Google is watching your mobile site too

Nowadays, with smart phones and tablets everywhere, more and more people are likely to find your business using a mobile device.  Given that there is a bit more immediacy to mobile searches (I want a restaurant now or I really need those BBQ tongs today), you want to make sure that yours is the business that Google displays after the user hits “search.”

Here are some tips to help your business rank better on mobile search:

1)      Speed.  This should be a no-brainer given the immediacy issue, but Matt Cutts of Google recently confirmed that Google is likely to roll out a version of its site speed ranking factor for mobile sites.  While it has not gone live yet, it is certainly something you need to watch for when looking at your site’s performance.

2)      Faulty redirects.  From Google, “Many sites have dedicated smartphone-optimized pages and redirect smartphone users based on the user-agent.  A common error is to redirect a user trying to access a URL on the desktop site to an irrelevant URL on the smartphone site.”

3)      Unplayable videos.  If your site uses video and users can’t access them, that’s a problem.  If licensing or technology is the issue with the video on a smartphone, at least consider including a content transcript.

4)      Smartphone only errors.  Avoid these by redirecting from a desktop page to a smartphone-friendly page at a different URL if possible.  Make sure the smartphone-friendly page is not an error message.   A desktop page is still better than an error message, so serve that instead if necessary.

5)      Double check cross links. Links from desktop to mobile and mobile to desktop can get confused, make sure the link is going where it is supposed to.

By Don MacMelville

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