Mobile SEO: The Definitive Guide
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Mobile SEO:The Definitive Guide

This new guide will show you everything you need to know about mobile SEO.

First, I’ll show you why mobile optimization is more important than ever.

Then, I’ll help you get your website ready for Google’s mobile-first index.

Sound good? Let’s dive right in…

Mobile SEO: The Definitive Guide
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Mobile SEO: The Definitive Guide
Mobile SEO: The Definitive Guide
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Mobile SEO: The Definitive Guide

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Chapter 1:Mobile Optimization 101

Mobile Optimization 101

In this chapter I’ll help you get the basics down.

So if you’re not sure if your site is mobile optimized, this chapter will get you on the right track.

Then, in later chapters, I’ll show you a bunch of advanced strategies and techniques.

What Is Mobile SEO?


Mobile SEO is the practice of optimizing your website for users on smartphones and tablets. Mobile optimization also includes making your site resources accessible to search engine spiders.

Why Is Mobile SEO Important?


In short: the number of mobile searches is EXPLODING.

In fact, 58% of all searches in Google are now done from a mobile device.

Mobile .vs. Desktop

And this trend is growing fast. According to Google, there are 27.8 billion more queries performed on mobile than desktop.

Mobile Queries

Needless to say, mobile is the future of search. And that’s probably why Google is overhauling their entire algorithm to focus on mobile search.

Is “SEO” Now About Optimizing for “Mobile SEO”?


Pretty much, yeah. At least if you’re optimizing your site for Google.

Today, 95% of all mobile searches are done on Google.

Mobile Searches On Google

And for Google to retain this insane level of dominance, they’re going to tweak their algorithm so that it’s optimized for mobile users FIRST.

In fact, they already have…

First, Google rolled out its Mobile-Friendly Update (which many people called “Mobilegeddon”).

Mobile Friendly Update

This update penalized sites that weren’t mobile-friendly (for searches performed on smartphones).

But if your target audience doesn’t search that much from their phone, this update wasn’t a big deal.

That is, until Google made EVERY search a mobile search. How? By making their entire algorithm “Mobile-First”.

What Is Google’s Mobile-First Index?


Google’s Mobile-first Index ranks the search results based only on the mobile-version of the page. And yes, this occurs even if you’re searching from a desktop.

Before this update, Google’s index would use a mix of desktop and mobile results.

So if someone searched from an iPhone, Google would show them mobile results. And if someone searched for something on a desktop, they’d get “desktop results”.

Google Search Model

Today, no matter what device you use, Google shows you results from their mobile index.

Google Mobile First Search Model

I’ll have A LOT more on making sure your site is optimized for mobile SEO in chapters 3, 4 and 5.

Is Google’s Mobile-First Index a Big Deal?


It depends.

If your site is already perfectly optimized for mobile, you should be good.

So if your site…

  • Loads resources across all devices
  • Doesn’t hide content on mobile versions of your site
  • Loads quickly like mobile users expect
  • Has working internal links and redirects
  • Boasts a UX that’s optimized for any device that your visitors use

Then yeah, you’re good.

If not, you may notice a rankings drop as Google rolls this out.

That’s why the rest of this guide is dedicated to helping you optimize your site for mobile.

But first…

What Does Google Consider “Mobile”?


To most people, a “Mobile device” means a smartphone or tablet.

However, Google puts tablets “in their own class” and states: “when we speak of mobile devices, we generally do not include tablets in the definition”.

In other words, according to Google: mobile=smartphones.

Honestly, this shouldn’t impact your mobile SEO all that much.

The main idea here is to optimize your site for ANY device.

This includes phones, tablet… or anything else that Elon Musk invents in the future.

Google doesn't consider tablets "Mobile"

Chapter 2:How to Implement a Mobile Website That Ranks in Google

Implement A Mobile Website

To succeed with mobile SEO today, your site needs to at least work on mobile devices.

So if mobile visitors get hit with a mini version of your desktop site, you’re in trouble.

Fortunately, implementing a mobile website isn’t hard or complicated.

And in this chapter I’m going to lay out a few different ways that you can implement a mobile version of your website (with a focus on SEO for mobile).

When It Comes to Mobile, You’ve Got 3 Options


There are 3 different ways to configure your site for mobile.

1

First, you’ve got Separate URLs (this is also known as an “M.” configuration).

With this setup, you have the “main” desktop version of your site. You also have a mobile version (“M.”) version of your site.

Seperate URLs

In other words, your site figures out what device your visitor is using… and then directs them to a URL optimized for that device.

Separate URLs were popular back in the day. Today? Not so much.

Why? First, they’re a huge pain to manage.

Also, “M.” sites have a host of SEO issues (like the fact that you need multiple URLs for every piece of content on your site AND that it requires complicated “rel=canonical” and “rel=alternate” tags).

In short, I DON’T recommend a separate URLs/”M.” configuration. It’s by far the worst way to configure your site for mobile SEO.

2

Next up, we have Dynamic Serving.

When you serve content dynamically, all of your content is on the same URL. But you show each user different HTML/CSS depending on the device they’re using.

Dynamic Serving

For example, if you visit https://backlinko.com/seo-tools on a desktop, you’d get served a pre-made desktop version of the site:

SEO Tools post

But if you visit the page from your iPhone 8, you’d still be on https://backlinko.com/seo-tools, but would get shown the “iPhone 8” version of the page:

SEO Tools post – Mobile version

Dynamic serving is definitely better for SEO than having an “M.” version of your site. But it has issues.

For example, dynamic serving sites are notorious for showing desktop versions to mobile users.

You also need to constantly create different versions of your content for new devices that come out. If you don’t, your site may not recognize a new device… and show them a version that looks terrible on that device.

In short, I DON’T recommend serving dynamic versions of your pages to mobile visitors. Instead, I recommend…

3

Finally, we have Responsive Design.

I saved the best for last.

With Responsive Design, your page’s layout and content responds to each individual user.

Responsive Design

The best part? Responsive design pulls this off without separate URLs or different HTML for each device.

In terms of being SEO-friendly, Responsive Design blows all other options out of the water.

Why? In short:

  • All of your content is on a single URL (good for sharing and getting links)
  • Minimal SEO headaches (no “rel=canonical tags”, duplicate content issues etc.)
  • Insanely user friendly (UX is a big part of SEO thanks to RankBrain)
  • No redirects (which cause technical SEO issues and can slow down your site)

And if you’re still not convinced, Google recommends responsive layouts. So there.

Chapter 3:How to Mobile Optimize Your Site

Mobile Optimize

Now that your site is setup for mobile visitors, it’s time to get your mobile SEO in order.

In this chapter I’ll show you how to ensure that Google and other search engines consider your site optimized for mobile.

Use Google’s Mobile Usability Test


This nifty tool found in the Google Search Console lets you know if your site has any mobile usability issues.

To use it, head over to your GSC account. Then click on “Mobile Usability”.

(This is in the sidebar of the new GSC)

Google Search Console – Mobile Usability section

And Google will let you know if mobile users have trouble using your site.

Google Search Console – Mobile Usability Report – No errors

(For example, the tool may letcha know that you use Flash or that your font is too small for mobile users to read).

You can also use Google’s Mobile-Friendly test.

Just pop your URL into the tool…

Google Mobile Friendly Test

…and get a full report.

Mobile Friendly Report

As you can see, I passed. But the tool let me know that mobile Googlebot had trouble loading all of the resources on my page:

Mobile Googlebot

Desktop Googlebot had no issue crawling these resources. But the mobile version couldn’t do it.

And with Google’s Mobile-first index now live, this is a potentially serious issue. And it’s something I wouldn’t have known about without this tool.

Super duper helpful.

Let Google Crawl Everything


Do you block Googlebot from accessing Javascript, CSS or other important parts of your site’s code?

This used to be no big deal. But today, this is a VERY bad idea.

Unless Google can fully crawl your page, they can’t tell it’s mobile-friendly or not.

And if they’re not sure it’s mobile-friendly, good luck ranking in the Mobile-first index.

How do you know if this is an issue?

First, check out your robots.txt file. This tells Googlebot to not crawl or index certain parts of your site. This file is usually found at site.com/robots.txt. You can also see it inside of the Google Search Console.

Google Crawl

While you’re there, click on “Google Index” —> “Blocked Resources”. This will let you know if you’re blocking Googlebot from crawling certain parts of your site.

Blocking Googlebot

If you’re not blocking anything important, you’re set.

Put the Kibosh on Interstitial Popups


I know: everyone HATES popups.

I’m not going to get into that debate here. But I WILL tell you that Google also hates popups… especially for mobile users.

Remember: Google’s #1 job is to show their users amazing content. And if that content is hidden behind a giant popup? It’s not all that amazing anymore.

In fact, Google rolled out an update that specifically targets “Intrusive” popups.

Intrusive Popups

So if you use a giant popup on your site, this could seriously impact your rankings.

How do you know which popups are OK?

Google gives a few examples of acceptable popups…

Acceptable Popups

…and popups that can get your site penalized.

Bad Popups

How Does Your Responsive Site Actually Look? Check Out This Cool Tool


It’s one thing to see how Google views your mobile site.

But nothing beats actually seeing your site on different devices.

So if you use responsive design on your site, I recommend checking out this free tool.

It’ll show you how your site looks on iPhones, tablets and more:

Responsive Website Tool

As it turns out, I look just as handsome on a phone as I do on a tablet. I love this tool!

Use The Mobile Version of “Fetch as Google”


Like most people, I’m a visual learner.

Sure, it’s nice to see a laundry list of potential Mobile optimization issues.

But personally, it’s much more helpful to actually SEE how Google sees my page.

That’s why I recommend spot testing a few pages on your site using the Google Search Console’s “Fetch as Google” feature.

Just enter a URL of a popular page from your site into it:

Fetch As Google

(Make sure to choose “Mobile” from the dropdown box)

Fetch As Google Mobile

And they’ll show you exactly what the Googlebot saw. You can even scroll down to see if Google missed anything (like images, videos, menus etc.).

What Googlebot sees

Very helpful.

Let Mobile Users See It All


Back in the day, people would block certain resources from mobile users.

(For example, they might hide some content…or block javascript from loading)

These people weren’t doing anything shady. Blocking these resources helped their page load faster on mobile devices. And it sometimes improved the mobile experience.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

Don't Hide Content On Mobile

See how you need to hit “Read More” to see all of the content? This might be a problem with Google’s Mobile-first index.

Why?

With Mobile-first, Google considers your page’s mobile version the “main” version.

And if your content is hidden to mobile users, they may not index or crawl that content. Or they may weigh it differently.

In the past, when it came to hiding content for desktop users, Google has said that:

“If something is relevant to the page, then it’s probably relevant to the user too, so I’d recommend showing it to the user.”

But then Google’s John Mueller recently said that, for the Mobile-first index:

“On the mobile version of the page it can be that you have these kind of tabs and folders and things like that, which we will still treat as normal content on the page. Even if it is hidden on the initial view.”

He also said that, when it comes to Mobile-first:

“If it’s critical content, it should be visible.”

Huh?

I’m going to wait for an official announcement on the Google blog before making a final say on this.

In the meantime, here’s my take:


If you block or hide content from mobile users, Google will ignore that content or put less weight on it.

Bottom line? Use your site on a few different phones. If desktop users see something mobile users don’t, I recommend getting that fixed ASAP.

Chapter 4:How to Optimize Your Mobile Site
for UX Signals

Mobile UX Signals

As you know, SEO today is less about messing around with meta tags and more about having an awesome site.

In fact, Google’s RankBrain algorithm is specifically designed to see how Google searchers interact with your site.

If RankBrain thinks your site is frustrating their mobile users, they’ll drop you like a stone.

And in this chapter I’ll show you some simple ways you can ensure that mobile users love your site.

Master Mobile Sitespeed


Does Google care how fast your mobile site loads?

Heck yes!

In fact, they recommend that your site loads in under a second for mobile users.

That’s insanely hard to pull off. Fortunately, there are some free tools out there that can help you reach Google’s ambitious guideline.

First up, we have Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.

This tool lets you know how quickly your site loads on Mobile…

…and gives you some recommendations that you can implement to speed things up.

New PageSpeed Insights result – Backlinko

I also recommend checking out WebPageTest.org. By default, the tool will load your site on a desktop browser. So make sure to choose a mobile browser from the menu:

WebPageTest.org

And you’ll get a list of suggestions specifically adapted for mobile browsers:

Adapted For Mobile Browsers

And if you want to get real geeky with pagespeed, check out this excellent resource from Big G.

Speed Test Big G

This guide will help you tweak the nuts and bolts of your site so it loads lightning-fast.

Make Your Content Insanely Easy to Read on Phones


Do users have to pinch, scroll or squint to read your mobile content?

Then they’re going to hit their “back” button like there’s no tomorrow.

For example, you don’t want your content to look like this:

Legibility On Mobile Devices

Yes, this page is technically optimized for mobile. But it’s hard as heck to read.

Instead, you want your font to be big, bold and legible, like this:

Big Bold Text On Mobile

So:

How can you make your mobile content more readable?

  • Use at least 14px font (I prefer 15 or 16)
  • Use short paragraphs (1-2 lines per paragraph)
  • Go with a line length between 50-60 characters
  • Make sure there’s tons of contrast between text and background (people use phones outside, which can make low-contrast text harder to read)

It also helps if your content is actually good. But that’s another story 🙂

Use HTML5 For Video and Animated Content


Do you embed videos in your content? Or does your page perform all sorts of fancy animations when people visit?

Well, if that content is coded in Flash, it’s not gonna work on mobile devices.

Instead, you want to code that up in HTML5.

Don’t Forget the “Viewport Content” Tag


Do you use responsive design? If so, don’t forget the viewport meta tag.

This tag changes the size of your page based on the user’s device.

And Google recommends that you setup your viewport meta tag like this:

Viewport Tag

If you forget this tag, or if it’s not configured correctly, your site could look funky to mobile users.

No Viewport Tag

So yeah, a friendly reminder to double check that you have this set up.

Implement These 3 Quick Mobile UX Hacks


These are three quick tips designed specifically to boost your site’s usability for mobile Google searchers.

1

Make Header Images Really Small

Mobile Google users want their answer NOW.

Which means you don’t want to use giant header images, like this:

Mobile UX Hacks

Instead, either delete them or make them smaller for mobile visitors, like this:

Smaller Header Images On Mobile
2

Use Lots of “Negative” Space

Negative space is the space between text, buttons and design elements. And negative space is REALLY important for mobile sites.

On a desktop, you can get away with a cluttered page.

But on a phone, a cluttered page is IMPOSSIBLE to use.

Negative Space On Mobile

This is especially important for content that you want to rank in Google. If a Google searcher has trouble reading your content or finding what they need, they’ll bounce back to the search results.

And using lots of negative space, like this, is one simple way to improve your site’s dwell time and bounce rate:

Negative Space Improves Dwell Time
3

Put Social Share Buttons as a Tab Bar

The fact is: social sharing buttons can SIGNIFICANTLY increase the amount of shares your content receives.

That said, social share buttons work best when they’re in the sidebar, like this:

Social Share Buttons Mobile

That way, they’re not distracting. But if someone wants to share — boom! — the buttons are right there.

Problem is: this setup isn’t possible on mobile.

That’s why I recommend using a tool like Sumo, which displays social icons as a tab bar at the bottom of the page.

Sumo Mobile SEO Tool

Simple.

Chapter 5:Advanced Mobile SEO Tips and
Best Practices

Advanced Mobile SEO

Now that your site is mobile optimized, it’s time to take things to the next level.

In the last chapter of this guide we’re going to blast through a handful of advanced mobile SEO tips, strategies and best practices.

Fix Your Mobile CTR, Get More Traffic


I probably don’t need to tell you that your organic click-through-rate is a HUGE Google ranking factor.

And if Google sees that mobile users don’t click on your result, they’re going to downrank you.

But how do you know if your CTR is up to snuff? Here’s the exact process:

First, head over to the Google Search Console’s Performance Report.

Head over to "Performance Report" in Google Search Console

Next, click “+ New”.

Click "New" on Google Search Console's Performance Report

Click “Device”

Click "Device" in Google Search Console

And hit “Compare” to compare desktop vs. mobile:

Click "Compare" next, in Google Search Console

Finally, take a look at how your desktop and mobile CTR size up.

Comparison chart between desktop and mobile – Google Search Console

If you notice that your desktop CTR crushes your mobile CTR for a certain keyword, search for that keyword in Google (on your phone).

It could be that your title tag is getting cut off (more on that later). Or it could be that the mobile SERPs have features (like more ads) that are crowding out the organic results.

Either way, you’ll usually come away with an insight that you can use to bump up your mobile CTR.

Turn Mobile Donkeys Into Unicorns


Google’s Mobile-first index means that Google will start to put more weight on mobile UX signals.

In other words, if mobile searchers bounce from your site like crazy, that’s going to put a damper on your rankings.

That’s why I recommend comparing your Desktop vs. Mobile bounce rate and dwell time in Google Analytics.

It’s actually super easy and well worth the effort.

To do it, login to your Google Analytics account. And hit “Site Content”–>”Landing Pages”.

Google Analytics Landing Pages

This will show you the most popular pages on your site. Click on a page that you want to get more traffic to.

Google Analytics Traffic

Then click “Secondary Dimension”–> “Device Category”.

Google Analytics Device Category

This’ll show you how your UX signals compare on desktop vs. mobile.

For example, for this page, my bounce rate and dwell time are almost identical. So this page is probably optimized well for mobile users.

Google Analytics Results

But if GA tells you that there’s a big difference between desktop and mobile visitors, visit that page on your phone.

You’ll probably notice something funky that’s causing mobile users to spend less time on your page.

Then, when you’re done, move onto our next tip.

Boost Your Mobile Page Speed With These 3 Tips


Like anything with Google’s Mobile-first update, Google will now look at your site’s mobile page speed. Will your desktop site speed still matter? Maybe.

But it’s definitely not going to be as important as how your site loads on mobile devices.

Here’s how to add some rocket fuel to your site’s mobile loading speed.

First, do a mobile speed test at ThinkWithGoogle.com:

Think With Google

This test is similar to any other site speed testing tool, except that it zeroes-in on mobile loading speed. It even loads your site in 3G to simulate a mobile environment.

And you get a helpful report that tells you how long it takes for your site to load on a mobile device…

Site Load On Mobile

…and shows you how to remove load speed roadblocks:

Load Speed Roadblocks

Here are some other quick tips to try out:

  • Squish your images: If you use WordPress, I recommend installing an image optimizer, like Smush Image Compression. These SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the file size of your images, which can speed up load times dramatically.
  • Implement Browser Cache: Google themselves recommend caching your site to make your site load faster.
  • Fire Up a CDN: CDNs can make page elements (especially images) load 2-3x faster.

Optimize Title and Description Tags for Mobile SERPs


Do you get the vast majority of your organic traffic from mobile?

Then you may want to optimize your title and description tags specifically for the mobile search results.

Here’s how:

Believe it or not, but Google actually gives you MORE title tag characters to work with on mobile.

Here’s the exact breakdown:

Desktop
Title: Approximately 70 Characters
Description: Approximately 155 Characters

Mobile
Title: Approximately 78 Characters
Description: Approximately 155 Characters

In other words, if your title tag is 69 or fewer characters, your title won’t get cut off on desktop or on mobile.

But let’s say you get lots of mobile traffic. Well, you may want to expand your title tag and take advantage of that extra room… even if it pushes you over the desktop character limit.

For example, let’s say your title tag looks like this:

Page Title: Mobile SEO Tips

That’s 66 characters. So this title will display in-full on desktop and mobile.

But let’s say you wanted to use a word or phrase that’ll bump up your CTR. Your title tag would now look like this:

Page Title: Killer SEO Tips

That’s 78 characters.

Yes, 78 characters means that Google will truncate your title tag on desktop searches. But it’ll show up just fine on mobile.

But if desktop only makes up a small chunk of your traffic? It may be worth it for the CTR bump you’ll receive with a longer title tag on mobile.

Should You Implement AMP?


Accelerated Mobile Pages are stripped-down versions of webpages designed to load quickly on mobile devices. In fact, AMP pages load about 4x faster than their non-AMP counterparts.

As you may know, Google has led the charge on AMP.

Should I Use AMP

And because AMP is a Google project, lots of SEOs rushed to implement AMP for their clients’ sites.

(The assumption is that Google will reward AMP-friendly sites with higher rankings).

Higher rankings aside… Google also shows a little icon next to your result in the search results that may boost your CTR:

AMP Icon SERP

With all that, the question is:

Does it make sense to use AMP?

The choice is yours, of course. But my take is: probably not.

Here’s why:

First, AMP puts SERIOUS limits on your page’s functionality.

Want full control of your ads? Not happening.

How about a lightbox or popup? Nope.

Well, you can at least brand your site however you want, right? Not so fast. AMP puts significant restrictions on CSS. This helps your site load faster… but makes your content look generic.

Second, AMP can hurt your link building efforts.

When someone links to your content, those links point directly to your site. Obvious, I know.

But here’s the deal:

When someone links to your AMP pages, that link points to the Google.com domain.

Problems With Using AMP

In other words, AMP can cost you in the link department.

So at least for now, links to AMP pages boost Google’s domain authority… not yours.

Finally, AMP may not last.

LTE is already SUPER fast. And 5G is just around the corner.

So the idea of jumping through a thousand hoops for a tiny increase in mobile loading speed makes little sense today… and will make even less sense moving forward.

Bottom line? Unless you have a compelling reason to do so, I don’t recommend AMP for most publishers.

Use Schema Structured Data To Stand Out in Mobile SERPs


As you probably know, mobile SERPs display the search results as cards:

Schema Structured Data

And these cards make Schema.org structured data super effective.

Why?

Well, structured data can hook you up with review stars, recipe images and event dates in the SERPs… all of which can significantly increase your organic CTR.

For example, look at how much the Downshiftology mobile result stands out from ToddyCafe.com. This contrast isn’t nearly as powerful on desktop:

SERP Cards

Bottom line? If you want more clicks from mobile Google searchers, consider implementing structured data.

Now It's Your Turn

Conclusion

So that’s it for my guide to mobile optimization.

I hope you enjoyed it.

Now I’d like to hear your take:

What are you doing to get your site ready for mobile SEO?

Or maybe you have a question about something from today’s guide.

Either way, let me know by leaving a quick comment below.

398 Comments

  1. Should be ranking on the first page of Google for ‘mobile seo’ in a few minutes 😉

    I don’t know how you keep putting out content like this but it is super inspiring. Going to take a while to fully digest all of this but can already see there some great tips.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Glen, thanks man! This is a tough keyword so it make take longer than that 🙂

      1. Dan Avatar Dansays:

        when will the article be in the index? Is there a problem with googles manual index at the moment?

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          Hey Dan, it can take some time. Should be indexed soon though

      1. Anyway ranking first page for the term.

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          🙂

    1. Glen, Nice to see you here. 1st I learn ABCD of SEO from viperchill but now I learn most thinga from backlinko.

      I am still waiting for new glen post on viperchill.

  2. Isn’t 58% + 32% just 90%?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Good catch, Uwe. Math is not my strong point :-). Chart=updated.

      1. Thanks for your fast reply and fix, Brian!

      1. Hi Dean, the original 58%+32% =90% was correct. Because remaining 10% are tablet users. Even if you check in google search console under devices then there are three options- Desktop, mobile, and tablets.

        So, according to me now you have given no space to tablet users by making that change. Mobile and tablet are different devices dear.

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          I actually checked the source of that and they lumped tablets in as mobile (which Google doesn’t do).

  3. Awesome as always Brian!
    Even though I knew most of these, I enjoyed reading and seeing that I am doing the right things. Didn’t know about the bounce rate comparison on devices though, pretty useful stat, will have to check all my pages now.
    Also, I’m proud to read the article before your newsletter landed in my inbox to tell me that.. 😉

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Jure. Yup, that’s a great wait to diagnose issues with mobile UX. Let me know how it goes.

  4. Wow! As usual, the best info online… Merci beaucoup!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Pedro.

  5. Tom Avatar Tomsays:

    Wow man. This is insanely helpful. About to kick off a redesign project to update an older non-mobile e-commerce site. I should pretty much just send this to the developer as a checklist 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      WOW. This guide should be a lifesaver man. Good timing by me 🙂

  6. Like Always this guy have the best tips. Perfect guide! We where thinking about getting amp for our blog but like you say its no need. It’s better to use Gzip Compression, better hosting etc etc

    Chao
    /Jorge

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      There’s an argument to be made for AMP. I just think it’s not worth adopting for 99% of publishers out there.

  7. Another super helpful, extraordinarily well-formatted article. You’ve undoubtedly raised the bar in SEO blogging since your entry, Brian. 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Rohit. I appreciate that 🙂

  8. Impressive content, as always. Visuals are also stunning.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Zack. I agree: this guide turned out really nice.

  9. Hey Brian ! Love this blog article. It provides such a comprehensive guide to the Google’s Mobile First Indexing Algorithm!! Thank you so much !

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Kunal. Glad you learned some new stuff

  10. The number of mobile users and mobile search is growing at a very high speed. We should focus on mobile SEO which will help you in achieving your online marketing goals. And Mobile SEO will be continually growing, that is why mobile SEO is important to your business success.

  11. Hey Brian,

    Thanks for sharing!

    For mobile speed – use service workers. Just take a look at Progressive web concept by Google. We already adapting our websites with offline cache and service workers.

    Regards

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Linards. I haven’t read much about service workers. I’ll check it out.

    1. Hey Linards and Brian,

      I have also been doing a lot of research about PWA and AMP and aligning them accordingly.
      This is what we are adapting at Aritic and helping customers to do the same.
      Implement PWA throughout your web properties first then do this:
      For Blog, resource and product documentation, add AMP pages.
      And, for main website use PWA only.
      This combination works well for B2B websites.

      For e-commerce; PWA is king.
      For publishers PWA+AMP is magic.

      Hope this aligns well. What are your thoughts?

  12. Brilliant and timely as always – thank you, Brian

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Neal. With the mobile-first index rolling out right now, I thought it’d be a good time to release this badboy 🙂

  13. Henil patel Avatar Henil patelsays:

    yeah..definately Mobile SEO Is main factor in future..and this very helpful for me..for more inforamtion regarding Mobile friendly Site…thank you

    but i have que..?? how to create this type(mention in post) vector image that look are wonderful..plz tell me which tool or software?? and again thank u From india😍

  14. Justin McKinney Avatar Justin McKinneysays:

    Hey Brian, great guide but I don’t think the AMP section is completely accurate. For example, you can use lightboxes on AMP pages, and showcase ads. Google has already stated that in the 2nd half of 2018 that publisher URLs will be displayed instead of Google URLs. I think a better argument against AMP is the lack of advanced functionality available on AMP pages due to the javascript requirements.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Justin.

      To your points:

      “you can use lightboxes on AMP pages”. True. But they’re only click-triggered. You can’t use, for example, an exit intent popup.

      “and showcase ads”. Also true. But you’re limited in where and how they’re displayed.

      “And half of 2018 that publisher URLs will be displayed instead of Google URLs”. Even so, as of today, AMP URLs are Google.com URLs.

      So you’re right: AMP isn’t all bad. I’m just making the case that it’s not worth implementing for most publishers.

      1. Justin McKinney Avatar Justin McKinneysays:

        Agreed, I think for most it’s not worth the effort, especially until Google changes the display URL issue. Thanks for responding and clarifying!

  15. Fantastic article Brian, Thank You! My site is responsive but I’m definitely going back through your post to double check everything!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Roy. Let me know how it goes.

  16. Hey Brian, great article. I’m seeing more and more mobile traffic. Any tips on increasing conversion rate on e-commerce sites? Traffic is great but 90% is mobile traffic with a low conversion rate.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Harris, you’re not alone there. People still tend to browse with their phone but buy with a desktop. That’s where getting an email (in exchange for a discount) is key. That way, you can convert them later when they’re at home.

  17. @Brian,
    This content is just brilliant!
    I can’t imagine the hard work you’ve put into this awesome content. It is not just highly informative but also superbly designed.
    Thank you for teaching us about Mobile SEO.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Rajan.

  18. Great insights Brian, I love how you give actionable items right after the explanation.

    Quick question: If a website doesn’t show up at ThinkWithGoogle.com is there anything we can do to get indexed? How important is it to be in this index?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Matt. I think that’s hand-curated isn’t it?

  19. Wow, awesome article as usual Brian!
    Would it be worth mentioning some tips on caching and what a difference a solid hosting provider can make on your loading speed?
    Thanks Brian

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Marko. Good point there. I didn’t want to go crazy about sitespeed because that topic could make up an entire guide. But you’re right: a solid hosting provider can make a BIG difference in your loading speed. That’s why I avoid cheap $5/month hosting providers like the plague.

  20. WOW Brian, thanks a lot.

    Brian – The AMP back-link issues is significant, I didn’t know about it. But don’t you think Google will fix this or maybe count those links as genuine backlinks?

    I have just moved my blog to AMP! 🙁

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Yuvraj. Google will probably switch AMP to your site’s URLs this year. But I’m not sure if that will retroactively apply links pointing to old AMP URLS.

  21. As always Brian, you provide the definitive guide to SEO in the mobile age. Concise and actionable. Thanks!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Don. That’s how I roll 🙂

  22. Incredible aritcle as always Brian, thanks a lot for this content. I especially liked the desktop vs mobile google analytics comparison tip, never actually went to this detail!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Otto, thank you. In most cases, as long as your site is optimized for mobile UX and responsive, you should be good. But it never hurts to check… hence that little tip 🙂

  23. Another killer article Brian! Already shared with the team.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Nice!

  24. Wonderful Article Brian!! I’m so glad I found Backlinko and SEO That Works!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks WP. I’m glad you found us too 🙂

  25. Asher Avatar Ashersays:

    Nice article – thanks Brian!

    One point though: I don’t see how using AMP is really going to affect link building efforts because I doubt many people ever place a link on their site while on a mobile. Therefore, as soon as they click an AMP link that maybe they emailed to themselves (or whatever) on their desktop it WILL be the correct website URL because it changes automatically when on the desktop.

    Am I missing something?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Asher. That’s a fair point. I’d say most people do link from a desktop, but I don’t have any stats on that. That said, I’m sure people do blog and link from mobile devices too, right?

      1. Asher Avatar Ashersays:

        I find it doubtful there would be many (quality) sites blogging from a mobile but I could be wrong. And even if they did link to the AMP URL then I would imagine Google would still note the link properly since they’re the ones pushing AMP and they’re the master of understanding links.

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          I’m with you (maybe) on the first part. Regarding “And even if they did link to the AMP URL then I would imagine Google would still note the link properly since they’re the ones pushing AMP and they’re the master of understanding links.”. I’m not sure about that part. Could be as they are good at evaluating links. But the links don’t redirect in any way to your site. So they’d have to invent some kind of new tech to count those links.

  26. Hey Brian,
    Got your mail and had to rush here for a thorough read. Yes you’ve brought real value and this adds up to my up coming presentation.

    Thanks for the value

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Enstine. Hope you learned some cool new stuff.

  27. That was a great learn. Thanks for sharing such content. Honestly it iwll help me a lot.

    Thanks again.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome. Happy to help

  28. Really, a great article. Your in-depth articles always help webmasters like us.

  29. Hi Brian,

    excellent explaination, but i have somethin that bother me since amp issues came up, like you said that amp make link building hurt, can you tell me from which that source information ?

    that will boost into google instead of our website

    thank you

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey James, it’s just a fact. If you go to any AMP site on mobile, the URL is on Google.com. So if someone links to that, that link points to Google.com

  30. as usual, awesome content! I noticed when I used fetch as Google that if the page you’re fetching has a “/” on the end you need to include that. otherwise Google has to redirect it. Not a big deal I guess, but I think it just shows how persnickety the big G can be.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks David. Interesting. I didn’t know that. Maybe that’ll be improved in the new GSC

  31. Nailed it again Brian! Great info.

    Your information on AMP backs up what I was thinking. I’m pleased we’ve not made the jump to implement AMP on any of the sites I work on so far. I’ll keep assessing the option going forward…

  32. Wow! That’s massive information in a crisp manner. I like the few tools and thanks for unfolding few options for me that i was not even aware of in GSC.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Glad you liked the new guide, Gary.

  33. Brian, totally on board with you as it pertains to popups. I’m trying to get all my clients to remove them, especially ecommerce clients. I’ve never seen a popup on Amazon and that’s what I’m telling them.

    Have you abanded them all together and anything as it relates to exit intent and email signups? The Newsletter signup in your footer is slick, but besides that what are you doing on your site or suggesting we use for lead generation or even say pages where we want a signup to get a whitepaper/download?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Curtis, popups have a place in some cases (like offering a discount on exit intent). But definitely not for mobile.

      To your question I have abandoned them altogether but I’m thinking of testing them out in a very limited capacity. Basically, I want to use them without being spammy.

      1. I’m in the same boat, I want to use them but also don’t want to come across Spammy. I need to replace my appsumo with something different and maybe it’s just styling some better CTA’s within my content and removing popups altogether. For ecommerce we’re using notification bars at the top instead of using popups and that is working well.

  34. Hey Brain awesome article, but I don’t agree one point of your’s. That is of Implementing AMP ? From my point of view AMP is necessary, I too agree that it strip down the CSS and give the generic design to your content, but it also helps in boost the speed of site even if a person is using 2G. It has little tactics about SEO, but it can be handled.
    But at last as usual you article is awesome and good representation..

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Karan, it’s true that AMP improves loading speed. No doubt about that. The question is whether it’s worth it or not.

      1. From my point of view it is worth. Can you tell me whether implementing AMP on this site is giving worth or not (studytoday.net)
        Waiting for your valuable feedback

  35. Steven Macdonald Avatar Steven Macdonaldsays:

    Amazing read, Brian!

    On the SuperOffice blog, I’ve implemented my “post summary” technique – a short 3 part bullet-point summary on every post, which has led to both traffic from mobile and time on page from mobile increasing.

    I think it works well because mobile readers can quickly read a summary of what they can expect in the piece. If it’s interesting enough, they’ll read it all.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Interesting, Steven. So that summary is at the top of the post?

      I imagine that’s also good for getting your content to appear as a Featured Snippet.

      1. Steven Macdonald Avatar Steven Macdonaldsays:

        Yepp, it’s just below the the top banner and is one of the first things mobile readers will see. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it used in the featured snippet box yet 😕

  36. I’m so proud to be a subscriber to your newsletter. You always deliver only high-quality articles and news.

    Thank you for this valuable article.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Andrei

  37. Abdul Kadir Avatar Abdul Kadirsays:

    Well well well , the AMP part is now on my head. My site is already on AMP from the time AMP came to market. Now should I go back to non AMP ( which I know will have negative impact) or better to stick with it ?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Abdul, there’s a case to be made for AMP. So I’m not saying it’s the wrong choice for everyone. Just that AMP has a lot of downsides I don’t see a lot of people talk about. It’s ultimately a business decision that only you can make.

  38. Hi Brian,
    Your article looks stunning even on a desktop, so kudos!
    One question though, how are engagement and conversion on this page? Did you see a decrease in engagement and conversions when you switched to a no sidebars layout?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Dorian, thanks 🙂

      Engagement=great. Conversions suffer a little without the sidebar. But it’s worth it for the guide to look as nice as it does.

  39. Bitu Rauth Avatar Bitu Rauthsays:

    Hey Brian
    Amazing article.
    Fonts mater a lot when it comes to mobile SEO,

    How you optimize your sub heading, SEOs says that, more than one h1 or h2 elements is bad for SEO.
    So how you maintain the font size using sub heading tag.

    Thanks
    Bitu Rauth

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I use one H1 and several H2s.

  40. Great post as usual! You never fail to amaze me with your blog post design. However, which tool do you use to design such excellent content?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Istiak. I work with a talented designer and coder to get these made.

  41. Matt Avatar Mattsays:

    Hey Brian,

    Haven’t had a chance to go through this yet, but I’m sure it will be great! I did notice that your email about this post had some incorrect information. I guess it doesn’t matter at this point, but according to Search Engine Roundtable, the mobile-first index has only rolled out to a relatively small number of sites and may take a year or so to fully roll out.

    https://www.seroundtable.com/google-mobile-first-index-expanding-25286.html

    Matt

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Good point, Matt. I meant to say that it’s now live and rolling out. I could have phrased that better.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Ah I see what you mean now. Thanks David

  42. Hello Brain,

    Thanks for one more descriptive post. Though your blog has 30-40 post but one can easily say it can beat search engine land and journal easily 🙂

    Brain, you just said what I wanted to head about AMP.

    Even I have research and analyzed and my data says the same. It’s OPTIONAL!

    Thanks a lot 🙂

    Piyush

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Optional is the perfect way to put it.

  43. Thanks for Your great article on Mobile friendly website setup.. and also clear my doubts on AMP.. it helps me to Take clear decision on AMP on my Website.. So.. Now I am Removing it.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Sanket. I wouldn’t necessarily remove it if it’s working for you. But it’s your call.

      1. sanket patel Avatar sanket patelsays:

        Yes, But For me it’s not working… but i diden’t remove it without any guidance, but this article helps me to take clear decision…

  44. Chris Avatar Chrissays:

    Brian, I love your content as always! However, your take on the ‘150 character’ meta description limitation seems outdated. Google significantly increased the number of possible characters end of december 2017.

    150 characters was 2017, in 2018 around 300 characters are currently possible.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Chris. You’re 100% right. They have confirmed the new limits. I just updated the guide to reflect that. Thanks again.

  45. Really nice guide, I appreciated.
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Fabrizio.

  46. Unless Google decides to stop putting their domain when someone loads my pages, I’m not moving to AMP :3

    BTW, this is the BEST guide on mobile SEO I’ve seen! Great Work Brian

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Ayden. They should allow you to use your site’s URLs for AMP later this year. But for now… it’s not good

  47. Thanks Brain,
    Every time you releases a post It will be perfect in all ways. From these techniques I am going to use m.example.com for my site.

    I know you are insanely busy. But can you please take a look on my site. Something which can improve a bit.

    Anyways!

    Thanks for sharing this again.

    Hoping in few days I can easily find this by just searching “Mobile Seo”

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Sachin. And thanks for your support.

  48. Azzam Avatar Azzamsays:

    Shared, Shared and Shared some more!
    Fantastic that you are putting this out, here and now. Hats off on the quality of the article and that it has come at such a prudent time.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Azzam! With Google’s mobile-first index rolling out, I thought it was about time 🙂

  49. Good job Brian. I can see the amount of hardwork that you put for every piece of content you create. May it be the fonts or the color combination to increase the readability and yes lastly and most importantly your CONTENT. Thanks and it really helped me and I can’t wait to apply it to my agency – skypathdigital.com

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Aldrin.

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