Whether talking about search engine optimization for lawyers or for any other industry or type of business or website, it’s mobile-first. Google has explicitly stated that it prioritizes its mobile experience in its search result rankings. Mobile-first indexing means that Google will predominantly use content’s mobile versions for indexing and ranking.
In the past, the index would primarily look at the desktop version for content to evaluate whether or not it was relevant to a user’s search.
Now, the vast majority of users access Google Search with their mobile device, meaning that the smartphone agent is what Google mostly uses to crawl and index pages.
With this in mind, below are some mobile SEO mistakes to avoid.
One of the worst things from a technical SEO perspective is slow site speed. Your site has to be fast to load and interact. Page loading speed makes up around two-thirds of Google’s Core Web Vitals update.
Even when you’re not just looking at things from an SEO perspective, 53% of people abandon a page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
Every page should be rendered in less than one second so that your site is going to be as fast as possible.
In 2017, Google made an announcement that pages, where the content couldn’t be easily accessible to users when transitioning from mobile search results could potentially not rank as high.
Specifically, interstitials, which are newsletter sign-ups, popup ads, and banners that interfere with a user accessing the content on your site, are problematic.
This became part of the Cumulative Layout Shift or CLS in 2021. Cumulative Layout Shift is part of Core Web Vitals. Core Web Vitals are metrics to measure the layout shifts occurring on a page as it’s loading.
This includes popups that might move content up or down, interstitials that move content, and any other elements that could be annoying to users.
If you have bad redirects, it can become an issue for your website if it’s not optimized for mobile.
If someone lands on a desktop version of your website, they should be redirected to the mobile version of the same page rather than being redirected to your homepage. If you don’t have a phone equivalent for your pages, you should try to fix that as soon as you can.
Mobile users on all devices should be getting the same content, and you want to make sure that you aren’t linking to the versions of your pages that are optimized for desktop from mobile URLs.
The best way to avoid any of these potential issues is to have a responsive site instead of a separate domain.
Google wants to find instant answers to questions, and you can use something like schema.org to give answers that will help you do better in mobile search results. If you don’t use Schema or Structured Data markup for categorizing content, you could be missing out on an opportunity.
Your rich snippets might not be showing up because of the wrong mobile implementation.
If you use the Rich Snippet tool or the Structured Data tool, you can test to make sure your structured data is maintained well on your site.
There tends to be a lot of confusion when comparing mobile-first and mobile-friendly. Mobile-friendly means your site is well-designed for different mobile devices. Mobile-first means Google will crawl a mobile site before a desktop site, and the mobile site is what’s important.
To have a good mobile design, you want large font sizes and screens that a clear of clutter, and you want to ensure that you are avoiding illegible fonts. You also want to make sure any elements on your pages are spaced so that your mobile users aren’t going to click the wrong button or link.
As part of bad mobile design, are you ignoring how people read content on mobile devices? People on mobile devices are interacting with a lot of content, it could be images or videos, but they’re still interacting with written content as well.
Mobile users, while they do read written content, interact with it differently than users who aren’t on mobile devices.
You should have a minimum of a 16px font for mobile readers, for example, so that your readers don’t have to squint. Don’t make your headlines too large because then they fill the whole screen. Break up your content with plenty of white space by writing short paragraphs.
You can also break up your content with headings and images. The readers on a mobile device are going to be scanning. They might save it for later after giving it a quick skim.
Another mobile mistake is only optimizing for traditional keyword research.
When people are searching on mobile devices, they’re probably going to speak their queries instead of typing them. People on mobile devices might be looking for different things, such as more localized content, and when they do type their queries, they may be shorter.
Rather than relying only on traditional keyword research, consider mobile users and look for keywords based on phrases that are conversational and full sentences.
You can check on this by using the Fetch As Google tool on Google Search Console.
When you’re using Google Search Console, it’s a good idea to go ahead and regularly check for crawl errors too. There might be simple mobile SEO issues you find there and can fix pretty quickly.