Dec 11, 2013 113 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Google has published its official checklist for mobile website improvement. The news was announced by Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead.

If you are not sure of how to improve the website that you have designed for smartphones, the checklist will provide you an efficient approach. While the checklist is divided into three parts, a video by Maile will further guide you on how to make data from Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics, actionable.

Here are the steps covered in the video:

Step 1: Stop Frustrating your Customers

Google wants you to remove all the cumbersome extra windows from the mobile user-agents. Remove:

  • JavaScript pop-ups as they can be difficult to close
  • Overlays to download apps. You can consider a banner such as email marketing, iOS 6+ Smart App Banners etc.
  • Survey request before the completion of task

The functionality provided should be device-appropriate.

  • You should remove all the features that require a plugin or videos that can't be played on a user's device. For example, Adobe Flash videos won't play on iPhone or Android 4.1 & higher
  • A study shows that tablet users should be shown the desktop version or tablet version of the website
  • The full desktop version should be accessible on mobile phones. If a user selects the full desktop version for the session, he/she should not be asked to select a "desktop version" after each page loads

Improve high traffic and poor user experience mobile pages

  • The Google Mobile site blog clears the perspective on "What users want most from mobile sites today". It says that "50% of people said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn't mobile-friendly". Here's a link to slideshow on improving high traffic & poor user experience pages on mobile:

Make a quick fix in performance and continue to follow if you are behind in competition.

Step 2: Facilitate task completion

Optimize the crawling, indexing, and searcher experience by:

  • Unblocking the resources (CSS or JavaScript) that are robots.txt disallowed
  • Implementing the search-engine best practices including:
    • Responsive Design: Include CSS@media query
    • Separate Mobile Site: Add rel=alternate media and rel=canonical, as well as Vary: User-Agent HTTP Header. This will help Google in implementing Skip Redirect
    • Dynamic Serving: Include Vary: User-Agent HTTP header

Optimizing the popular mobile persona workflows for your site

Step 3: Converting Customers into Fans

  • Considering search integration points with mobile apps
  • Brainstorming new ways to provide value
    • Make sure that you build for mobile behavior. For example: an in-store shopper
    • Leverage on the GPS, accelerometer, and camera features of the smartphone
    • Increase the sharing or social behavior
    • Intuitive functionality such as shaking, swiping, and tapping must be considered

The content in the checklist and the video is not search or marketing specific but based on several topics. Many business cases and studies are also given as reference material. Here are the videos by Maile Ohye on the checklist:

Google's Provides Checklist for Mobile Website Improvement!, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal is the Editor-in-Chief of PageTraffic Buzz. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic Buzz as one of the well know digital marketing blog.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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