How to Make Your Site Mobile Friendly for SEO

How to Make Your Site Mobile Friendly for SEO

What Is Mobile Friendliness?

Mobile friendliness, simply put, is the measure of how well a website is designed and optimized to load on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. It layman’s terms, it’s when your site is able to shrink down to fit on any screen while still allowing users to consume content, navigate the site and achieve their goals as easily as with the desktop version. It also means not throwing up intrusive or aggressive interstitial ads that block your content on mobile devices.

Mobile friendliness can be achieved in two ways (more on both of them later):

  1. Using mobile first or responsive web design.

  2. Creating a separate website (usually hosted on a mobile subdomain) optimized for mobile devices and redirect mobile users to that site.

Does Mobile Friendliness Matter for SEO?

Mobile friendliness does matter for SEO. In fact, it’s a ranking signal in both Google and Bing’s mobile search algorithms and websites that are mobile friendly receive a slight boost to their ranking. So, if your website relies on or targets traffic from mobile users at all, mobile friendliness is vital for SEO.

Even if your business doesn’t rely on or care about traffic from mobile users for some reason, thanks to Google starting its mobile-first index, mobile friendliness will soon matter for you as well.

How Can I Make My Site Mobile Friendly?

1.Build Your Site for Mobile

When building your site, there are three basic options to tell search engines that the page is intended to be mobile friendly:

This is Google’s recommended method for creating a mobile friendly website. Test the responsiveness of your website by changing the size of your browser like this:

Mobile friendliness responsive design

2. Maximize Mobile User Experience

User’s don’t interact with pages on mobile devices the same way they do on desktop. They are typically looking to achieve a goal right away, whether that’s executing a transaction, finding a piece of information or looking up a store’s physical location. Of course this sounds like basic conversion rate optimization, and it can certainly be applied to your desktop landing pages. However, thanks to mobile users’ shortened patience, you have even less wiggle room with mobile. Follow these guidelines when optimizing your pages’ mobile content and design:

3. Optimize Mobile Page Speed

Page speed is one of the most important parts of a page’s mobile friendliness. Users searching with a mobile device have famously short attention spans and simply won’t wait for a website to load. In fact, most users will abandon a website that doesn’t load in 3 seconds or less. Google’s standards are even more strict: content above the fold (ATF) has to render in one second or less.

Unfortunately, every loading any web page comes with certain overheads:

Those first three step are required simply to establish a connection to the web server, which means there are only about 400 milliseconds of the process you can control by optimizing page speed. Optimize page load time to minimize the amount of time your users have to wait for the page to load.

Use Chrome’s Developer Console, Firefox’s Web Console or Internet Explorer’s Tools Console to find bottlenecks and other assets slowing down your pages.

Using Google AMP for Mobile Friendliness

If your website is based on content consumption, as in your business relies on people coming to your website to read articles or watch videos, there is a shortcut to mobile friendliness: Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages Project. AMP is an open-source standard that was designed to create extremely fast-loading websites optimized for the mobile user experience. It works like this:

Creating AMP pages is a relatively quick and easy way to ensure that the mobile versions of your pages check the three mobile friendliness boxes:

  1. Responsive web design
  2. Enhanced user experience
  3. High mobile page speed

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