As we continue to see an increase in the amount of web and search traffic that originates from mobile, it is increasingly common to see search engines tweak their algorithms in response. With more than one-quarter of all web traffic now originating from mobile, it is clear that the future of the internet resides on mobile devices. As such, Google and other search engines are beginning to proactively penalize websites that do not optimize their content and design for mobile audiences. You certainly don’t want to miss out on this valuable one-quarter of all web traffic, so it just makes sense to design your site intelligently from the ground up. In this article, we’ll discuss ways you can design a mobile instance of your website without angering the SEO gods.
Serve Up Responsive Design
While there are three different routes you can take when it comes to mobile web design, Google’s most preferred option is known as responsive design. This also happens to be the easiest form of web design to set up. In many cases, you’ll be able to use a free utility to create a mobile-friendly version of your website that is served up to mobile users (instead of the traditional design) whenever they land on your website. Those who are pinging for SEO want to be sure that they’re getting the maximum potential possible in mobile search engine results, and the use of responsive design is the cornerstone of such efforts.
Optimize Your Speed
A traditional website can take several seconds to load on a mobile device. Most people simply will not wait around that long to be served up a version of your site. The good news is that mobile designs can load much quicker, but you may still need to make a few tweaks. Ideally, you want the website in question to load on a mobile device in less than one second (though this is not always possible). A variety of tools exist which can help you determine both the current speed at which your site is loading and what fixes can be performed to reduce loading times. The difference between a one-second load time and a two-second load time can make a difference between being on the first page of results and the fifth page of results on mobile.
Add a Sitemap
Anyone who is pinging for SEO needs to make sure that all of their pages are linked in some way to one another, and there isn’t a better way to verify this is the case than by adding a sitemap. Sitemaps will be used by search engine crawlers and bots to find all of the pages on your website and index them. Pages that currently exist on your website but have no links to or from other pages will not be found by these entities. Since the number of pages of content a domain has plays a huge role in how well in ranks (particularly on mobile, where screen sizes make optimization of search results even more important), having each one indexed through a sitemap is critical.