Today we’re going to look at a recent development in the world of mobile SEO.
Look at the image below. It’s not a trap (honest!). It’s just a screenshot of a simple search for ‘attain design’ using Google on a contemporary mobile phone. What do you see? Anything unusual?
No? Nothing? Look closer.
There you go. Highlighting it in Attain pink does the trick. Google have recently introduced a new snippet to their mobile search – the ‘mobile friendly’ tag – and, word is, that this is going to be part of ranking factors for SERPs on mobile devices and can be seen as a boon to your SEO.
How does the ‘mobile friendly’ tag help with SEO?
The tag itself is an indicator of exactly what you’d expect; that the site is mobile friendly. By this, Google mean that it is well optimised for viewing on mobile devices and is a sign to users that they won’t have to worry about any errant compatibility issues.
This potential here is that the tag can give users a sense of confidence in the site they’re visiting. This can be especially important when you’re looking to increase your all-important click-through-rate from mobile traffic. It’s certainly early days yet, but I don’t doubt that in weeks and months to come we’ll start seeing claims and how this little tag does and does-not help to improve your click-through-rate.
How do I get a ‘mobile friendly’ tag?
Getting the tag itself requires that your website be up to scratch with Google’s latest standards, all of which are helpfully found in their updated Webmasters Mobile Guide; follow these steps, they say, and you too can benefit from all that this fifteen-character snippet has to offer.
If you’re too short on time to read through the Mobile Guide and want a quicker way of figuring out what exactly is sub-optimal about your site, you’re in luck. To give eager webmasters a helping hand, Google have released their Mobile Friendly Testing Tool. Using this, you can put your website into the tool and have all your faults found with relative ease.
Some of the common errors that get flagged up in the mobile friendly testing process can be ‘viewport not configured’, ‘small font size’, ‘touch elements too close’ or that your ‘content is not sized to viewport’. Of course, they’re not infallible indicators of an unusable site, but they’re good guidelines.
Whether or not you agree with the specific criteria and they’re perceived definitions of mobile usability, it’s undeniable that this little tag is going to have an effect on the way that users perceive sites within search results.
If your site isn’t mobile friendly, either through sheer age or clunky incompatibility, it’s very possible that missing this new ‘mobile friendly’ marker could leave you losing traffic your competitors.