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

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 SEO. 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 ran two indexes side-by-side: a mobile version and desktop version.

If someone searched from an iPhone, Google would show them results from their mobile index. 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 no matter what device 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.

What Does Google Consider 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 big back in the day. Not so much anymore.

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:

Backlinko SEO Tools

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:

iPhone 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 “Search Traffic”—>”Mobile Usability”.

GSC Dashboard

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

Mobile Usability

(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.

Google Pagespeed Insights

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 Search Analytics section.

GSC Analytics

Next, click “Compare Devices”.

GSC Compare Devices

And choose “Desktop” vs. “Mobile” and hit “Compare”:

GSC Mobile .vs. Desktop

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

GSC Mobile CTR

It’s normal for your mobile and desktop CTRs to be different here.

But 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. But your meta description is shorter.

(Go figure)

Here’s the exact breakdown:

Desktop
Title: Approximately 70 Characters
Description: Approximately 300 Characters

Mobile
Title: Approximately 78 Characters
Description: Approximately 300 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.

351 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. 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.

  2. 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.. 😉

  3. 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 🙂

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. 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?

    1. 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 🙂

  7. 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😍

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

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

  10. 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. 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.

  11. @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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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. 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.

  14. 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. 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.

  15. 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. 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 🙂

  16. 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. 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. 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. 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.

          1. They do redirect on the desktop.

            Interestingly, I just went and looked on my phone at a site using AMP and now at the top of the page there is a link icon that when you tap it shows the URL to the page not the Google URL. I’m not sure if this is new but it’s a step in the right direction.

            See what I mean here: https://imgur.com/a/oFalV

  17. 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. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  21. 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. 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.

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

  23. 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. 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. 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 😕

  24. 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. 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.

  25. 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. 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.

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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. 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…

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

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

  32. 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”

  33. 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.

  34. 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

  35. Really useful tools, very implementable tips and brilliant advice as always, Brian. Loving the formatting and page design too. About AMP, I implemented it for one of my sites and saw a big jump in traffic. Some of my AMP pages get over four times the amount of traffic that my non-AMP pages do. Yes, it decreases functionality and AMP errors can make it a nightmare sometimes, but I think there are serious benefits to it, especially if your desktop site is slow to begin with.

    Also, the URLs for my AMP pages read like this http://MYSITE/MYPAGE/amp/ so I was really surprised to read that they point to the Google.com domain. I will have to double-check that mine are showing up properly. That said, I haven’t implemented AMP on my faster-loading sites. Didn’t feel the need to do that as its main benefits are in terms of page speed.

    Thanks again, for the excellent mobile SEO guide.

    1. Thanks Priya. Wow 4x is a legit change. In that case, it’s probably worth keeping it.

      And yes, I’d double check the AMP links. If they read like that for users, you’re good. But in my experience, they ultimately point to Google

  36. I wanted to make the short way to improve my pages load speed and I was near to move to AMP, but following your recommandation, I will not do it !

    Thank you Brian
    Meike

  37. Awesome content as always! Rank #5 Already for mobile seo in Canada. 🙂

    You touch on Schema a bit in a lot of articles, But I would love a skyscraper piece like this on a complete schema guide. Just an idea for the future.

    Thanks!

    1. WOW that’s awesome. I love Canada even more now 🙂

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll add it to my list of ideas for future guides.

  38. Hey Brian, Now With premium version of AMP, We can customize our ads and We can also put ads on Header and Footer.

    Well, I don’t have more money So, I have not applied itself. But I have gone through the full Overview and I find It.

    What Do You think about this?

    By the way, You are an amazing writer. I am following You on writing Style and techniques.
    Thanks

    1. Okey, Google is definitely making AMP more flexible. But it’s got a long way to go vs. your average webpage. For example, this guide could never exist on AMP

  39. Great job, Dean.

    I attended Pubcon (Vegas) in November…lots of “amp” talk.

    I went away thinking I “may” want to implement it, but I decided against it.

    I agree: Amp may not last.

    The Franchise King®

    1. Peter, it depends on a lot of factors. But it can take up to a week or two for those changes to fully kick in.

  40. Thorough but eminently readable as usual Brian. All other business postponed tomorrow whilst we work out the implementation plan for most of your new insights and recommendations. Thanks for the legwork…!

  41. Wow, again a very complete and massive collection of gilden nuggets. I will go and use a lot of them on my blog. Thanks Brian!

    Regards, Peter

  42. Great Content As Always, Brian!
    With your recent post on voice search, is there any connection between optimizing for mobile and voice?
    Also, do you plan on digging into visual search optimization any time in the future?

    1. Thank you Brent. Good question. There’s a lot of overlap for sure (especially for “X near me” searches). Plus, a good chunk of voice searches are done via mobile.

      Visual search would be cool. I might look into that.

  43. Good stuff! Got good “scores”, but needed some work, now with your help I know what direction to go to make that ‘ole website really sing. Thanks, Brian

  44. Amazing, Brian. As always on top!

    Already ranking for ‘Mobile Seo’ on 5th position in Google PK for me. 🙂

    Just a quick question, do google index .zip(or other compressed files) on their own? Or do we have to add some sort of noindex for them?

    Keep it up!

    1. Nice! Good question. It depends. If the .zip is a way to compress your loading speed, they do usually index them. But if it’s part of a file hosted on your site, I don’t think they do index that content.

      1. Cool, I asked for files such as freebies/templates, I will be uploading them as zipped files for my visitors. So, I guess they don’t index the compress content, and won’t have to manually do noindexing.

        One more quickie, do you think we should noindex tag and archive/category pages from google? Or allow them to index? Since, our main focus is to rank primarily for the “keyword” targeted on our content page, and won’t having those pages indexed will count as ‘no zombie pages’ and thus helping with RankBrain.

  45. Hey Brian,

    Thanks again for the great guide! It’s awesome. We should probably see an increase in traffic if our sites are optimized for mobile, right? Also, I wanted to ask, what do you consider good average CTR? Thanks again.

    1. You’re welcome. You could see an increase for sure. It depends on how well your competition optimized their sites for mobile.

  46. Outstanding content! Brian, it’s also obvious that besides being good SEO expert you are also an expert at copywriting. Any chance you are doing a blog about copywriting any soon?

  47. Excellent read Brian!!
    I have been doing all this (except for AMPs) for a while now for my client’s websites and the results are great!
    As a matter of fact my own website ranks 5 times on the first page for “mobile seo stamford ct”

  48. Wow !
    You Really Really Make This Awesome.

    You May Also Want to say Something about JS polyfill. Some Times google can’t render pages that use some sort of JS Library or Frame Works Like React.

    You can test that out by use “fetch as google” and see if image is fine OR use the poor Microsoft Internet Explorer and check if site render in the way you expect.

  49. Another amazing guide and you got second spot for this keyword just in 9 hours awesome man. But for my site I did feth as google two urls one day ago but still no indexing. Is there any problem in google crawler for fresh site?

  50. Thanks for the great resource, Brian. You’ve become my go to source for SEO knowledge.

    Does Google do this at a page level? Will a very small number of pages (less than 1%) that aren’t mobile friendly affect the rankings of my mobile friendly pages?

    1. Good question, Lex. I haven’t heard any official word on that. But Google is recommending that your entire site be mobile friendly. So if possible, I’d work on those 1% of pages that aren’t just to be on the safe side.

  51. Brian, one of the most important things you pointed out in this article was what AMP does to your backlinks. I was seriously considering it, but now – no way! And all because of a Brian Dean original!

  52. Awesome Brian, thank for sharing new tips and Google changes. As it may see, I’ve done quite a lot of stuff but there is more in front of me to make… Will keep checking for new content. I only having problem since my content is image related, I can reduce the quality in order to load super fast, but I really hope this will not impact on ranking that much 🙂

  53. Awesome content. I like your take on AMP. I tried implementing AMP before, and it has problem loading the contact form too. Unless you can another special AMP contact plugin. What’s your take on showing company logo on mobile ? Sometimes, I get frustrated to see huge logo before the content.

      1. Sorry for the confusion. What i meant is this – is it necessary to place company logo under mobile view, as it is taking much space and hinder user from viewing the content ?

        1. I prefer to have branding at the top of the page (like a nav menu and logo). As long as it’s not too big, it doesn’t push the content down that much.

  54. The AMP page is created following yourdomain.com/amp. You can use amp plugin to do this. And not boost Google authority but your site. All of my posts using amp version and always get higher ranking in serp.

    1. Hi John, what happens when you do a search from mobile and click on one of your AMP pages? “Your” page is a Google URL.

    1. AJ, you’re right. I probably could have phrased that better. I meant to say that the mobile version is now the preferred version (even for people that search from a desktop).

  55. Hi Brian,

    I just back from someday trip, and I saw the Backlinko notification new post. I visited the post directly !

    As I expect, this is really amazing guide for Mobile SEO !

    Thank you so much, Brian <3 !

    1. I haven’t done much content in Schema yet. But a lot of people requested it so I’ll probably write a post about it sometime this year.

  56. Superb as usual. Mobile SEO is the need of today. Mobile search has gone up in recent years and if your site is not optimized for mobile then you are lost!

    Another thing can you put some light on push notifications. The utility in both desktop and mobile. How good is for lead generating? I feel it is brilliant for branding of the site where you can interact with the user / client. I need to know the ‘Great’ Brian Dean’s opinion 🙂

    1. Well said. Re: push notifications. I haven’t tried them yet. I think they’re already starting to fade a bit…

  57. I thought SEO is a “set-and-forget”…..

    I was wrong… I stopped blogging for a while and I can really see that my traffic is going down a little bit ! Is this normal ???

  58. Previously like every other Blogger, I also implemented AMP on my site and I hated the way my site looks. All the custom css is gone, the blog looks ugly and the conversions went down. So, I removed AMP on my site and improved the Page Speed. Other than AMP, I am already implementing all the techniques you have mentioned.

  59. I think this is the best and complete guide of mobile SEO where you can see all the points regarding mobile optimization. I see many people implement amp for this website so how can they do internal linking on their website there is no other option to redirecting on your website rather than Google.

  60. Hi Brian,

    Great guide like always, I was even last night thinking about that 5g will be available probably till 2020 and after that all this mess for the mobile speed will not be matter.

    If we are about it then Google must aware of it too then i don’t understand why they are so enthusiastic about the mobile speed.

    1. Thanks Suraj. Totally. AMP will still load faster on 5G. But it’s not like people’s phones even now are so slow that loading speed is an issue. It’s not like back in 2009

  61. Hello & thank you for this great guide.

    I haven’t had much success with AMP pages as well.
    Also, one question, can you break down a bit using schema for your sites?

  62. Hi Brian,

    Hope you are doing awesome. Another great post. I have several websites (WordPress). I am interested to implement “Schema”.

    Which Schema Plugin do you prefer?

    Regards.

    1. Eriq, that’s true. Anything you add to your site will slow it down. So it’s a balance between sitespeed and getting shares.

  63. Excellent and very complete guide !
    I’m trying to increase the content quality of my website and optimize it for mobile. You guide will be very helpfull.

    1. You’re welcome, Akash. I don’t get why everyone jumped on AMP right away. It’s cool and definitely improves loading speed. But there are downsides that someone needed to address.

  64. Excellent resource Brian. I was watching some videos from the latest AMP conference and they discussed a solution in the making to the URL problem affecting backlinks. There’ll be a new URL structure and also the ability to cite content from other websites (rather thank link to it) using digital signature. If something like this happens, would you still think AMP is not a good idea?

    1. I heard that too. It’s ultimately up to the publisher. That move would definitely help. But for me, I’m going to pass on AMP for now.

  65. As an author of quality content, I feel scary by the technologies like AMP (Yandex have analogue called “Turbo”). I’m glad that such a respected person as Brian Deen sees a problem in this technology as I am. I want to remain the owner of my own content, and AMP limits my capabilities.

  66. Thanks for the post – it’s really interesting and useful content! In this regard, here is the question: can I translate this into Russian / Ukrainian and put on my blog with all the links to your blog, Twitter, and YouTube. I want to break your long post into 5 separate posts.

  67. Great post, Brian. I especially liked your analysis on AMP. As a designer who does SEO, passing on AMP definitely gives me more flexibility to improve the user experience of the sites I build.

    1. Thanks Miyavi. AMP has merits in terms of site speed. But as a designer, AMP puts insane restrictions on what you can do.

  68. Hey Brian!

    What a super helpful guide on the new way Google is approaching Mobile websites!

    I’m still working on my mobile SEO for my internet marketing blog. Everything seems to be okay. But, I still see a few things I need to fix.

    I’ve been using the AMP feature and now I’m thinking about switching back since you’ve mentioned it is not really necessary and it does not make a big difference.

    Thank you so much for sharing this epic helpful guide! 🙂

    Have a wonderful weekend! 😀

  69. Hey Brian,
    I’m a Digital Marketing Trainer and i tell my students to implement AMP
    And now I really hope they don’t land on this article 🙂

    Anyways, Great Post like always
    I am learning a lot from you
    Thanks

    1. LOL. AMP does have merits (especially for publishers and news sites). The point I was trying to make is that it’s not for everyone.

  70. Thanks Brian, another REALLY easy to follow guide, that’s given me some (more) great tips that I can action as I’m reading. I implemented AMP about a year ago, do you recommend removing it? Or sticking with it?

    1. You’re welcome, Sarah. It depends how well it’s working for you. It’s a tough call for me to make without knowing all the details

  71. Awesome longpost again Brian. You should do this for a living 😉

    I do have a query around one of the reasons you don’t recommend AMP. The fact that it doesn’t allow pop-ups. Eg exit intent/ opt ins etc… Isn’t that specifically one of the things that Google is on record as greatly disliking re: UX? Ie – stay away from them/ remove them as it may put SERP at risk. In particular on mobile.

    I’m a bit confused as you also seem to say in this post steer clear but at the same time that you still use them. Have I entered the Digital Marketing Twilight Zone? 🙂

    Cheers if you have any clarification mate!

    1. I actually do this for a living 🙂

      Good call there, Saxter. That’s true that Google doesn’t like interstitial popups (especially on mobile). But my point was more to show how limiting AMP is (the popup was just an example). Does that make sense?

      1. 100% it does. Thanks mate. I think ultimately everyone has to make their own calls on SEO and the tactics they employ. However making these as ‘informed’ decisions is the key along with testing and evolving. When it comes to helping with the informational side-of-things there’s no-one better Brian. Thanks again

    1. Not sure what you mean, Alisa. The mobile site should be similar to your desktop site in terms of amount of content

  72. I haven’t created AMP pages for our website and wasn’t sure whether to go for it. But after reading this article, I think it makes no sense to create amp version. Helpful article as usual.

  73. Well, heard of everything mentioned above in bits and pieces, Very nicely sorted in once place, plus i got to know few new things as well, i did not know that hiding content in mobile site is bad. I use to heavy do that, i guess will have to change my strategy over there.
    Thanks a ton!

  74. This info is marvelous.

    I just removed a lot of weird images on my page 😛

    Now the website loads faster,
    But do you recommend images with alt tags over fast pages?

    I am confused what should I go for 🙂

    Thanks again.

  75. Hi Brian,

    Great article! You packed it full of lots of great insights into mobile SEO. I was not aware that Google’s Mobile First update only counts the mobile version of the website. I was under the impression that the update counts mobile first for ranking factors, hence the name “Mobile First.” Can you cite a source of information which indicates it is only looking at the mobile version?

    1. Dustin, good question there. It’s basically “mobile only” unless you don’t have a mobile site. Then, Google will use the desktop version of your website (which might hurt your rankings). So in that scenario, it’s “mobile first”.

      From Google: “Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.”

      https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2017/12/getting-your-site-ready-for-mobile.html

      Note how they don’t say “We will primarily use” or “prioritize” the mobile version.

      1. Thanks Brian. I see where you are coming from. I think the part which Google isn’t completely clear on is using “only” the mobile version. They say they will use the mobile version for indexing, but they refer to the update as “mobile first” not “mobile only.” But I’m with you on your logic. Websites with mobile versions will be ranked based on the mobile version. Those without a mobile version will be ranked based on desktop ranking factors.

  76. really great article. the main thing is how to express your content is really good and even words are so simple anyone can understand.

    I have one question for you.

    Do you think Neil Patel is your competitors?

  77. “The main idea here is to optimize your site and content for ANY device. This includes phones, tablets or any other mobile device that Elon Musk invents in the future.”

    This right here is why we all come back, Brian. Anyone can drone on about coding and SEO, but you’re one of the few who can put a dash of humor into it and make it fun.

    Double bonus points for the thinly veiled reference to Iron Man in that quote, as well 😛

  78. Thanks Brian. I’ve saved a whole bunch of your “Mobile SEO Tester” links for future use.
    Thankfully my site looks fairly good, from what I can tell. Unfortunately much of the “tips to improve” sound like another language to me…

    1. You’re welcome, Nate. I’m also not super technical. So I recommend hiring a developer that can help you implement those suggestions.

  79. Thanks for the great article. Got a lot of insight about mobile first index.
    I used to think AMP is very important for ranking in mobile search. Now I realise I was wrong.

  80. Hey Brian, nice explanation of mobile seo and it’s importance. I would definitely try and implement all the tips you shared with us to improve mobile page speed and ranking.
    Your no 1 fan.
    Sanket….
    Thanks

  81. Hey Bryan,

    How do create such posts (from technical side) – the chapter heads like ‘Mobile SEO – Definitive guide section’ seem to have a very odd element if I check the source.

  82. Hi, do you know what date the mobile first index was implemented? We have a few dates of fluctuations in our industry and wondered if it correlated.

  83. Hi Brian, its an all in all guide for mobile SEO. The only thing I would like to say is with the risk of redundancy, one size just does not fit all. Mobile first or desktop first means some experience will be second and customers are shopping on multiple devices in a continuous journey between devices. So I think RWD is not the best solution. If mobile is going to be your primary focus while maintaining eCommerce or other complex capabilities then Adaptive would be the best route.

    What do you think?

    1. Hey KC, that’s very true. There’s no “right” approach to take that’s best for everybody. Google recommend RWD. And so do I. But as you pointed out, there are situations where adaptive makes more sense.

  84. Hi,
    Brian Dean, Firstly I am very thankful to you for sharing the excellent guide. Such a beautiful explanation with images and icons. When I was started to read this article trust me, I spend lots of time to reading. But when I finished this article, I realise why this article is too much. If we want to succeed in any field, we required a good knowledge.

    Brian Dean thank you so much for sharing. And I want to tell you I am a huge fan of yours.

  85. Great work as usual Brian!

    What I love about your content pieces is that they are so comprehensive that I know that I don’t have to go searching elsewhere for more information on the subject 🙂

    What’s more, aside from explaining the topic clearly, you are one of very few ‘experts’ that give actionable tips that you can takeaway and use yourself.

    I’ll be doing the Mobile Organic CTR Optimisation technique in SC and Desktop vs. Mobile Bounce Rate & Dwell time checks in Analytics for all my clients this month now haha!

    Cheers,

    1. Thank you George. I appreciate that. I try to make my content “one top shopping” for a given topic. So it’s nice to hear that I’m on the mark.

  86. Hi Brian,

    Thanks again for another great article and sharing your knowledge with us!

    I was looking forward to using the Responsive Web Design Testing Tool by Matt Kersley you recommended although I’ve noticed it does not work if you use the https//: secure protocol, it seems to only works with sites using the old non-secure protocol http//:

    In our case, all of our sites are set to use/force the secured one so unless the tool is updated, it will be used less and less as the secure protocol takes over the web.

    Simply thought I would mention it here in case someone else experiences the same issue and is looking for an answer to why it’s not working for them.

    Merci Encore et à la prochaine 🙂

    1. You’re welcome, Jen. And thanks for pointing that out. There are still a lot of sites (including some big ones like IMDB) that haven’t made the switch to HTTPS. I’m with you: it’s something every site should aim to do.

  87. Awesome guide, Brian.

    Two things:

    1. I LOVE the blog design. I imagine you have to custom-build a backend system whereby you can easily add section breaks for chapters, adjust colors, etc. Would you be willing to share more about how the backend functions on your WordPress website? I’m really interested!

    2. Suggestion: Move the “Leave a Comment” area up above the comments. You have so many (awesome “problem” to have) that the amount of scrolling may discourage people from commenting when they want to, especially on a mobile device, because they have to scroll so much to get there..

    Love your stuff!

    1. Thanks Michael. Glad you liked it. And thanks for your feedback.

      Re: the design, you’re right: it’s a custom-built environment we made just to publish these guides.

  88. Wow Brian, brilliant as always. So much high quality content for free. You´re the best 🙂 I´m very glad to be a subscriber of your newsletter!

    Keep up the good work!

  89. Hi Brian,

    I love your articles! I might have found a typo: rel=alternative instead of rel=alternate when you write about m. domains? Ok, going back to read the rest of the guide!

  90. Hi Brian,
    You’re my go-to guy for SEO.

    I’m wondering about ThinkWithGoogle as a speed test. I deleted the code for Twitter feeds to my website and when I tested on PageSpeed Insights, it showed an increase of speed for both desktop and mobile.

    When I tested on ThinkWithGoogle, it showed no difference at all. It placed me on the border of fair and poor and mentioned that I was considerably lower than the average for my industry.

    I believe they are just trying to sell something and apply a scare tactic by mentioning how poorly I’m optimization for mobile.

    John

    1. Hey John, thank you. Hmmm, that’s interesting. I think that’s because the ThinkWithGoogle tool works differently than PageSpeed Insights. PageSpeed insights only looks at your code (and estimates loading speed based on that). The ThinkWithGoogle tool actually loads your page. So it could be that the Twitter feed doesn’t slow down your site for actual users, hence the lack of difference.

      Not 100% sure that’s the explanation. But could be it.

  91. Why I simply share your content first – then read it? 🙂

    Lol, huge value as expected. Let’s see this baby rank! Keep up the great work, Brian!

  92. As usual, great article Brian. I have a relatively small website (about 30 pages), my homepage is the only page that ranks on google (landing page) and it passes the google mobile friendly test. I do however get the following errors on 18 internal pages: Content wider than screen & Clickable elements too close together.
    If I had no interest ranking any pages apart from my homepage which is already ranking high on the first page and does pass the test, do you think that not fixing those internal pages would affect my homepage rankings? Should I bother getting them fixed or not since I only want my homepage to rank?

    Thank you very much for all the great information on your awesome website and for your help.

    1. Bas, good question. Many people believe that Google has a sitewide “Quality Score”. And that having certain pages that Google doesn’t like can impact your other pages. So to be on the safe side, I’d fix those pages.

  93. Hi Brian,
    Nice points and very motivating to read like always. I like the new design too its clean & clear. CDN are (only) a gain if your customers are spread all over the world (like in your case) or over a bigger geographical area. If you have a local business that targets your city + maybe 30 km its most likely not going to help. In the worst case it will even slow down your site.

  94. Brian,
    I installed an AMP plug-in but it seems to be creating seperate URLS with /amp at the end. Is this a problem?
    Also, occasionally, there will be a notice for “AMP errors” when I look at some of my listings on Google results.

  95. Thank you Brain, assume guide.
    I think mobile first is super important today in SEO space.
    I see that some sites use a pop-up banner that on mobile that ask users:
    1/ “Go to Regular site” or 2/ “Go to mobile site” and it’s wrong to use it these days, maybe you can write about it. also, do you know a good plug-in for WordPress for Schema? or you recommended implement it in the site code?
    tnx again.

  96. 100% it does. Thanks mate. I think ultimately everyone has to make their own calls on SEO and the tactics they employ. However making these as ‘informed’ decisions is the key along with testing and evolving. When it comes to helping with the informational side-of-things there’s no-one better Brian. Thanks again

  97. Hi Brian,
    While I agree that AMP strips down your website to the barebones and this might not help with providing a better user experience or, in terms of optimization, isn’t it something that Google is promoting considering that it prefers showing AMP sites in mobile search results?
    I am personally not a fan of AMP, but I noticed that one of my websites after I installed the AMP plugin and set it up correctly, a couple of posts that weren’t showing anywhere on Google started to appear on the first page in mobile search whereas it is nowhere there on desktop search. Can this really be an impact of AMP or, is it just a coincidence?

  98. Hi Brian,

    I just used Google’s Mobile-Friendly test and we got also the message “page partially Load”.

    I tried different websites and also yours to see, however also appear images and script errors.

    Everytime that i ran a test some errors disappear and new ones appear in the same page.

    What should i do? Fix as much as i can? Should i put energy on that and fix all the issues or focus on other optimizations?

    Thanks from Brazil!

    Keep the great work, you are the man!

    Alex Ferreira (sorry for my english)

  99. As we are Denver Colorado Lawyers, it is very quintessential for us to have a mobile optimized website & as usual, your blogs are fire! Loved the read and the most interesting part is the interactive images which make the read even more engaging.

  100. Thank you for your in-depth tutorial about Mobile SEO. While mobile traffic take an important role in web marketing today, every developer must take care of mobile optimization. Thanks for sharing.

  101. Hi Brian,

    I appreciate your work that you are doing! We get a lot of information for free and that is amazing. Thanks for posting this blog about Mobile SEO. It is insane to see that everything has changed so fast in the past through years. So I think i have to make sure that my blogs also get mobile SEO!!

  102. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the awesome guide. What’s your take on mobile CTA’s? Do you think they should be designed different in order to be more effective?

  103. This is so informative. I have a question. Is it possible to have just one or two pages of my site to be AMP-enabled? It’s a photography site, so I prefer to have just my blogs AMPed, if possible. Thanks for your help in advance!

  104. Hi Brian,

    Nice and very detailed article. I have setup my blog with a responsive themes and checked with the tool mentioned in the post. Showing no issues for now. So looks like at least design part is covered, I have to give more focus on the SEO efforts targeting mobile rather than Desktop. Will start checking for that.

    Regarding AMP, I understand that it puts lot of restriction on the page and its hard to setup correctly because of lot of manual editing and coding. I lost a lot of traffic data on my AMP pages because I didn’t notice that I have to setup Analytics on my AMP pages. It doesn’t piggyback on the analytics set in the active theme. But I have seen good traction in Google searches and Flipboard traffic with AMP.

    – Sanjeev

  105. So what do you think I should do If I have to do a table SEO? Should I stick with mobile SEO and make page responsive for tablet devices?
    Or shall I use a different approach for these devices?
    Idk why is Google treating tablet’s a separate device? Is it because they might be converted into laptops nowadays with new generation 2-in 1 laptops or what?

    Its just pain to do SEO for all device:).

  106. This was an incredibly comprehensive and helpful article! We’re just setting up full mobile optimization for our websites and are using this post as a toolbox – thanks so much! Now I’ve got to carve out more time to read your other articles 😉

  107. Amazing Article!! Thanks Brian!
    You show us all such a great example with your value-packed articles.

    Let us know if you ever launch a blog about productivity, organisation and smart & focused action-taking haha! Looks like you’ve got a mastery in that area to me!

    All the best

  108. Hi,

    I was wondering if it’s too bad to consider using AMP in my blog, we are getting started with and I wanna know, we lose our backlinks once someone links to a .com/amp page?

    Does AMP work equally in a WordPress plugin?

    Thanks

    1. I’ve got same question Brian, we are running ecommerce site in USA. Can you share me some more data, if we go to AMP that we won’t lost organic positions.

      Is AMP today upgraded or favours it more now, especially for SEO?

  109. I have been looking around for a comprehensive guide to mobile optimisation and nothing comes as close as this. Brian mate, you are a legend. Thanks

  110. HI Brian again a fantastic article that has dept and sense. But what I am more curious is About AMP I know google has launched it a year or ago but they wanted it to help serve contents to mobile user efficiently but what I know is adding AMP hampers user experience + seo so do you think google will give AMP more priority and make creators to use AMP in near future seeing that they compete with Facebook and apple in content serving in mobile devices. Or was it a complete fail from their side?

  111. I have been following you for a very long time now Brian, you have always helped me to grow my blog’s following. I was new to this AMP, I just know that it helps to increase the user experience and saves the data and loads the page faster. However, I was a bit skeptical about using the plugin. I think I should give it a try and see if it works for me. Thank you for sharing this!

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