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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Google’s mobile-friendly test

A very simple and handy tool to use is the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. This tool allows you to test your URL to see if the mobile version of your site is considered ‘mobile friendly.’

If there are any issues with your site, you can make improvements.

Page layout

A very important component of mobile SEO is page layout. Keep these factors in mind:

  • Obviously, mobile screens are smaller than those on desktops, so it is important to reduce the number of on-page elements, like imagery and text.
  • It is also crucial to ensure that buttons stand out by formatting them in a different color.
  • Buttons should also be responsive to touch. Poor design –if your buttons are too big, too small, or in the path of a finger that's trying to get the page to scroll - can lead to accidental clicks and a very poor mobile experience.

Mobile content

When creating content for mobile pages, it is important to consider that search queries on mobile can typically be quite different to desktop, in that people are often looking for immediate and localized information.

Target using niche keywords

A lot of niche keywords are used in mobile searches. This means there is an opportunity to target users based on these niche keywords. They will often be localized searches, such as ‘apple store fifth avenue’, or contain call-related intent, such as ‘barclays bank phone number’. These are typical searches that are carried out on the go, when a user is searching for very specific information.

Capture essential information only

Another consideration when putting together mobile content is to avoid lengthy conversion forms. On mobile, aim to capture only the most important information and to make it as easy as possible for the user to submit the form.

Mobile functionality

In terms of mobile functionality:

  • Simplify mobile landing pages: Aim to simplify the page content as much as possible. Often, when a user visits the desktop version of a site, there may be an animation or a moving carousel displaying a site’s latest news or range of products. Not all mobile sites would be able to support these formats.
  • Create nested tables: Sites can be divided by different headers along the top of the page. For mobile, a nested table containing the different site sections typically performs better, both visually and from a user-experience perspective.
  • Avoid pop-ups: Pop-ups or mobile interstitials are to be avoided at all costs. They can be frustrating for users and lead to high bounce rates.

Page speed

Page speed is even more important for mobile users than desktop users. A fast site offers a good user experience (UX), and a good user experience leads to higher conversions. Very slow sites lead to bad user experiences.

According to an official webmaster tutorial from Google, the threshold for page speed is two seconds. Anything above this is deemed to be too slow and likely to cause frustration, high bounce rates, and a loss of rank over time. At Google, they aim for under one second.

As Google continues to move toward a mobile-first online environment, page speed is going to continue to grow in importance.

Improving page speed

There are a number of ways in which mobile page speed can be improved. Some best practices are to:

  • Leverage browser caching - whereby some large website files are stored locally in the user's browser
  • Enable compression - compression allows your web server to provide smaller file sizes, which load faster for your website users
  • Optimize images - ensuring all site images are below a certain file size
  • Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML - reducing the amount of code on-site can drastically improve page speed
  • Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content - render means loading, so if something is render-blocking, it means that it is keeping the page from loading as quickly as it could

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Obviously, with more and more searches, and more and more site traffic coming through mobile, it is in Google’s interest to create an environment where mobile sites are as fast as possible and where mobile pages load instantaneously.

As a result, Google has created a project called Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP. This is a Google-backed project, which aims to speed up the delivery of mobile pages. This can be achieved through the use of stripped down code known as AMP HTML.

Google has created a site with best practices and guidelines on how you can make your site AMP- friendly.

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Shane Lyons

Shane Lyons is head of Search & Analytics at Mediaworks, an award-winning media and communications agency. He has been working in Digital both in Ireland and abroad for the last 8 years and now specializes in SEO and Analytics.

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

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