The number of people who use smartphones and tablets to access the Internet has long surpassed that of desktop users. Whether they’re checking their emails, posting their latest Facebook statuses, or simply browsing websites, many people have completely taken to doing all these things on their mobile devices, and their number only seems to be growing by the day.
It isn’t surprising then that SEOs are now moving heaven and earth to make their websites mobile responsive. It is, after all, the logical thing to do if they want their site to reach the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). With Google now considering responsiveness as a ranking signal, there is no better time to adjust your SEO strategies to make them more mobile-friendly.
For all their efforts at accommodating mobile users, however, SEOs still make mistakes that they eventually pay for dearly in the shape of lost traffic and plunging rankings. Listed below are nine of those mobile SEO mistakes which you should avoid at all costs.
1. Failing to Perform a Test
Some webmasters/SEOs tend to get too excited by the idea of having a mobile responsive website that they forget about conducting a test before going live. Naturally, they encounter a lot of errors, making them instantly regret jumping the gun.
You need to know if the pages load fast or slow if all the forms are working just fine, or CTAs are right where they should be, and the only way to find out is to test it. Testing your mobile website is crucial to its success, so never skip the testing part.
2. Small Fonts
Mobile devices by nature are small, but you can make things worse by using tiny fonts for the body text of your mobile website. Small fonts on a mobile device are nearly impossible to read. Ideally, your fonts should be at least 16px in size. That way, your readers won’t have to break out the magnifying glass just to be able to consume your content.
Conversely, the fonts for your headers should not be too big. You wouldn’t want those headers to take up the entire screen of your mobile device, would you?
3. Slow-Loading Pages
No Internet user would ever put up with having to wait for a full 10 seconds or more for a web page to load. For most Internet users, 10 seconds seems like an eternity. Imagine how it must feel for mobile users, who, in the first place, are using their devices because they want to use the Internet while on the go. If you have a mobile website that takes so long to load, you can forget about your website traffic reaching the levels you want because visitors will drop your site just like that.
4. Tiny Calls-To-Action
It’s funny how some call-to-action buttons on mobile websites are so small trying to tap one without expanding the screen with your fingers often leads to all CTAs getting tapped at the same time.
If anything, CTAs should always be big and prominent enough to grab the attention of readers. Making a CTA as wide as the screen on your device sounds just about right.
5. Dull Content
Fast loading pages and perfectly-sized CTAs mean nothing if the content makes people yawn in total disinterest.
Always offer your readers unique content that provides significant value to them. Your website should be able to give them the information they want or at least answer their inquiries. Awesome, useful and actionable content will always be king, mobile platform or otherwise.
6. Ad Overload
Causing the site’s loading speed to slow down is just one of the many annoying consequences of having too much advertising on your mobile website. Mobile users especially hate scrolling through the page only for his or her fingers to hit an ad accidentally. Trying to generate money for yourself is all right, but don’t let that ruin the user experience for your website. Ads are fine but don’t put in too many of them.
7. Annoying Interstitials
It’s fine if you use interstitials to confirm a user’s age. The same goes for using them for CTAs. Using them for an ad, however, makes them a bit intrusive, especially when they occupy the entire screen of the device.
If you have to use interstitials, it would be nice if you just make them cover a small portion of the screen.
8. Unplayable Content
Mobile users have as much right as desktop users to access all the content a website offers. So if they try to play a video on a mobile website and fail, you can only imagine how frustrated they are going to be. Some mobile sites even employ a popup telling users that the video can’t be played on their device.
All the content on your mobile website should be able to be viewed or playable.
9. You Didn’t Do Mobile Keyword Research
If you’re optimizing for mobile, then it only makes sense that you do mobile keyword research instead of traditional keyword research.
Mobile users type their searches with their two thumbs and are therefore likely to commit typos in the process. Because of this, they typically type in queries that are much shorter than the ones they’ll probably use if they were using a full-sized desktop keyboard. Better yet, they’ll just use Google’s voice search feature and say the magic words.
Therefore, shorter terms or conversational phrases are the norm for mobile SEO, and coming up with them should be the focus of your keyword strategy.
The way things are going, mobile Internet use is going to grow exponentially over the next few years. To benefit from that explosion in the number of mobile users, you need to avoid making the mobile SEO mistakes listed above.