Welcome back to this multi-part SEO Basics Guide 2017 series. In this part, we will be looking at Mobile SEO. If you missed any of the previous parts you can view them here:
- SEO Basics Guide 2017 – Part 1
- SEO Basics Guide 2017 – Part 2
- SEO Basics Guide 2017 – Part 3
- SEO Basics Guide 2017 – Part 4
More and more people are now browsing the web on their mobiles. In fact, people browse the web more on their mobiles than on any other device! Therefore, you need to get your website SEO optimized for mobile.
We’ll look at two things in particular:
- How to notify Google of mobile sites
- Guide mobile users accurately
Notifying Google of Mobile Sites
Configure mobile sites so that they can be indexed accurately
With so many people now using mobile phones a larger proportion of users are searching on Google’s Mobile Search Page. Therefore, tapping into this user base is important
Mobile sites use a different format and have different management methods when compared to normal desktop sites. So optimizing your website for Mobile SEO is a little different.
Furthermore, most mobile sites were designed for mobile viewing, they weren’t designed to be search friendly.
Verify that your mobile site is indexed by Google.
Do a simple search on Google using your mobile and if it does not show up, even after using the site: operator, your site is not optimised for Mobile SEO. It may be that your site has one or both the following issues:
Googlebot cannot find your site
In order for your site to show Google search, it has to be crawled first. If you just created the site, Google may not be aware of it.
Create a Mobile Sitemap and submit it to Google – you can do this through Google Webmaster Tools.
Googlebot may not be able to access your site.
You must ensure that all pages on your website are visible and viewable on a mobile device. Pages that aren’t viewable won’t be included in the mobile site index.
Ensure that the “DTD (Doc Type Definition)” declaration is set to an appropriate mobile format such as XHTML Mobile or Compact HTML.
If it’s in a compatible format, the page is eligible for mobile search index.
For more information, see the Mobile Webmaster Guidelines.
Guide mobile users accurately
Running desktop and mobile versions of your site.
If you’re running both mobile and desktop versions of a site then make sure each version appears for the right user. If people are ending up on the wrong version of your site you can do one of the following:
Redirect mobile users to the correct version.
When a mobile user accesses the desktop version of a URL, you can redirect them to the corresponding mobile version of the same page. Google notices the relationship between the two URLs and displays the standard version for searches from desktops and the mobile version for mobile searches.
Try to keep the content consistent between both versions of the site.
For example, if you have an e-commerce website and a user accesses the product page, make sure that the user is redirected to the mobile version of the page for the same product, and not to the homepage of the mobile version.
Note, it’s not necessary to redirect a desktop user who accesses the mobile version of your website. Google doesn’t automatically redirect desktop users from their mobile-version page to the desktop version – instead, they include a link on the mobile site.
These links are especially helpful when a mobile site doesn’t provide full functionality. Therefore, this not only helps with Mobile SEO but also improves user experience.
Switch content based on User-agent
Some sites have the same URL for both desktop and mobile content but change their format according to User-agent. So both mobile and desktop users access the same URL (i.e no redirects) but the content/format changes.
The same URL will appear for both mobile search and desktop search. Desktop users can view the desktop version while mobile users can view the mobile version.
With more and more users now accessing websites from their mobile Mobile SEO is becoming increasingly important. In the old days, you could get away with just focusing on SEO optimisation for desktop sites, that is not the case anymore.
You can read more from the SEO Basics Guide 2017 Series by clicking the Blog Tab.
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