Mobile Optimization – 11 Best Practices for an SEO Mobile-Friendly Site

Mobile SEO - Optimize your website for mobile devices for a better user experience and increase your website traffic and conversions.

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Mobile Optimization

Mobile optimization is a process of utilizing different techniques to give a good page experience to users coming from various mobile devices with different screen sizes, resolutions.

What is Mobile SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?

Optimizing the site structure, content, layout, page speed, for various mobile screen sizes to provide a good page experience to visitors on your site is called mobile optimization.

Why Mobile SEO important?

More than 70% of users access the internet using mobile devices because of their lightweight and hand-held nature.  

Mobile-first index:

Google stated that they will be using the mobile version of the site’s content to evaluate the relevancy of a page and to rank them.

How to optimize your site for mobile users?

Mobile Optimization SEO Best Practices
Mobile Optimization SEO Best Practices

1. Improve Page Speed

The loading time of pages also decides the traffic and rankings of the site because of less patience of users, hardware, and internet connectivity issues.

Some of the page optimization techniques include reducing the size of the images without losing quality, CSS and JS code minification, reducing the redirects, implementing browser caching, and more.

2. Avoid using Flash:

Flash is vector animation software used to create special effects on web pages and to view this vector animation created on the site you need an install a plugin called flash player to your browsers.

Stop using flash because the plugin may not be present on all users’ devices and it will not support all browsers. 

Use Mobile-friendly HTML5 markup language to structure and present your content with special effects to users on your site.

3. Avoid the use of pop-ups on mobile devices

These pop-ups may be good for desktop users because of high screen space.

Because of less screen space, these pop-ups cover the entire screen space and may frustrate the users leading to an increase in bounce rate.

4. Design for the fat finger

Clickable buttons or elements that are designed too large, too short may lead to unnecessary links because of mobiles touch screen navigation facility and less screen space.

5. Optimize URLs, titles, and meta descriptions:

When creating the important meta information like title, description, URL be as concise as possible without comprising the quality of information as Mobile SERPs have less space compared to desktop SERPs.

6. Use of structured data

Add structured data to your site content to get extra space in SERPs in the form of rich snippets like reviews, events, etc. 

For less screen space SERP page in mobile devices, these rich snippets make your site stand out from the other results and increase CTR.

7. Optimize for mobile local searches:

Add your business (NAP) name, address, phone number in your website’s metadata to optimize your site for local searches.

8. Site configuration for mobile devices:

If you don’t want to lose traffic from mobile users you need to take a key decision in your website configuration and need to implement one of the site configuration techniques listed below to optimize your site for mobile devices.

  • Responsive web design
  • Dynamic serving
  • Separate Mobile URL

9. Responsive Web Design:

CSS3 media queries, flex, and grid properties can help designers to create a responsive web design and serve the same HTML content to desktop and mobile users by making the elements flow freely according to the user’s screen width.

Same responsive design code using media queries like @media screen

@media screen and (max-width: 420px) { .class { [styles for this class here] }}

You can also add all the styling to your site in a separate file with CSS extension and link to every page in the header using the link property.


Check the mobile-friendliness of your site using the Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool.

10. Dynamic serving

What is dynamic serving?

Dynamic serving is displaying different content dynamically on the same webpage URL based on the type of device the user is from.

It is implemented using vary Header as shown below:

GET /page-1 HTTP/1.1Host: of HTTP request headers...)HTTP/1.1 200 OKContent-Type: text/htmlVary: User-AgentContent-Length: 5710(... rest of HTTP response headers...)

It is useful when you want to display different content to users coming from desktop and mobile devices(device detected based on the user agent)

For example: If you are a restaurant owner and if a user near your location is actively looking for a food restaurant then displaying a site with a map and address to your location will help him in reaching your restaurant quickly than displaying a page full of information about your restaurant.

This method is not a preferred one as it has many pitfalls.

11. Separate mobile URL

The third method is to create a second site parallelly with custom content to mobile users on an ‘M’ subdomain.

Example: (desktop) (mobile)

This parallel mobile site is also not a preferred one as it has chance of displaying the wrong version of the page sometimes.

So, provide an additional option to users like ‘go-to mobile version’ 

Make perfect page redirects to reduce page speed and also add canonical tags to avoid duplicate issues.