4 of the Most Common Mobile SEO Mistakes in 2020

There’s no question about it—the world is going decisively mobile. And it makes sense. Smartphones are cheaper, more portable and more compact than laptop and desktop computers. Whereas computers are still the gadget of choice at the workplace, smartphones are taking over the consumer end of things. Therefore, it wasn’t entirely unexpected when Google adopted a mobile-first indexing policy for search results.

Mobile SEO and link building (see https://www.outreachmama.com/advanced-link-building-strategies/ for a beginner-friendly link building tutorial) are essential for any website that’s keen on connecting with today’s Internet user. But while the need for mobile SEO is apparent, many businesses are fumbling in their attempts at optimizing their website for mobile devices. The following are some of the most common mistakes when it comes to mobile SEO.

Weak Mobile Design

Mobile SEO rises and falls on design. If the mobile design is weak, then all other SEO efforts will be rendered ineffective from the get-go. If you already have a desktop website and want to create a mobile version, make sure you design the mobile version from a mobile user’s viewpoint. One of the main reasons mobile web design fails is the website administrator or designer starts from a desktop mindset then tries to fit in mobile-friendly functionality.

While there are certain elements that must remain the same on both desktop and mobile (such as brand colors, menu options, and page content), you should be ready to design the mobile website from scratch if that’s what it will take to create a high-quality website that consistently delivers a top-notch experience for mobile users.

Mobile-Only 404 Errors

There should be consistency in what desktop and mobile visitors see when they visit your site. Any web page available on your desktop version should be visible on the mobile version as well. Remedy any instance whereby there’s a 404 error on a web page on your mobile site yet the same page is visible with no problem on a desktop browser.

Getting rid of 404 pages is critical not just for the quality of the user experience but also for your website’s ranking in search results. Google perceives a website with too many unresolved 404 pages as one that’s not regularly updated and therefore whose content cannot be relied upon.

If you are running a large website, tracking down 404 pages manually can be an arduous undertaking. Fortunately, there are website auditing tools that can help you identify 404 pages and broken links in minutes.

Lack of White Space

Mobile readers need white space on your web page much more than desktop users. You could get away with skimping on white space for the desktop version of your site but that would be a costly mistake for your mobile web pages.

Mobile screens are already small and compact. The absence of white space will only serve to make your page content appear chunky, monotonous and unreadable. The best way to increase white spaces is by writing brief paragraphs. Keep them 2-3 sentences long.
No Mobile Viewport Specified   
Mobile screens are not homogenous. They come in a broad range of sizes and shapes. If you do not specify the right viewports via the viewport meta tag, users may experience distorted or improperly fitted pages when they visit your site using their mobile device. Common viewport mistakes include incorrect minimum parameters that leave users with smaller screens high and dry, and using fixed-width that’s optimized for only a small subset of devices.

Best practice viewport specifications entail enabling user scaling, controlling the page’s base dimensions and scaling based on the meta viewport tag, matching the screen’s width with width=device width in device-independent pixels, and setting an initial scale of 1 to create a 1:1 relationship between device-independent and CSS pixels.

You could also use CSS queries that style your web pages differently depending on the size and dimensions of the user’s mobile screen.

Whether for desktop or mobile browsers, the fundamental principles of SEO remain the same. All technical efforts and changes are unhelpful unless they are underpinned by a robust understanding of your target audience. As nearly all SEO courses emphasize, the research into your target market must be the backbone of the content, design, and SEO.

If you are clear on who your customer is and how they would act online, then you are more likely to create a mobile website that appeals to them. Get to know your customer and your product in-depth and you’ll be halfway there toward building an amazing, SEO-aware mobile website.

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