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Mobile SEO Best Practices

Having a mobile-friendly website for your business has practically become a standard in 2013. Studies are consistently finding that more and more people are searching the internet strictly through mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

In a recent study about how people access Facebook, it was found that 189 million Facebook users are mobile only – making up 30 percent of the company’s ad revenue. This demonstrates a shift in how people are accessing the web and it’s time your business gets on board if it hasn’t already developed a mobile-friendly website.

Imagine the number of people that want to access your site from a smartphone but can’t. Or imagine those that find your mobile site but leave because it’s slow and doesn’t present itself well. One thing is certain: if you have a mobile-friendly site, you better make sure it’s operating efficiently because Google is watching.

What Google Thinks about Mobile Websites

If you think mobile websites don’t affect SEO and mobile search engine rankings then you’re behind on the times. Google has clearly stressed an emphasis on mobile in the past year and even Matt Cutts, Google’s head of Web Spam, said, “You really need to be thinking about mobile. We’re starting to think a lot about mobile.”

In particular, Google is paying close attention to the functionality of mobile websites – admitting that mobile sites with functionality issues won’t rank as well within their mobile search results.

If you’re wondering what Google prefers when creating a mobile site, the answer is a site based on responsive design. This type of site automatically adjusts to a user’s device and screen size, making it extremely user-friendly. In addition each page only requires one URL, which avoids redirects, limits slowdowns, and helps Google crawl the site.

In Google’s updated best practices guide, the company said, “Google recommends webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive web design, namely serving the same HTML for all devices.”

Developing a mobile-friendly site that functions properly and appeases Google isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s definitely needed in today’s mobile-dominated society. In an effort to help web developers and SEO’s make a quality mobile site, Google has identified common pitfalls, including:

  • Videos that don’t play
  • Redirects that don’t work
  • Smartphone-only 404s
  • App download advertisements
  • Poor or broken links
  • Slow page speed

 

There is no debate that mobile traffic is increasing each year, but if you want to get in on it you have to follow Google’s mobile suggestions. Google is really just trying to keep the user in mind, which is what we should be doing anyways.