Mobile is king. It has been since it surpassed desktop in 2016 as the platform of choice for accessing the Internet. Nowadays, more and more people are using their tablets and mobile phones to check their emails, update their social media accounts, and of course, browse websites.
This fact is not lost on SEOs who want nothing more than to see their sites perform better in search engine results pages (SERPs). Recognizing that mobile traffic can help them get there, SEOs all over the world are now tweaking their optimization strategies to accommodate mobile users.
However, SEOs continue to make mobile SEO mistakes that cost them a considerable amount of traffic, which, in turn, take a toll on their site’s rankings. Here are some of those mobile SEO mistakes that everyone should avoid.
Internet users are an impatient lot. Mobile Internet users even more so. That’s the whole point of mobile after all: You get to surf the net while on the go. So if the mobile version of your website takes forever (read: 10 seconds or more) to load, you can kiss that particular visit goodbye as the user will simply move on to another website.
A mobile device is already small enough as it is. Making the fonts for the body text of your mobile website just as small would be a great disservice to your visitors. Tiny fonts make your content near-impossible to consume.
To make sure your mobile readers won’t squint when they drop by your website, make your fonts at least 16px in size.
While we’re on the subject of fonts, don’t overdo the fonts for your headers, or they’ll be filling the entire screen of a user’s mobile device.
Calls-to-action are supposed to be prominent to grab attention. So why are there mobile websites with CTA buttons so small you have to expand the screen just so your finger won’t tap them all at the same time?
For mobile devices, the ideal size of a CTA button should be as wide as your device’s screen. With a CTA button that big, a conversion will be in the bag with just one click.
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Too many ads
There is nothing more irritating for a mobile user than to accidentally click on an ad while trying to scroll through your content. While the need to generate revenue is understandable, cramming a lot of ads into a small mobile screen is a surefire way of ruining the user experience. An ad overload can also slow down the site.
If you have to have ads on your pages, then you need to make sure there aren’t too many of them.
Overly intrusive interstitials
Interstitials have their use. They’re good for confirming a user’s age or even for some certain calls-to-action. However, when they cover the entire mobile screen for, of all things, an ad, they become so intrusive that users typically abandon the website out of sheer annoyance.
To avoid being dropped like a hot potato, your website should only feature interstitials that only cover a small area of the display.
Considering how mobile users outnumber desktop users, the former should have access to everything a website offers. Yet far too many videos remain desktop-only. Worse, some mobile sites display a popup telling users they can’t view the video on their device.
If you’re serious about getting a share of that mobile market, you have to make sure your website is free of any unplayable content.
Not conducting a test
If you launched your mobile website without doing any kind of testing on it, then don’t be surprised if users encounter errors.
It’s always prudent to hold off making your mobile website go live without knowing first if all the forms function perfectly, or if all tags are properly set, or if the pages load fast or slow. Testing is crucial to the success of your mobile website, so don’t skip it, even if you think it’s just a waste of time and effort.
You did traditional keyword research
Keyword research is essential to SEO work. However, if you’re doing SEO for mobile, traditional keyword research may not be the way to go.
You see, unlike desktop users who type their searches with a full-sized keyboard, mobile users type queries with two thumbs. That makes them prone to typos, making them more likely to type shorter queries. Then there’s the option of speaking their queries.
To optimize for mobile, your keyword strategy should revolve around coming up with conversational phrases or shorter terms. It would also help if you can imagine what people would likely say when looking for websites in your niche.
Your mobile website could have supersonic loading speed, perfectly-sized fonts, and playable content, but if the words and images that make up that content are dull and pretty much uninspiring, you might as well get out of the mobile game.
You must assume that most mobile users are incredibly busy people. They would always want the content they’re consuming on the go to offer them value that’s unique and significant. If they have any questions and they fall under the scope of your niche, your website should be able to provide the answers quickly. If your content is awesome and incredibly actionable, then you get the chance to build brand loyalty among mobile users, and that is always a good thing.
Mobile Internet use is here to stay, and the number of users will only continue to grow in the coming years. You know you’ll be missing out on a lot if you continue making the above mobile SEO mistakes. Then again, you will always be better off than those who don’t do any kind of SEO for mobile.
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Thanks for the great tips! I’m new to online marketing, and this is really helpful! Since getting started, I’ve been bombarded by “spin writers” and such to create a TON of content quickly, but you seem to say that these search engines have become sophisticated enough to determine when your content is crap. Am I understanding that right?
Yes, the best way to build a long-term blog is to write useful and thorough content. Posting spinned content is just not a good idea.