The Definitive Guide To Technical Mobile SEO
Nowadays, pop-ups don’t have good publicity as it is, but they have even worse publicity when it comes to mobile devices. As was already mentioned here, people don’t really have time for unimportant stuff on mobile. And in their eyes, all pop-ups are unimportant.
Even though pop-ups might be good for your business, you really should consider disabling them for anyone who views your site from a mobile.
Firstly, pop-ups prevent your viewers from getting the info they came for. Secondly, pop-ups take time to load too, so they will make your load times worse.
Any quality pop-up (or lightbox pop-up) plugin out there should allow you to disable it on specific devices.
Use Short Headlines
This is a general mobile optimization advice, but it still plays an important role nonetheless.
Although the technology has made a huge leap in the recent years, the screens of mobile devices haven’t actually gotten that much bigger. Even though they can display full-HD video, the screen itself is still only a couple of inches wide.
What this all comes down to is that long headlines will remain being difficult to read on mobile devices. So whenever it is possible, make the headline as short and to-the-point as you can. This will not only make your site more mobile friendly but also have a positive impact on your desktop views.
The Practice of Redirecting
Earlier in this post, we covered responsive designs and how to get them on your site. Now let’s talk about the older approach, which is preparing individual URLs for mobile viewers and then using various redirects.
This old-school way of mobile optimization is about creating a copy of your every page, making it mobile-friendly and publishing it under essentially the same URL only with the m. subdomain. Like this:
- original URL: yoursite.com/some-page
- mobile URL: m.yoursite.com/some-page
The whole point is then to analyze from what direction the viewer is coming – are they using a mobile device or not – and redirecting them to the correct URL.
For instance, if someone is on a mobile device and tries to access the original URL, they should be redirected to the mobile version. If they are on a desktop, on the other hand, and try to access the mobile URL, they should also be redirected. Only this time, redirected to the desktop version.
As you’d imagine, this will take a lot of work to implement correctly.
To start with, forget about any automatic-mobile-content plugins for WordPress. All they do is a big mess of your site, and they strip it of all branding elements.
Implementing this manually will require you to create mobile versions of your content, publish them under a subdomain and then use the rel=”canonical” attribute to indicate the original page (to not get penalized by Google) and the rel=”alternate” media attribute to indicate that there are mobile versions of your content available.
In the end, way too much hassle considering the fact that mobile SEO and SEO practices in general are only a couple of many things on your affiliate business plate…
Inviting Mobile Visitors to View the Desktop Version
If your site features many online-app-like functionalities then some of them will naturally be unavailable to the mobile viewer, especially if they are powered by Flash or any other web technology.
That’s why using a plugin like WP Mobile Detect can be a good idea. In short, this plugin will detect whether a visitor comes from a mobile device or not, and display your content accordingly based on a specific shortcode.
For example, to show something to your mobile viewers only, use the shortcode: [device][/device]. To display something to your desktop viewers only, use the shortcode: [notdevice][/notdevice].
A good way of using these shortcodes is to enclose every piece of content that can be difficult to view on a mobile inside the [notdevice] shortcode and follow it up with a custom message inside the [device] shortcode. This message should explain the situation to the viewer and inviting them to visit your site from a desktop. This can potentially save your relationship with every new visitor who comes through mobile yet is denied a specific feature on your site.
The final piece of advice is about testing. And to be more accurate … Testing everything.
There are dozens of different mobile devices, and the sole fact that your content displays well on one of them means very little for the general big picture. That’s why you should always try testing every new feature you introduce on as many devices as possible.
Let’s keep in mind that constant improvement of your site’s user experience is very important for many reasons. Firstly, good user experience means more profits. But what’s maybe even more important is that Google won’t show your site to mobile users if the experience is not up to par (which will strip you of all possible profits altogether).
What’s your take on the topic? Have you made your site mobile-SEO-friendly yet? Or maybe you have a totally different point of view on this?