Mobile Ranking Considerations for SEO

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Mobile Responsive Websites

A responsive website is a site that adapts to any screen size, whether it’s on a phone, tablet or desktop computer. The user can easily read website content by only having to scroll up and down. Websites that require the user to zoom in to read text or swipe left/right to search for content can make using the website very hard on a mobile device, and are not considered mobile friendly.

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Recently in mobile search results, Google have been identifying to users whether a website is mobile friendly or not. Appearing in search results beside a crossed out mobile icon will likely result in a lower click through to your website. We strongly recommend ensuring your website is responsive to users browsing from smartphone and tablet devices, so that you appear with a positive green mobile icon in the Google search results.

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Not having a responsive or mobile friendly website can negatively affect your rank in search engines as Google shows preference to responsive sites for users on devices. A strong organic (SEO) position is particularly important when appearing on mobile devices, as screens are smaller than on desktop computers, users are more inclined to click through on the top 1 – 4 results and not scroll any further.

Mobile User Experience

Meeting the following factors will ensure that your website is considered mobile friendly by Google. We recommend taking the following steps:

1. Include a viewport meta-tag for mobile pages. This instructs the page to match the screens width, whether on a small phone or a large desktop PC.

<meta name=“viewport” content=“width=device-width, initial-scale=1”>

2. Size content to fit the viewport. Users are used to scrolling websites vertically, not horizontally. Improve user experience by adjusting image content to fit the specified viewport, so that the user does not need to scroll horizontally.

3. Use legible font sizes, Google recommend a base font size of 16 CSS pixels. This will help ensure that when pages are scaled down for mobile devices that the text is still readable. Additional information can be found here.

4. Size call to action buttons appropriately. Small or tightly packed buttons can be difficult for a user to press on a touchscreen device. Ensure buttons users will be using are large enough to easily press.

You can keep track of usability issues identified by Google within Webmaster Tools. Below is an example of the interface, complete with a graph so that over time you can see the progress that has been made.

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Mobile is rapidly becoming a larger part of overall website traffic and therefore it is important that your mobile site is up to scratch.

If you are currently running AdWords campaigns, it is equally important that your ads are optimised for mobile devices, you can find out more information about on this here.

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