There are more than 1 million mobile devices activated every day and more than 25% of all search traffic comes from mobiles. With these rising numbers it is no wonder that search engines start to factor the mobile experiences into their algorithms. If you haven’t thought about your customers mobile experience, this is a good time to start.
Google’s recent post has made all SEO minds alert as it is changing the search algorithm to favour those websites that are mobile-friendly.
To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their main issues, Google will make several ranking changes and address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users. The aim here is to support smartphone friendly websites and the main point is addressing faulty redirects that move mobile user from the content he wants to irrelevant page on the smartphone-optimized website. Failure to fix such issues will result in your website falling down in the search rankings or lowering your possibilities to rank higher.
Google suggests using responsive web design, namely serving the same HTML for all devices and using only CSS media queries to decide the rendering on each device. The main benefit of responsive design is the ability to use the same URL for both mobile and desktop devices (concept known as “One Web”), instead of separate ones. This principle ensures that searchers can find the same version of the page on mobile device, therefore creating a consistent brand message.
There are other options besides Responsive Web Design. Such frameworks as Mooweb – unifies all versions of the site allowing an even more customized mobile experience. You can always create a mobile app, but recent studies have shown that they are decreasing in popularity and users spend less and less time on them. Besides, if you don’t have a mobile version of your website, more than likely that it won’t rank as highly on search results after Google’s new algorithm takes place.
The main problem with smartphone user experience is the annoying faulty redirects to a wrong URL or home page (studies show that about 30% of the most popular retail websites redirect mobile users to the home page instead of the right URL they are trying to access). These redirects often lead to error pages, most commonly – 404. It is even better showing the desktop content rather than redirecting them to a wrong page.
It is very important for developers and SEO specialists to avoid all possible misconfigurations of smartphone websites. You should try to test the site on different devices and operating systems. By making your site mobile friendly you will not only make your visitors happier, but also allow searchers and search engines to browse your content fully.