What are 5 mobile marketing mistakes that plague your SEO? 2019 announces a particularly rich year for SEO. For its 20 years, Google has presented a plan of attack for the user experience on mobile. The search engine has, moreover, clearly displayed its intentions with the deployment of “mobile-first” indexing. What does this mean for your business? If your site does not offer a better mobile experience than that of your rivals, there is a good chance that you see these same sites surpass you in the search results (on mobile as well as on a desktop search).
Mobile adaptation has become a key factor in your ranking in search results.
I will not cover in this article all the possible optimizations for your mobile site, but rather the common mistakes to avoid, how to identify them and ways to solve them.
If you’re using a CMS, like WordPress, with a responsive theme and a neat user interface, do not think you’ll be spared from those mistakes. I will even advise you to be extra vigilant if you use plugins. Follow this SEO guide on WordPress to get started optimizing your site on WordPress.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR SITE IS AFFECTED BY A MOBILE ERROR?
If the Google Search Console remains the main tool to identify these errors in mobile marketing, several free tools will allow you to audit the SEO potential of the mobile version of your site.
- Google Mobile Test: This test will tell you more about how Googlebot sees your mobile site and which elements of it are considered penalizing
- PageSpeed Insights: This Google tool analyzes the content of your page to give you recommendations to make this page faster
- Lighthouse: Again, this is a Google tool that is accessible only on Google Chrome and Chromium (available with Web Developer Tools or as a Chrome extension). Lighthouse will allow you, among other things, to audit the performance and accessibility of your pages
- GTmetrix: Another performance analyzer, independent of Google this time, which also allows you to compare several pages (including those of your competitors)
- Search Console: Essential when you are interested in optimizing your site. Google Search Console will allow you to identify pages with errors on mobile. The rest of this article will focus mainly on these errors and how to solve them.
Here are the 5 common mistakes to avoid to optimize your mobile interface.
1. HAVE CLICKABLE ELEMENTS TOO CLOSE TO EACH OTHER
The mobile user has to zoom to 300% on his mobile to be able to target a button or a link. We’ve all been there! And just saying, that the experience is not pleasant (especially when you end up clicking on the wrong link!).
So what to do?
Putting yourself in the shoes of your users and testing your mobile version yourself is certainly a start.
According to Google, the optimal size of the clickable elements of a mobile page should be that of the tip of your finger, or 9 mm (48 pixels). This does not mean, however, that each button, link or navigation element must be at least 9 mm, but that the clickable surface must be closer to that number. This includes the padding area used to generate space around your elements. Also, if the area of your element is, for example, only 24 by 24 pixels, you can still increase the space around it.
2. YOU DIDN’T THINK ABOUT THE SIZE OF YOUR PAGES AND THEIR ADJUSTMENT TO BROWSERS
We tend to think that there are only 3 responsive formats: desktop, tablet and smartphone. However, there are many variations between each format. Take for example the screen resolution of a Pixel 2 (411 x 731) and that of an iPhone 6 (375 x 667).
Visitors to your site use a variety of different devices and their experience will not be the same if your pages are not optimized for each of these scenarios.
So what if you encounter this error?
Identify the configuration of the viewport tag of your site. This tag tells navigators how to adjust the size and scale of your page to suit the device used for navigation. To do this, you can simply enter the following commands in the address bar of your browser then look for a line of code in your header starting with <meta name = “viewport” .
If you have not yet set up a viewport tag for your site, start with that.
An error often encountered with old sites is the presence of a fixed width, regardless of the device used. This makes your site unresponsive by default.
The recipe for an optimized viewport tag is:
- width = device-width must be included to match the width of the device used;
- initial-scale = 1 must be included to set a ratio of 1: 1 between CSS pixels and device-independent pixels.
Also, be careful not to use items that are too large, or unsuitable for a vertical view. The most common example is using an absolute CSS width for the elements of a page. If possible, opt for a width of 100% (width: 100%).
3. YOU HAVE A LINK FOR NO APPARENT REASON MOBILE AND DESKTOP VERSIONS
This only applies to sites with a mobile version with a separate URL ( example.com for the desktop version and m.example.com for the mobile version).
When your users visit the mobile version of your site ( eg.com ) from a desktop URL ( example.com/about ), have them redirected to the corresponding mobile page ( eg.com / about).
In the case where the mobile version of a page is non-existent, a common mistake is to redirect the user to the mobile home page.
If the mobile version of your site is incomplete, prefer a redirection to the desktop version of the missing mobile pages.I
Do not block most of these files is surely the rule of thumb. Google must be able to identify the entire user experience of your pages.
So what if you encounter this error?
Check the robots.txt file at the root of your site. In general, it is accessible via the URL yoursite.com/robots.txt. Make sure no key file is blocked.
One way to ensure that Google can access your entire user experience is to enter your page in the Google Search Console Fetch and Render tool.
If the two screenshots are not identical, you’re still hiding something from the search engines! Make sure it’s not a crucial part of your user experience.
5. HAVE A LOADING TIME OF YOUR PAGES TOO LONG
Unsurprisingly with Google’s “mobile-first” indexing, the loading speed of your pages has become more critical than ever. A loading speed that is too long is not an error in itself, but it is certainly a crucial factor that will influence your ranking in the search engines.
But what is meant by a loading speed that is too long? What should be considered as optimal loading time?
There is not really any rule on this point, it’s more about making good sense. Once again, the user is king. Do the experiment yourself and judge the frustration faced with loading too long.
The loading speed of your page is the first experience of your users with your site. If it’s bad, chances are your users will leave your page before it’s loaded.
So what if your site is too long?
In my opinion, the most important element to consider is the loading of the FMP (for First Meaningful Paint in English). In simple terms, the FMP is the very first image that will follow the white screen loading your page. It is the first visible element of your site .