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Optimising for Mobile – Best Practices You Should Be Using

Dylan Urquhart
Marketing Manager

The mobile first era is well and truly here. Over the past decade mobile usage has dramatically increased, and it continues to do so every year. Search engine giant, Google, has recognised this trend and now is starting to index mobile versions of websites first.

This move from Google shows webmasters just how serious the search engine is about mobiles, and therefore you should be taking it seriously as well. With all this change happening currently in SEO, it can be confusing to understand just what is actually going on and what you need to pay attention to.

According to the SEO Shark SEO agency, mobile should make up a significant amount of your SEO strategy, no matter your percentage breakdown of desktop or mobile users, because of Google’s mobile first indexing. Have a look at your data; you will probably find that there has been an increase in mobile users over the past few years.

With mobile users increasing, when was the last time you looked at your website on a mobile device? Or even thought about a mobile SEO strategy? It can be daunting to think about all the things you need to do to ensure mobile best practice, but this article pulls out the essentials that you need to take note of.

1. Responsive Design

You should not have two different versions of your website, one for mobile and one for desktop. You should just simply have one version of your website that is responsive for all users. Having two different versions of a site can get really messy and confusing with issues of multiple URLs and duplicate content.

It is important to ensure that things such as information in tables as well as pictures are responsive and are able to adjust to the smaller screen. Nothing is more frustrating from a user point of view then seeing half of something and not being able to scroll across to see the rest!

2. Implement Structured Data

Structure data will be your lifesaver in mobile SEO. You can implement structured data to make your search engine results listing stand out from the rest. The best thing about this is that there is a website, that have easy to use templates to help you incorporate structured data into your website.

Have you ever see those little information boxes that come up right at the top of organic listings and give you information you are looking for straight away? Well that is a featured snippet. Structured data can help you get there, as well as putting your content into ways that Google can easily read it, like a table.

With mobile screens being so much smaller, it is vital that you take as much space as possible right at the top. A featured snippet doesn’t actually count as an organic listing. So imagine if you have a featured snippet and the first organic position, your website could be all users see above the fold.

3. Duplicate Content Issues

It is important that you ensure all your content for mobile and desktop is the same. The easiest way to ensure this happens is to create a responsive design. As explained above, when you have two different versions of your website, you open yourself up to the issue of having duplicate content on two different URLs.

4. Site Speed

Speed is a crucial thing to get right for mobile devices. Mobile users tend to wait even less time for a page to load before exiting. If this occurs on your website, it will increase your bounce rate which could impact on your rankings.

There are a number of different things you can do to try and improve your site’s speed. You should start by running at test to see where your mobile speed is currently at, there are quite a number of great tools, which are free, out there to try.

One of the areas you can improve speed in on is implementing AMP (accelerated mobile pages). This is basically a stripped down version of your page that loads extra fast. Google really loves AMP and these work particularly well on pages with a lot of content, like an article or blog page.

Another way you can look to reduce your site speed is to reduce the size of any images or videos. You would be surprised a what actually constitutes an image on your website.

For example, if you have a two coloured background on your home page, is that an image? It probably is, so instead of that being an image, you can edit the coding on your website and put it in that way, potentially giving yourself some extra speed.

Also remember to ensure your website loads the most important stuff first. If users are looking to read an article of yours, make sure the content loads first and everything else comes second, this will help to improve the amount of people that stay on your website, because they are getting what they want.

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