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Ways to optimise a mobile site for SEO

An important part of SEO (search engine optimisation) for current websites is optimising the mobile version of the pages. In fact, Google has openly said that mobile sites have more importance for a domain’s ranking than their desktop counterparts.

This is because mobile technology (including tablets) is becoming more widely used by average people as a means to browse the internet. This means that optimisation on this platform is more important than it has ever been.

Let’s take a look at some of the top ways that a mobile website can be optimised for SEO purposes.

Create an adaptable design

There are several different ways in which to make a mobile site widely adaptable. Adaptable meaning that its design is scaled to be responsive on different screen sizes across phones and tablets.

This kind of design means that the mobile site and the desktop site live on the same URL which makes it much friendlier to search engine indexing algorithms.  WordPress websites normally have themes that are automatically adapted to different screen sizes.

Optimise page speed

Several studies have revealed that users will quickly bounce off a website if it’s loading too slowly, and this is even truer for mobile sites. People using mobile are doing so because of the convenience of taking it ‘on-the-go’ and thus mobile sites need to be fast for SEO.

In order to retain users on your mobile site and keep a low bounce rate (a metric used by search engines in ranking) you will need to make sure that your pages are loading quickly. There are several different elements like poor code or non-optimised media that could be responsible for adding load time.

Let’s look at some of the best things you can do to optimise mobile site loading times.

Image optimisation

This step is pretty simple but one that goes over many people’s heads. You need to make sure that your mobile site’s images are scaled correctly and aren’t trying to load unnecessary detail that user’s won’t notice.

Code optimisation

This involves reducing the amount of requests that the site has to make and thus improves its overall efficiency. This process is also known as minifying the code.

The best way to do this is to concentrate code assets into groups (such as CSS or JavaScript) which means that browsers will need to load less files, making the site faster. While it may sound complicated to those who are inexperienced there are plenty of tools that automate this tactic.

Caching pages

This involves giving the browser an instruction not to download pages that don’t change very often. It instead stores these pages in the cache, making it faster to retrieve and server them to users.

This will mean that browsers will only need to download new content on dynamic pages. Again, this process can be automated by taking advantage of plugins and other tools.

Cutting down redirects

Redirects can be useful in helping to keep users on the right track by taking them from dead pages to the correct ones. However, the more redirects the site is managing the slower it will perform.

It’s better to instead keep your site neat and tidy by getting rid of broken links and replacing them with direct links. This is basically cutting the fat off your website by doing away with unnecessary elements.

Optimise tap targets

Tap targets are the areas of the screen the users taps on with their fingers when using a touch screen device. Naturally, making sure tap targets appear correctly over prompts and are big enough for users to use easily is important.

Correcting the viewport

A viewport is the term uses to describe the size of the page depending on the device accessing it. Specifying the viewport means that users on different sized screens get the right version of the website.