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Mobile SEO Best Practices & Tips


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Learn all about Mobile SEO & Google 21 April’s Big Update.
Also learn best practices on how to optimize your site for Mobile SEO.

Published in: Technology
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Mobile SEO Best Practices & Tips

  1. 1. Google Mobile SEO Navneet  Kaushal   CEO   PageTraffic  
  2. 2.     Why  Mobile,  Why  Now?   John  Shehata  |  @JShehata  
  3. 3. Google’s Mission Has evolved Organize  the  World’s  Informa5on   “Our  goal  is  to  put  compu5ng  everywhere”     Sundar  Pincai,  Google  SVP,  July  24th,  2013  
  4. 4. Mobile  Search  has  Exploded  
  5. 5. Mobile  Search  has  Exploded   Take  a  Look   hFp://  
  6. 6. “36%  of  mobile  web  search  results  vary  from  desktop,  with  23%   showing  pages  from  completely  different  sites”   Data  provided  by  SearchMetrics  from  their  2014  US  Google  Ranking  Factors  Study  
  7. 7. Mobile  Usage  Over  Takes  Desktop  for  the  First  Time  in   History   Mobile Usage
  8. 8. “Google  Mobile  Queries  May  Surpass  PC  Search  This   Year”                MaF  CuFs          SMX  West,  March  2014   Mobile Searches
  9. 9. Mobile  Search  Now  Exceeds  Desktop   More  Google  searches  take  place  on  mobile  devices   than  on  computers  in  10  countries  including  the  US   and  Japan.     Inside  AdWords   May  2015    
  10. 10. Mobile search business Case
  11. 11. SERPs inspired by Mobile-First Design
  12. 12. History  of  Google  and  Mobile   “As  more  people  use  mobile  devices  to  access  the   internet,  our  algorithms  have  to  adapt  to  these  usage   paFerns.  In  the  past,  we’ve  made  updates  to  ensure   a  site  is  configured  properly  and  viewable  on  modern   devices.  We’ve  made  it  easier  for  users  to  find   mobile-­‐friendly  web  pages.”     Google  Webmaster  Central  Blog   February  26,  2015  
  13. 13. Googlebot   Mobile   Crawling   Errors   Changes   in  Mobile   Rankings   2014  2013  2012   Mobile   Results  &   Test  Tool   PageSpeed   Insights   Indexing   Android   Apps   Mobile   Usability   2011   2015   Usability   Warnings   Mobile   Search   Queries   Stats   Warnings     for  Flash   Sites   Faulty   Redirects  
  14. 14. June  2013   THE  ROLLOUT  BEGINS   “To  improve  the  search  experience  for  smartphone   users  and  address  their  pain  points,  we  plan  to  roll   out  several  ranking  changes  in  the  near  future  that   address  sites  that  are  misconfigured  for  smartphone   users.”   Google  Webmaster  Central   June  11,  2013    
  15. 15. November  2014   MOBILE  FRIENDLY  LABEL  ADDED  TO  SERPS  
  16. 16. January  2015   WARNINGS  TO  FIX  MOBILE  USABILITY  ISSUES  
  17. 17. February  2015   THE  OFFICIAL  ANNOUNCEMENT   “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”   Google  Webmaster  Central  Blog   February  26,  2015  
  18. 18. Don’t  ignore  the  warning.   “We  wanted  to  give  you  a  date  so  that  you  know  at   least  you  have  unbl  that  bme  to  really  double  check   what’s  happening  with  your  website  and  make  sure   that  if  you  have  a  mobile  website  already  that  it  is   being  recognized.”     John  Mueller,  Google  Webmaster  Trends  Analyst   February  26,  2015  
  19. 19. When  exactly?   “We  are  expecbng  it  (the  mobile  friendly  algorithm)   to  roll  out  on  April  21st,  we  don’t  have  a  set  bme   period  because  it  is  going  to  take  a  couple  of  days  to   roll  out.  Maybe  even  a  week  or  so.     From  an  official  Google  Hangout  Session   March  24,  2015  
  20. 20. How  has  the  update  worked?   “We’re  going  to  try  to  boost   the  mobile  friendly  sites  in   search  and  with  that  if  we   boost  one  set  of  sites  then  of   course  the  other  set  of  sites   drops  down.”     John  Mueller,  Google   February  26,  2015  
  21. 21. It’s  an  All  or  Nothing  Algorithm   “You  either  have  a  mobile  friendly  page  or  not.  It  is   based  on  the  criteria  we  menboned  earlier,  which  are   small  font  sizes,  your  tap  targets/links  to  your  buFons   are  too  close  together,  readable  content  and  your   viewpoint.  So  if  you  have  all  of  those  and  your  site  is   mobile  friendly  then  you  benefit  from  the  ranking   change.”     From  an  official  Google  Hangout  Session   March  24,  2015  
  22. 22. Non-­‐Mobile-­‐Friendly  Share  of  SERPs  Decreases  21%  with   April  21  Mobile  Algorithm  Change    
  23. 23. Mobile Search v Desktop Search •  Mobile search queries mimic desktop •  Searchers use the same number of keywords, on average, per query •  2.45 v 2.56 on mobile and 2.64 on PDA •  Mobile users perform fewer searches per session, click through less and are more likely to go to the 2nd search results page •  2.0 queries per session on mobile •  1.7 clicks per query on mobile •  10.4% go to 2nd page Source: Google – Deciphering Trends in Mobile Search, M. Kamvar & S. Baluja
  24. 24. Mobile Search Results •  Shorter headlines & snippets •  Only 2-3 results above the fold •  Sponsored links at the bottom •  Layout of search results varies on search engines •  Universal search used on all except mobile
  25. 25. Changing Face of Mobile Search Text Local & Image Audio Video
  26. 26.     Mobile:  Site  Technical  Guidelines   John  Shehata  |  @JShehata  
  27. 27. Good Practices to Maximize your Mobile SEO All  of  them  have  Pros,  Cons  &  SEO  Best  Pracbces  
  28. 28. Select  the  Most  Suitable  for  You  
  29. 29. Validate  with  the  previously  idenbfied  informabon,     your  content  needs  &  technical  capacity.   Select  the  Most  Suitable  for  You  
  30. 30. Responsive   Separate  URLs   Dynamic  Serving   •  ALL  devices   •  1  URL   •  Same  Content/HTML   •  Use  CSS  to  render  pages   •  Separate  Mobile  &  Desktop  URLs                           •  Different  HTML   •  All  devices     •  1  URL   •  different  HTML  (and  CSS)   depending  on  user  agent  (desktop   or  mobile  device)   Pros   •  1  URL   •  Easier  to  maintain   •  Link  Consolidabon   •  No  Redirects  >  Reduce  Loading   Time   •  Recommended  By  Google  (saves   resources,  pages  crawled  once)   •  BeFer  Mobile  Experience   •  Faster   •  Dedicated  Mobile  Content   •  Easier  Implementabon   •  1  URL   •  Link  Consolidabon   •  Capacity  for  different  mobile   content   Cons   •  Slower   •  All  content  is  downloaded   whether  it  is  used  or  not.  This  can   be  problemabc  for  image   intensive  websites   •  Same  Mobile/Desktop  Content   •  Link  Equity  Dilubon   •  Higher  Cost  to  maintain   •  Crawled  Mulbple  Times  with   different  user  agents   •  Slower     •  Higher  Cost  to  maintain   •  Old  Redirect  Lists   •  Complex  technical   implementabon   •  Crawled  Mulbple  Times     SEO   •  Check  Google  Webmaster  Tools   Crawl  Errors  for  Redirect  &  404   Errors   •  Check  Page  Load  Time  for  Mobile   and  Desktop   •  Allow  Search  Engines  to  crawl  all   assets  (CSS,  Images,  JS)   •  Redirect  Mobile  Users  and  Bots  to   the  mobile  site   •  Test  Desktop  Site  for  Redirects  &   404  Errors   •  Add    Rel=Alternate  to  desktop   and  rel=Canonical  to  mobile  site     •  XML  Mobile  Sitemaps   •  Use  user-­‐agent  vary  header  to   help  search  bots  to  find  your   mobile  content   •  Test  for  Vary:  User-­‐Agent  HTTP   Header   Source:  John  Shehata,  ExecuEve  Director  of  Search  at  ABC  News  
  31. 31. Just  because  Google  strongly   recommends  using  responsive   design  doesn’t  mean  you  should   automaEcally  choose  responsive   design  for  your  site  
  32. 32. Use  your  Google  Webmaster  Tools  
  33. 33. Go  to  Traffic  >  Search  Analybcs  >  Device  >  Mobile  
  34. 34. Verify  Queries  &  Pages  Mobile  Search  Visibility  
  35. 35. Verify  Queries  &  Pages  Mobile  Search  Visibility   Compare  your     (Top  Queries  &  Top  Pages)  from     (Mobile  &  Web)  search  results.    
  36. 36. Go  to  Crawl>  Crawl  Errors  >  Mobile  
  37. 37. Go  to  Crawl>  Fetch  as  Google  >  Mobile  
  38. 38. Verify  how  Googlebot  Mobile  Access  to  your  Pages  
  39. 39. hFps://­‐friendly/  
  40. 40. Crawl  your  site  using  GoogleBot’s  mobile  User  Agent  
  41. 41. If  you  need  more  compubng  power,  consider  using  a   cloud-­‐based  crawler  such  as  DeepCrawl  
  42. 42. If  you  are  using  separate  URLs  for  your  desktop  and  mobile  sites,  make  sure   you  have  the  correct  rel=“alternate”  annotabon  on  the  desktop  site.  This  will   ensure  that  the  mobile  version  of  the  site  appears  in  mobile  search   Non-­‐mobile  friendly  URL  in  mobile   search.  Desktop  homepage  is  missing   the  rel=“alternate”  tag  
  43. 43. According  to  research  from  BrightEdge:   According  to  BrightEdge,  72%  of  sites  with  separate  mobile  URLs  are   misconfigured,  with  a  missing  rel=“alternate”  tag  being  the  most  common   error     Source:  BrightEdge  
  44. 44. Tag Mobile Pages
  45. 45. Tag  Pages  with  Canonical  Markup   What Google says… •  Canonical markup helps make content visible to bots and searchers •  If you have an “m.” mobile site: •  Each desktop page should contain a "rel=alternate" link meta tag that points to the mobile URL •  Each mobile page should contain a "rel=canonical" meta tag that points to the desktop URL •  Alternatively add notation to Sitemaps file •  Consider Javascript redirects that match on link value
  46. 46. Canonical  Link  Markup:  Just  Do  It  
  47. 47. Some Best Practices •  Follow  the  "m"  convenbon  (  OR     •  Keep  categories  (directories)  short.  Remember  that  you  are  creabng  a  page   that  people  touch  without  much  typing       •  Limit  image  and  markup  sizes     •  Limit  HTML  pages  to  25KB  to  allow  for  caching     •  "Minify"  your  scripts  and  CSS  (JSLint,  CleanCSS)     •  Link  to  Full  Site     •  Sniff  for  User  Agent  –  Detecbon  (allow  the  user  to  decide  where  to  go)     •  One  Column  Layout  with  some  whitespace       •  Mobile  refers  to  the  user!  
  48. 48. •  SEPARATE URLS?   •  On the desktop page, add the link rel=”alternate” tag pointing to the corresponding mobile URL. This helps Googlebot discover the location of your site’s mobile pages. •  This tag specifies an alternative URL to the desktop page. •  <link  rel="alternate"  href="hFp://"  />     •  On the mobile page, add a rel=”canonical” tag pointing to the corresponding desktop URL. This rel=”canonical” tag on the mobile URL pointing to the desktop page is required as it signals the relationship between the two URLs Ø <link  rel=“canonical”  href=hFp://”  />   *maintain a 1-to-1 ratio between the mobile page and the corresponding desktop page
  49. 49. •  Avoid  plugins  (flash,  Silverlight,  Java,  etc.)   •  Configure  the  viewport   <meta  name=viewport  content="width=device-­‐width,  inibal-­‐scale=1">   •  Size  content  to  viewport   •  Use  legible  font  sizes   •  Size  tap  targets  appropriately   Optimize User Experience
  50. 50. •  Mulb-­‐Device  Design:     hFps://     •  25  Principles  of  Mobile  Site  Design   hFps://­‐sitedesign.html   •  Forms   hFps://   •  Mobile  e-­‐commerce  Design   hFp://­‐design-­‐user-­‐experience-­‐best-­‐pracbces/     READ:
  51. 51. Avoid  these  mobile  design  mistakes   Once  you've  chosen  the  soluEon  that  best  suits  your  goals  and  budget,   here  are  some  common  mobile  opEmizaEon  mistakes  to  avoid.   1.  Do not block JavaScript, CSS or image files 2.  Avoid putting up unplayable content 3.  Set up your redirects properly 4.  Watch out for mobile-only 404s 5.  Don't push users to download your app aggressively 6.  Check for irrelevant cross-links 7.  Make sure your page isn't too slow
  52. 52. Download  checklist  from  hFp://  
  53. 53. Website: Email: Twitter: @navneetkaushal Blog: Facebook: THANK YOU! Download  checklist  from  hFp://