Perficient Managing Director Eric Enge discussed how to build a mobile SEO site with good UX during the “Mobile First Indexing & Mobile Friendly SEO” session at SMX West. Participants wanted to learn about page speed, ranking, interstitial penalties, and how mobile-first index SEO is different from traditional SEO.
Doesn’t designing a responsive site according to the best search engine guidelines do away with creating a “mobile first” site? Aren’t we just building “sites” now?
Enge: It’s true that with a responsive site, you’re seemingly building a single site. But that’s not entirely true. Most likely, you will create three different sets of style sheets. These allow you to offer a different version of the site to desktop, tablet and smartphone users.
How you manage and display the information in these style sheets is actually very important. For example, maybe your content’s font size is too small, or the links are too close together, so they’re not easily tappable. You can also take large blocks of text content and implement tabs, accordions, or dropdowns to manage their display on a smartphone.
So there are many things that still
need to happen to be mobile first. Being reactive is not enough!
In the case of a dedicated mobile website, adopted first on mobile, is it relevant to keep canonical from mobile to desktop as is usually done? And do we change the instructions (from mobile to desktop)?
Enge: You should always leave the rel=Alternate and rel=canonical tags in place. I think it’s still useful. However, Google has repeatedly stated Qatar Phone Number that there is no need to reverse them in the mobile world. From their perspective, while they could ask webmasters to change the direction of these tags, the reality is that it would take publishers years to change them properly.
In the event that all of our desktop pages are not available in a mobile version, do you think it is more appropriate to create them in AMP rather than in a mobile version?
How do you balance user experience with your statement that you should have the same amount of content on your mobile site as on your desktop site? Google says it values a user’s experience and a content overloaded mobile page can kill that and potentially lower your conversion rate if it’s overwhelmed with text.
Enge: Let’s look at a scenario contrary to
The one you described. Imagine that you have just learned that you have diabetes. Are you looking for a webpage with four sentences of content and a way to buy their diabetes pills? Or do you prefer as much information as possible to learn as much as possible?
The thing is, the idea that “less is more” on web pages isn’t always true. In fact, this is often not the case.
Another example: a user searches for a “Ford Focus”. The right thing to do to have a page full of ads and only show the year, mileage and price. But what if they want an S sedan, an SE sedan, an SEL sedan or a titanium sedan? Do you think color matters? How about the powertrain exterior options? Interior options? And the accessories? I think you understood me. Users WANT choices.
On a more basic level, if you have a desktop page that offers a Ford Focus SEL sedan with electric heated exterior mirrors at 36,000 miles from 2015, and the user searched for that specified the year and the desire to heated exterior mirrors, the desktop page would show up for this search.
However, if the mobile version of this page does not include mirror information and information about the year after a user performed the same search, Google has no way of knowing that you have a vehicle that meets this need. This means that you will not show up for this search.