Optimizing your site for mobile
This article will cover each of these steps:
- Choosing a mobile method
- Updating website code
- Verify mobile friendliness
- Tell Google
1. Choosing a mobile method
There are four main ways a website becomes mobile…
- Responsive design
- Dynamic serving
- Mobile URLs
Google recommends responsive design. 1
The reason both webmasters and Google like responsive design is because it is the simplest and least risky method.
For SEO purposes responsive design is a wise choice.
- It is recommended by Google
- It has no SEO risks
- It is the easiest to implement
- It is compatible with other methods
2. Updating website code
Often this is much easier than you might expect. In fact with WordPress and other such content management systems it is as simple as getting a new theme. If you are running a static site, there are many responsive html templates out there.
Good places to buy responsive mobile ready themes and templates…
3. Verify mobile friendliness
The way Google determines if a site is mobile friendly depends on several mobile usability issues that are easily tested (the tool at the top of this page tests for all of these factors).
The mobile usability issues are…
Make sure to check your pages using the official Google mobile friendly test.
4. Tell Google
Likely the most important step of mobile SEO is ensuring Googlebot understands your page.
If Google does not understand your mobile solution, it may not credit you for having a mobile site at all.
This is bad.
Making sure that Google understands your mobile configuration is essential to how your website will rank in Google.
The four ways of going mobile (responsive, dynamic, AMP and separate urls) each have their own way of letting Google know that your site is mobile.
When your site uses responsive design, Google can understand it without any hints or extra code. The main thing that Google suggests when it comes to responsive websites is how to set the viewport. The viewport will typically already be set when you get a responsive theme or template.
Google recommends that your viewport has the following content:
<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0″>
The viewport is simply the size of the window your webpage will display. In responsive design, the the size we want is whatever the size of the device screen is. By declaring a viewport, your web page can render correctly on any device.
Learn more about viewports and how they are set.
When a site is using dynamic serving it is providing different content to desktops users than it is to mobile users.
Google can not detect automatically when content is being dynamically served, so we have to tell Google specifically what is happening.
The way we tell Google is called the Vary HTTP header. It looks like this.
The Vary HTTP header tells Google that the content it is crawling may look different depending on who is looking at it. By declaring