With the skyrocketing sales of smartphones and tablets, comes a warning from Google. If you don’t have a mobile site, you should. And if you do, make sure it has what Google calls “mobile friendliness.”

One indicator of the escalating use of mobile devices is data from the U.S. government – the government’s Digital Analytics Program (DAP).

For instance, DAP’s data for 90 days prior to March 2015 includes 1.39-billion visits to at least 37 government agencies. Some 24.9 percent of visitors used a smartphone, and 7.6 percent used a tablet.

Your mobile site will be analyzed for mobile friendliness by Google’s algorithms. All languages are being affected.

For an instant Google analysis, click here.

Google also provides its Webmaster’s Mobile Guide and the Principles of Site Design.

Google warns to avoid seven common mistakes:

1. Blocked JavaScript, CSS and Image Files  

Allow Googlebot acess to the JavaScript, CSS and image files. Google cautions: Let your robots.txt file allow crawling.

You can check to make sure by using the Fetch as Google feature in Webmaster Tools.

Next, analyze your robots.txt in WMT, and test your mobile site with the Mobile Friendly Test. (FYI, should you be using different URLS for mobile and desktop, test both of them.)

2. Unplayable Content

If your mobile site uses videos not supported on by user devices, Google’s mobile friendly test will warn you. To make sure your videos can be watched, use HTML5 standard tags.

“Google Web Designer makes it easy to create these animations in HTML5,” Google writes. “Use HTML5 standards for animations to provide a good experience to all your users. Use video-embedding that’s playable on all devices. Consider having the transcript of the video available. This will make your site accessible to people who use assistive browsing technologies or who have browsers that cannot play a proprietary video format.”

Your mobile site will be analyzed for mobile friendliness by Google’s algorithms. All languages are being affected. For an instant Google analysis, click here.

3. Faulty Redirects

WebProNews reported Google notified webmasters about fixing faulty redirects. The search engine warns you about practices not to use here.

4. Mobile-only 404s

“To ensure the best user experience, if you recognize a user is visiting a desktop page from a mobile device and you have an equivalent mobile page at a different URL, redirect them to that URL instead of serving a 404 or a soft 404 page,” writes Google. “Also make sure that the mobile-friendly page itself is not an error page.”

So review the Crawl Errors report in Webmaster Tools. Problem pages are shown in the Smartphone tab.

5. App Download Interstitials

Indexing issues result from using interstitials in promoting your mobile. Google advises using a simple banner instead with a native browser and operating system support.

6. Irrelevant Cross-Links

“A common practice when a website serves users on separate mobile URLs is to have links to the desktop-optimized version, and likewise a link from the desktop page to the mobile page,” Google writes. “A common error is to have links point to an irrelevant page such as having the mobile pages link to the desktop site’s homepage.”

7. Slow Mobile Pages

For years, Google has been on a continuing quest to increase page speeds on PCs and laptops. Why? To help it maintain its cutting-edge image as a search engine. With the popularity of mobile devices, we’re not surprised by Google’s warning about slow mobile pages.

So you’ll benefit by checking Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

From the Coach’s Corner, more mobile tips:

11 Tips for the Best Business Mobile Web Site — If you operate a retail business, it’s increasingly important for your Web site to be easy-to-use for mobile users. The use of smartphones and tablets is skyrocketing, especially among Millennials — young adults aged 32 and under. Studies also show the majority of mobile aficionados use their devices to access the Internet. Such data continually changes — mobile sales and use of the Internet is consistently rising.

You Risk Sales If You Don’t Use This Mobile-Web Strategy — You know, of course, strong brand perceptions and emotional engagement drive sales. You also know your mobile-site strategy should be a priority, as a result of the skyrocketing popularity of mobile devices. But here’s a question: Is your mobile site actually hindering brand perception and emotional engagement?

Strategies to Create the Best Possible Mobile Apps — Mobile apps are expected to support initiatives for a company’s return on investment. That includes competitiveness in the marketplace; efficiency; enterprise and consumer relationships; and revenue – better yet, profits would be more ideal.

Secure Your Android from Viruses and Malware with 5 Tips — Hopefully, you haven’t had the nightmarish inconvenience on your Android from viruses and malware, which have plagued many users. Countless headlines detail the cyber dangers associated with Android-based devices. Don’t for a second assume you’d be safer with an iPhone.

“It used to be that we imagined that our mobile phones would be for us to talk to each other. Now, our mobile phones are there to talk to us.”

-Sherry Turkle


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

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