28 Jul

Most Common Mobile Development Mistakes that can Destroy your Mobile SEO

The mobile users are increasing at the rapid pace. The smartphones users are expected to reach 2.08 billion by the end of 2016 according to statistic report. It has already surpassed the desktop users and future belongs to smartphones.

The first and foremost step is not to block the JavaScript, CSS, and image files to Googlebot for better indexing of website. If the following assets are being blocked by robots.txt file then it will harm the organic ranking. Try to test the indexing of JavaScript, CSS, and image files by using “fetch as Google” a feature of Google search console. It will help you to find the indexing issues on the site.

Test your robots.txt file in Google search console.

Test your mobile pages with Mobile friendly test tool which will help in finding whether the page has a mobile friendly design.

Not Supported Content on Mobile Devices

The license constrained media,videos that require flash or other players are not supported and playable on mobile devices. Unplayable content is often frustrating for users and provides the user with a poor mobile experience which is not good from SEO perspective.

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Instead of using such unsupported formats,it is recommended to use HTML5 standard tags for videos and animations.

Make use of HTML5 standards for animations

Provide Transcript of the Video as it is easily accessible to people whose browsers does not support video format.

Faulty Mobile Redirects

It is important to redirect each desktop URL to an equivalent different URL serving mobile-optimized content. Redirecting to other pages would be wrong and will hamper the page ranking. For example, When a mobile user is always redirected to mobile site homepage through desktop site regardless of URL they originally requested even if the mobile site has that equivalent page to the redirecting desktop page.

Sometimes desktop site redirects to some mobile devices but not to others. For example, it may redirect to Android supported mobile but not to IOS or Windows Phones.

The Desktop site URL are dynamically generated and don’t match well equivalent to mobile URL. For example, A user looking for a train timetable for a specific date will get frustrated if he/she is redirected to a general timetable on mobile.

Recommendations

  • Make sure your website is verified through Google search console as it sends a message if it detects any of your site’s pages are redirecting smartphone users to the homepage. It also shows faulty redirects in smartphone crawl error section
  • Make sure your server is configured correctly so that users are redirected to equivalent URL on your mobile site.
  • Make use of responsive themes which provides the same content for desktop and mobile users.

Mobile-Only 404s

Sometimes a page might be accessible to desktop users but not to mobile users and gives 404 error which is not good from SEO perspective. A lot of 404 errors can hurt the website rankings. For better user experience,if you recognize that a user is gone back to the desktop site from a mobile page and you have an equivalent URL on mobile site at a different location,it is best to redirect to that URL instead of serving soft 404 errors.

Avoid Interstitials

The interstitials like advertisements,sign-up forms,App download etc can be really frustrating for a user and provides the bad user experience. Due to such interstitials many a times users leave the mobile site within few seconds and return back of SERP which is not a good sign and Google takes it negatively and lowers the organic rankings. The screen on mobile devices are limited and any distraction can have a negative impact.As you can see in the below snapshot the App download banner has taken full screen and also blocking the content

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The promotion of native Apps to mobile website users,if not done right can cause indexing issue and bad user experience. With the use of simple banner with browser supported banner such as Smart App Banners for Safari or Native App Banners for Chrome or an HTML banner or image that links to correct App store for download can promote the App properly within the pages content.

Irrelevant Cross links

If you have a separate mobile site make sure that all your internal links go to mobile-optimized pages not to equivalent URL desktop pages and Vice versa.

Slow Mobile Pages

The slow mobile pages can really hamper the Mobile SEO. The users don’t like to wait for long. The users will become frustrated if they have to wait for too long to see the content.

I’d recommend to check the mobile speed on Google page speed insights and fix the issues recommended by the tool.

Fixing Viewport

It is important to specify the Viewport using viewport meta tags because visitors use variety of devices varying in screen sizes to visit the site. This will tell the browsers how to adjust the dimension and scaling to suit the device.The fixed width viewports will not be able to work well for all devices.

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