3 mobile SEO errors to avoid

28 April 2017

3 mobile SEO errors to avoid

Mobile devices, nowadays, are used for internet access when people are at home as well as when they are on the move. As a result, incorporating mobile into an effective SEO strategy has long since ceased to be optional. Nevertheless, there are a number of common mistakes made by SMEs in particular that can really hurt your ranking. Here are three of them.

1. Being too slow

This is probably the number one mobile SEO mistake, both in terms of frequency and impact. Assuming a user is on broadband, a page should load on a mobile device in under a second and, if it takes more than 3 seconds, you can probably say goodbye to your visitor and your chances of a high ranking. To avoid this, you either need to have a specific mobile site or optimise your main site for mobile, which essentially means getting rid of any unnecessary elements and ensuring that any images are small enough and light enough to load quickly on mobile devices. Text should be easy to read and links easy to click.

2. Letting video kill your bandwidth

On the one hand, video is often touted as the go-to option for users of mobile devices. When mobile users are on a broadband connection, it can be far more convenient for them to watch a video than to scroll through text on a small screen. On the other hand, video is a bandwidth-hogger, which means that if you’re going to use it, you need to be prepared to dedicate resources to it. You also need to ensure that it plays across all (common) mobile devices. Google is unable to index video content (so far) so a transcript is a good idea, plus it assists users who either can’t use video (e.g. people who have hearing issues) or those who just prefer text.

3. Leaving loose links lying

When you first launch a website, it’s lovely and shiny and new and well documented. Then it starts to grow organically and, unless you stay on top of your documentation, it’s only too easy to start losing track of links. This is bad news when you’re just dealing with desktop users. It’s even worse news when you start trying to mirror a main site for desktops and an equivalent, mobile-optimised site for mobile users. If you’re struggling with SEO and unable to figure out why, it could be a good time to do an audit on your links. Start by dealing with the ones which are just broken and then move on to the mobile-only issues, which often boil down to faulty redirects. There are two major bloopers which need to be avoided (or fixed) at all costs.

a - if users request a specific page on your desktop site and you redirect them to your mobile site, then make sure you send them to the page they requested rather than sending them back to square one (aka the mobile home page).

b - Make sure that the links on your mobile site actually stay on your mobile site rather than accidentally sending people back to your desktop site.