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7 Ways Your Mobile Strategy is Failing (And You Probably Don’t Even Know It)

Link-Assistant.Com | Posted in category Mobile SEO

guest post by Jayson DeMers

Having a responsive site design is a great first step toward mobile optimization, but it’s not the golden ticket. Many site owners and webmasters assume that once they have a 'mobile-friendly' site, there's no longer a need to think about the kind of mobile experience you're delivering.

Unfortunately, having a responsive website design doesn't let you off the hook that easily. Following are 7 ways your mobile strategy may be failing, without you even knowing it.

But first, if you need a refresher on why mobile-optimization is critical for your business, see "You're Losing Money if You Aren't Mobile-Friendly Yet".

1. Your videos don't work on all mobile devices

Something you may not have considered is that not all videos can play on all smartphones. For instance, if the videos on your site are flash-based, they won’t be viewable on the iPhone.

In order to ensure your videos are accessible on all devices, use HTML5. Fortunately, embedding videos using HTML5 syntax is as easy as adding one simple tag.

2. You're not looking at mobile crawl issues in Google Webmaster

One of the biggest mistakes webmasters make is failing to analyze mobile crawl errors in Google Webmaster. It’s not good enough to assume that just because everything looks good on the ‘web’ tab, all is well.

When signed in to Google Webmaster Tools, look under 'Crawl,' and then 'Crawl Errors.' You should now see a graph for crawl errors for Web, Smartphone, and Feature Phone. Analyzing this data can help you pinpoint any pages Googlebot-Mobile is having issues accessing.

3. You're not analyzing your mobile analytics

 Analyzing crawl errors in Google Webmaster is helpful, but it's equally important to know exactly how your website visitors are utilizing your site.

Fortunately, Google Analytics makes this easy to do. Under Standard Reports, you should be able to see a breakdown of visitors by device: mobile, desktop and tablet. You can break this down even further to see metrics such as bounce rate, visit duration and goal conversion rate via specific device (iPhone, Samsung phones, iPads, etc.).

This should give you a clear picture of what devices people are using to access your site, and how your site is performing for each device.

4. You're using faulty redirects

A common mistake webmasters make is to send mobile users who are attempting to access desktop-optimized pages to a generic mobile-friendly page; for instance, if a mobile user attempts to access a page that's not optimized for mobile, and it redirects the user to the mobile-friendly version of the site's homepage.

While the idea is right – redirecting users to the mobile-friendly site – you are likely going to lose a good percentage of your visitors this way.

As much as possible, try to redirect users to the mobile-friendly page that matches their query as closely as possible. For instance, if someone is searching for ‘price on Nike Air Max', and they are redirected to the main Nike Air product page (rather than the Nike Air Max page), you still have some work to do.

5. You've implemented bad cross-linking

The most common example of bad cross-linking is when a mobile-version of a page links to the desktop-version of another page. While internal linking is great on many levels, linking to the wrong version of a page can leave visitors frustrated and annoyed.

Be sure that your links are consistent across the board; that mobile-optimized pages link to mobile-optimized pages, and that desktop-optimized pages link only to desktop-optimized page.

6. You're targeting the same keywords for desktop and mobile

While many of your targeted keywords will remain the same, it’s important that you keep in mind that mobile users will often be accessing your site for different reasons and in different situations than desktop searchers. And this means they often have different intentions.

For instance, mobile users:

  • Are often looking for location-based information such as a street address, map or phone number
  • Will be more likely to misspell words due to the lack of a keyboard
  • Will be more likely to be searching for long-tail, very specific keywords

Image courtesy of Quick Sprout

Your mobile keyword strategy should incorporate how searchers will be accessing your site (car, Starbucks, home, etc.), as well as what specific mobile-centric keywords they'll be using (long tail, highly-specific, etc.).

See how Google is changing the mobile search landscape in my article, Google Hummingbird: A Mobile Content Strategy Just Became Essential.

7. Mobile users are getting 404 errors when accessing desktop-optimized content

You may have experienced this yourself: you try to access the desktop version of a page from your mobile device and end up at a 404 page. Do you take the time to re-access the site, or do you leave the site and just look for another, more mobile-friendly site?

Don't alienate mobile users by leading them to a dead end; instead, send mobile users to relevant mobile-friendly versions when they try to access desktop-optimized pages. Where you have no mobile-friendly equivalent, at least send them to your mobile-optimized homepage.


As you can see, while having a responsive site design is a great first step in a mobile SEO strategy, it's just that: a first step. Making sure all aspects of your site meet the needs and expectations of both desktop and mobile users is no less important, and will go a long way to making sure your site is performing optimally, regardless of device.

Have you fallen into any of the traps above? Did you figure out how to solve them? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.




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