On November 18, Google made the announcement that they are adding a ‘mobile friendly’ label to their mobile search results. You should definitely refine your mobile optimization strategies to welcome this change since new features with search results always challenge the effectiveness of existing optimization strategies. However, the main highlight of this new feature is the ‘mobile-friendliness’ of a website, as the name suggests. Therefore your strategies should focus around that concept. Let’s see why.
It is really frustrating for mobile users to explore a page where the text is too small, the links are tiny and you have to scroll sideways to see all the content. The search engine giant has introduced the new option that helps users find the information they are looking for much easier. With the new label, they can understand whether a particular site is mobile-friendly or not even before entering it. Mobile SEO involves optimizing your website in such a way that it receives proper attention from mobile search engine users. As it is evident that mobile users will extensively use the "mobile-friendly" option to avoid visiting web pages that are not mobile-friendly, it is very important for online marketers to develop those strategies that can reward them with a ‘mobile-friendly’ label next to their search results.
So, how can you secure this label alongside your website listing? According to the official Google blog post, a page is considered to be eligible for the ‘mobile-friendly’ label only if the Googlebot detects that the page meets the following criteria.
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices (for example, Flash)
- No need to zoom to read the text on the page
- Content that fits into the screen so that there is no need to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Links are placed far apart so that it is easy to tap the correct one
Google recommends the following steps to make sure that your page meets all the above mentioned criteria.
- Check your pages with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. This is a Google Webmaster Tool, which will analyze the URL that you enter and report if that page has a mobile-friendly design. If not, it will report the faults with the page that makes its design unfriendly to mobile devices.
- Read the updated Webmaster Mobile Guide, which provides good information on how to create and improve your mobile site.
- Check your mobile usability report in Google Webmaster Tools. This report highlights all major mobile usability issues across your entire site, apart from one page.
- Use Google’s how-to guide for third-party software (for example WordPress or Joomla) to migrate your website hosted on a CMS (Content Management System) to use a mobile-friendly template.
By including the above mentioned strategies in their mobile optimization efforts, online marketers can improve their position in mobile rankings and achieve their marketing goals. As per a CTR (click through rate) study by seoClarity published in this October, mobile rankings are three times more valuable than desktop. Search engine optimization experts can help businesses implement these strategies effectively as they have sufficient mastery in these techniques and the expertise to execute them properly. However, you can’t get into the top results just because your site is mobile-friendly. You should produce quality content as well. With quality content and mobile-friendliness, you can improve your mobile rankings.