Website and Mobile SEO: Best Practices
Website optimization for mobile devices is an integral part of SEO promotion. Every year, the volume of mobile traffic grows by about 50-60%. In addition, mobile optimization affects search engine rankings. Priority when issuing to Google is given to mobile versions of the site, this affects getting into the TOP.
Primary check: how to understand whether a site needs adaptation for mobile devices
An analysis of the traffic ratio between the mobile and desktop versions helps to understand the need for mobile optimization. This is done using the Google Analytics service. As a rule, mobile traffic makes up at least half of the total volume, although exceptions are possible.
To know the traffic ratio in your industry, it is better to analyze the performance of your closest competitors. It is important to look not only at a specific area, but also at the volume of business: for example, if you have a small online store operating within the boundaries of a city or district, there is no point in looking at statistics on all-Russian leaders.
Based on the data obtained, you can understand whether enough users of your site use the mobile version. For example, if the percentage of mobile traffic for your competitors is 60-70%, and yours is 45%, it is obvious that you cannot do without mobile optimization.
Checking adaptive layout
Mobile-friendly versions of web pages tend to have a simplified look compared to desktop ones. Elements that are easy to view on a computer often look bulky when viewed on a tablet or smartphone, so the mobile version adjusts the font size to fit the screen size, and makes large elements smaller in size.
Sometimes in the adaptation of the mobile version, errors are possible: for example, the scrollbar prevents the font from being enlarged or the scale is distorted. All these details can be tracked using the Google Mobile Friendly Test service.
What can be done to improve responsive design:
- adapt images to screen size via CSS parameter
- scale video in CSS
- add horizontal scrolling of tables
- hide long description under buttons
- hide filters and options for selecting products
- transfer additional information to separate pages
- remove or reduce advertising banners, pop-up windows;
- optimize the font for correct display on all devices
- change the number of displayed blocks depending on the type of device
Mobile version of the site
When going to the site from gadgets, the user will be automatically redirected to the mobile version – a copy for smartphones. Both versions contain the same content, so you need to tell search engines the main version and set up the correct redirect to mobile.
Often, in order to adjust the mobile version to the convenience of the user, it is necessary to cut the design and functionality, as a result, visitors confuse different versions of sites. On the other hand, the download speed increases, and it becomes more convenient to use the site from a smartphone. A big advantage of the mobile version is the ability to navigate to the main site from any device.
The mobile version needs to be optimized as a separate site. If you need to make changes, you will have to edit both versions. Maintaining a separate domain for mobile is more expensive compared to the responsive layout of the main version.
What to look for when optimizing a mobile site
Regardless of the method of site optimization, it is necessary to make it as convenient and attractive as possible for visitors. There are many factors that affect conversion, although some of them may not seem obvious. These include:
- The correct operation of the mobile version. A modern Internet resource must be cross-platform and cross-browser. Therefore, during optimization, be sure to test it on different devices. Services such as “Browsershots”, “Turbonet”, “Quirktools”, etc. will help.
- Loading speed. To test download speed, use “Pingdom Website Speed Test”, “GTmetrix”, “Web Page Performance Test”, PageSpeed Insights”.
- Details not displayed on some devices. May turn off visitors, so try to minimize Flash animations that are not supported by Apple gadgets. Use widgets carefully, test them before launching. Remember that ease of design is the key to fast page loading.
- The number of fields in the capture form. If the form is too long, the conversion will decrease. This is especially true for smartphone users, as it is more difficult to enter information. When optimizing a mobile site, shorten the path of the buyer from getting to know the resource to placing an order. It is enough to get the phone number of the company, and the manager who will take the call will tell the rest.
Adapting a site to mobile devices plays a big role in promotion, since most search queries are performed from smartphones. Search robots use a mobile index when crawling sites. The mobile version can be created on a subdomain or as a separate site, as well as using adaptive layout rules. The best option is adaptive layout, which adjusts the scale of content to any device. You can check the display of the mobile version manually and using online tools.