When it comes to creating a service website, there’s a couple of things to consider, especially when taking a look at mobile design. Make sure you think SEO first and add emphasis on a mobile optimised design, after all the average smartphone conversion rates are up 64% in comparison with desktop conversion rates.

To make sure you beat competition, you must optimise your mobile design for SEO, this will result in more visibility and longer engagement, two extremely important areas for successful conversions and ROI.

So take a look at these 5 tips to ensure your mobile design is SEO friendly…

Fast page speed

There’s nothing more annoying than slow loading times, especially on a mobile device, usually slow loading pages include valuable content, which users will take no notice of, should the page take a while to show.

The quicker the mobile experience, the more engagement you’ll receive, so make sure you analyse every image and piece of JavaScript and CSS, then compress them where required. You can compress bigger images wherever possible, every single byte counts on mobile when it comes to speed.

Use your cache for things that are constantly loading, like a logo, when you cache a logo, it will help you to save download time and increase the overall speed of your site.

Set all static resources’ cache lifetime once a week and when it comes to third party resources like ads and widgets, their cache lifetime should be set to one day.

Minimise your redirects, they create extra http requests which will also add on to load times. Google’s recommendation is set at sending users with mobile user agents to the mobile equivalent URL without intermediate redirects.

It’s important to remember that fast page speeds on mobile devices help with conversion and customer satisfaction. Average mobile website load times for bounced sessions are 2.5 seconds slower than non-bounced sessions, according to research from Think with Google.

Pop-ups

Pages which show intrusive interstitials will offer poor user experience, suggested by Google. This is shown by how they are now penalizing businesses which have mobile pop-ups.

With mobile screens being a smaller size, search engines see these penalties to provide better UX for users. This will prompt the limited use of any pop-ups. Other pop-ups like age verification boxes and small banners, which don’t cover a large part of the screen, are fine to run. If a pop-up covers the main content or is a standalone one that needs to be dismissed before content is displayed, this will have an effect on your SEO as well as your UX.

Fingers

Your mobile design should include a touch screen navigation that can be easily scrolled through with fingers, whether they are large, or small. Consider the size of a thumb and index finger and ensure your mobile design caters to all for a smoother UX, the smoother, the more engagement which means better SEO.

Titles and Meta

Action-driven titles and meta descriptions which include target keywords for websites are very important, as well as the way they display on mobile.

In May, Google increased mobile title tags to 78 characters, 8 more than the recommended character count for desktops, but when it comes to titles on mobile, you’re better off sticking to 70 characters.

Meta descriptions should also be shortened when it comes to a positive mobile experience. Google has also kept meta description lengths to 130 characters but has increased the amount of meta description text shown on mobile. Regardless, keeping things shorter than 130 characters is effective as Google is known to truncate meta descriptions on mobile.

Yoast is a great solution when it comes to struggling with optimal lengths for mobile or desktop. Its settings for both desktop and mobile when creating titles, URLs and meta descriptions are useful for optimising.

Simple designs with clear CTAs

Due to the size of mobile screens, it’s better to be more simple in mobile design, by including simplistic information and not cluttering the page, the user experience won’t suffer and go against positive SEO practices.

Ensure that your on-page content is short and to the point, don’t forget to have clear CTAs including, easy to find and clickable contact information, like phone numbers and addresses. This will allow visitors to engage and smooth the flow to conversions.

Shorten your menu items on mobile, this will help SEO by improving navigation. If there are many menu and sub menu items, users can get confused and lose interest, this will lead them to quickly tapping out, reducing your engagement time and destroying your SEO efforts.

As well as this, ensure that your contact forms are mobile friendly and will actually work, a mistake which is often made by a range of companies. Use HTML5 input types for your contact forms, they will automatically register the correct keyboard for mobile browsers such as various on screen keyboards for different data.

As mobile continues its trend towards more users over desktop, having a mobile designed site with SEO at the forefront is the key to success. With algorithms constantly changing to offer better user experiences for users and also rewarding sites that have SEO friendly designs.

To begin with, try the tips above and keep up to date on all search engine algorithm changes, ensuring your mobile site is proactive.

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