another mobile SEO google recommendation is to get rid of any pop-ups on your site in favor of more user-friendly options. It’s a fairly recent development, but newer versions of Chrome, the most popular browser in the world, flag websites with intrusive pop-ups, especially if they are ads.

Flagged websites will have their mobile SEO google rankings cannibalized and may not see the light of day if they don’t change within a set amount of time.

Accordingly, the only acceptable kind of pop-ups you should have are age consent forms. Most countries protect children under the age of 13 from partaking in certain kinds of online activities. You could either show a simple banner at the top (or bottom) indicating your privacy policy.

Limit the Number of Forms

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Another trend that usually goes hand-in-hand with intrusive pop-ups are forms and inputs littered all over the page. It’s not strictly forbidden, but pop-up forms in the middle of a user scrolling your site have been historically bad luck. These will end up being a bigger burden than you have to bear.

The rule of thumb is to never have more than one registration form or input on any single page. And if you do decide to go this route, be strategic about how to display them.

A common rule for SEO for mobile devices is to have a script that detects if the user is about to leave, then show the newsletter form. Registration forms, on the other hand, can be shown to users who try to access content that needs authorization to view. This includes downloading certain content and personalized content.

Have a Simple, Clear CTA

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Another way of avoiding annoying pop-ups and limiting the number of forms your site displays is by having a simple, clear CTA. Considering the smaller size of mobile devices, one of the simplest SEO for mobile devices to live by is only showing relevant information. This would mean reducing the amount of content being shown at any single time, and important links should be highlighted.

Any buttons you want clicked should be large, well-labeled and clear to enable easy navigation of your site and increase user engagement. Remember, engagement is an important part of mobile SEO and market acquisition.

Test on All Popular Browsers

Websites are always either designed on desktops or laptops. The user interface differs greatly as the size of the screen shrinks, and there is less screen real estate to take advantage of.

As you might have guessed, with all the different kinds of devices available on the market, testing each one of them is no mean feat. Luckily enough, you don’t have to. Since the browser takes care of everything to do with the native software, all you have to worry about is the size of the screen (and browser).

Browsers handle data very differently, thanks to a little something called the rendering engine. The end result is Firefox, Chrome, Edge and Internet Explorer all handle HTML very differently. Each of these popular browsers has a ‘developer tools’ sidebar where you can emulate everything about a mobile device – user agent and screen size. Once you are confident about the responsiveness of your site, you are one step closer to mobile SEO optimization.

Summing up Mobile SEO

Mobile usage has grown dramatically in the last decade or so, and it isn’t slowing down. By 2030, there are expected to be a billion more people with access to phones and a reliable internet connection. With all that market lying around, you need to be prepared on the mobile SEO battlefield.

Olivia Ryan
Olivia is a passionate blogger who writes on topics of digital marketing, career, and self-development. She constantly tries to learn something new and share this experience on Aussie Writings various websites. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
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