These days search users need instant access to the most relevant results, whether they are at home on the sofa or out and about on the go. The way that we are conducting our searches, however, is changing; for many, mobile devices have all but replaced laptops and desktop computers as their main computing device. With so many people conducting searches on mobile devices, Google’s algorithms have had to adapt to ensure users are getting sites that are configured to be viewable and usable on mobile devices. After all, how many times have you opened a website on your phone to find its tiny text links practically impossible for human fingers to navigate?
Now, Google is making it easier for users to find mobile-friendly websites and introducing App Indexing to surface useful content from apps. All these changes are to keep mobile users happy and assist searchers in discovering content that is 100% mobile-friendly.
On April 21st Google is expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, affecting searches in all languages. With more than 75% of Internet users accessing sites through a mobile device, failing to stay abreast of Google’s changes could lose you over 75% of your traffic overnight! Trust us, you do not want to be one of the left behind when April 21st comes around.
Ultimately, what these changes boil down to is the need for your site and your business to stay on top of things. Keeping yourself up to date with Google is not just essential in getting your site traffic (and your business clients); it lets search users and clients know that you are with the times, ahead of the curve and committed to making the user experience of both current and potential customers a priority.
We’ve compiled some tips on what to avoid when it comes to mobile-friendliness:
Unplayable content: Videos and other content that are not compatible with or playable with mobile devices (e.g. license-constrained media or media that requires Flash)
Faulty redirects: If you use separate mobile URLs you need to redirect mobile users on each desktop URL to the equivalent mobile URL
Mobile-only 404s: Some URLs that desktop users can access display a 404 error page to mobile users. Redirect mobile users to an equivalent mobile page to avoid 404s.
App download interstitials: Use a small HTML banner at the top of the page instead of a large prompt that blocks the view of the page
Irrelevant cross-links: Make sure desktop users are not linked to mobile pages and vice versa. Make sure your links point to the correct equivalent page for desktop and mobile users.
Slow mobile websites: To avoid user frustration make sure your mobile pages load quickly.
Make sure to check your website’s mobile-friendliness with the Mobile-Friendly Test here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly
Not as mobile-friendly as you’d hoped? We’ve got you covered. Get in touch with a call or an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org