Gone Mobile? Page Optimization Alert

Avoid These Common Mobile Mistakes Tagged by Google

As Google released its newest algorithm shift emphasizing mobile-friendly websites, the urgency to cater to mobile traffic has never been so vital. However, as website owners and businesses prepare for Mobilegeddon, many wrongful practices sprout up along with the new mobile website trends. Now, website optimization and analysis have taken another bound, this time in the direction of the mobile world.

Google developers have named the common mistakes online business owners make in their efforts to make their websites mobile-friendly:

  1. Blocked CSS, JavaScript, and Image Files

Optimum indexing is not possible if Google bots cannot fully access a website because of blocked JavaScript, jammed image files, and blocked CSS.

Even though the aim of site optimization is to provide visitors with the best user experience, this should not be done in the expense of blocking Google bots. Ease up the website by avoiding these blockages so that the search engine robots can view the site as freely as the average visitor.

Website which do not allow access prevents the bots from crawling its robots.txt file and prevents Google from rendering and indexing its content. The result: low page rank.

What Can Be Done:

  • Ensure that Google bots can crawl and access the site’s CSS, JavaScripting, and image files. Utilize Google Webmaster Tools’ Fetch as Google feature. This is instrumental to help web owners see the content that can be accessed by Google bots. The tool will also help the owners to point out and fix indexing problems on-site.
  • Identify and test robots.txt through Google Webmaster.
  • Use Mobile-Friendly Test and see if the website passed Google’s standard for what makes a site amenable for mobile users.
  • For businesses using a separate mobile-exclusive site, it’s imperative to test both the desktop URL and mobile URL. This will determine if the redirect used can be recognized and crawled by Google bots.

 

  1. Redirects that Do not Perform Its Job

Faulty redirects vies with slow loading time when it comes to bounce rates in mobile searches. For some websites, the redirects are set to lead visitors to the homepage by default which can aggravate them and dismiss the site.

For some businesses which employ separate URLs for desktop traffic and mobile traffic, the redirects are discriminative in terms of the device used. For example, users of Android are redirected wherein Windows and iPhone mobile visitors are not.

What Can Be Done:

  • Utilize the Smartphone Crawl Errors tool from Google Webmasters. This determines if the mobile traffic is redirected to the site homepage by default.
  • Make sure that the users are redirected to the exact URL in one’s smartphone website.
  • Try employing responsive web design which delivers the same content and uses the same code for both PC and smartphone users.

 

  1. Unplayable Videos and Media Content

Some videos and media can only be viewed through desktops. Examples of such content are license-limited videos or media that need players like Flash.

This may be a common issue before but it is becoming a deal-breaker in a mobile-friendly world. One of the most frustrating things mobile users encounter is when a media does not play on their phone.

What Can Be Done:

  • Go for HTML5 for media content or animation.
  • Make the video transcript available.
  • Utilize video-embedding standards which are playable for all types of devices.

 

  1. Slow-Loading Mobile Sites

Mobile websites are not just an extension of a business’ website – it IS the company’s site, only viewed in a smaller screen. It does not matter if the website loads seamlessly on desktops – if the page loads slowly or times out on mobile devices, it will still earn a low ranking score from Google.

Pages that suffer from slow speed in loading time turns away visitors, thus resulting to high bounce rates.

What Can Be Done:

  • Check if videos, images, and other media are culprits to the slow loading speed.
  • Utilize PageSpeed Insights to detect problems that contribute to slow loading time. The sub-section from the tool called Speed will help users determine the causes of the speed issue. Such problems are marked as Should Fix.

 

  1. Mobile-Exclusive Page Error 404

Another common error occurring to mobile traffic exclusive is error 404. For some websites, the content is loaded seamlessly when viewed on a desktop but are not available through mobile devices.

This is especially true if a visitor is accessing a desktop page through a mobile device.

What Can Be Done:

  • Monitor the Crawl Errors Reports via Google Webmaster Tool. The tool enlists a Smartphone tab which has the ability to detect URLs projecting error 404 exclusively to mobile traffic.
  • Correctly configure the user-agent detection when using dynamic serving.
  • Start using responsive web design.

Because SEO has gone broader to include mobile searches, new errors exclusive to mobile traffic are being identified. With every algorithm update, new page optimization techniques to include both desktop and mobile sites also come up. Remember: one’s web development should not be done at the expense of one’s page optimization.

 

 

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