On April 21st, Google will be introducing its latest optimization algorithm and small businesses must refine their mobile practices pronto. Google’s update on the 21st will affect a substantial amount of mobile users – more than Panda and Penguin – and waiting until the last minute to put new mobile practices in place today could be detrimental to your small business.
Make high priority mobile optimization to-do’s today and refresh your business’s mobile presence in the marketplace by following these suggestions.
Identify indexing problems
To see how a Googlblot is viewing your content, implement the Fetch as a Google feature in Google Webmaster Tools. Google explains that there are a few different things that you’ll be able to see when using the tool:
• The HTTP response returned by your server,
• The date and time of your crawl request,
• HTML code, and
• At least the first 100KB of visible text on a page.
Checking your robots.txt by testing your mobile pages with the Mobile-Friendly test in Google Webmaster Tools will assist you in the identification of existing indexing predicaments.
Preventing unavailable video content
Make your playable content more available to users with HTML5 standard tags for animation because nothing is more frustrating than a video that is unavailable. The typical reason that a user cannot access your embedded video is that several content types – Flash, for example – are not compatible with every mobile device and this incompatibility results in unplayable content.
Create engaging, interactive HTML5-based designs and motion graphics that are retrievable on any mobile device by using HTML5 standard tags for animation and video embedding. Google Web Designer will enlarge your user base by helping you to design and implement animations in HTML5.
Correct the setup of your redirects
Don’t let your mobile visitors be directed to desktop version of your website – ensure that they are directed to the mobile version of the website. Faulty redirects of mobile users to your desktop homepage occurs when you have separate mobile URLs. Send your mobile users to the mobile homepage that they clicked and avoid 404 errors!
If you use a responsive web design, both desktop and mobile device visitors will receive the identical content without fail. You can detect any faulty redirects resulting in mobile-only 404s by checking the Crawl Errors feature – the Smartphone tab – in Google Webmaster Tools.
Smart App Banners for Safari
Smart App Banners for Safari can help resolve indexing problems when promoting your small business’s native app. This will ensure that mobile users are able to view the webpage’s content as opposed to only seeing any large app advertisement.
Small businesses typical promote native apps to their mobile website visitors. Indexing problems can arise and the user’s visit to the site is disturbed if not thrown into disarray. If not done with care, this can cause indexing issues and disrupt the visitor’s usage of the site.
Smart App Banners serves two purposes: it promote your native app concurrently with your webpages content by automatically determining whether the app is supported on the user’s device. If the device loading the banner does not support your app, or if your app is not available in the user’s location, the banner will not display.
Link mobile URLs and desktop URLs
Don’t make the mistake of having links direct a user to an irrelevant page – for example – a mobile page link to a desktop website’s homepage. This usually happens when separate mobile URLs links to a desktop-optimized version – vice versa – a link from the desktop homepage to a mobile page.
A common practice when a website serves users on separate mobile URLs is to have links to the desktop-optimized version, and likewise a link from the desktop page to the mobile page. A common error is to have links point to an irrelevant page such as having the mobile pages link to the desktop site’s homepage.
Don’t allow your small business’s system to link to irrelevant pages – check your links and make sure they all direct your users to identical pages.
Resolving slow loading mobile searches
Type in your URL and Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool will give insight as to the slow loading performance of your mobile website. Remember, mobile device users find slow loading very annoying because they are multi-tasking on the run.
After checking off your mobile optimization to-do checklist, discover any and all unresolved issues with your small business’s mobile site by having it tested it from different locations – with different mobile devices and operating systems. Preferably, have several people help you with this – not just employees.