While it is true that window treatment businesses need to cater to mobile users with mobile pages for the sake of convenience, mobile pages are also crucial to your organic rankings and SEO endeavors. The problem is that most small business owners in the window treatment and drapery industry don’t understand the myriad of tedious details that need to be ironed out to prevent loss of leads and to ensure full optimization.
Today we’re going to take a look at the top mobile marketing mistakes that are costing you leads because they both irritate your audience and weaken ranking signals to the Google algorithm. To begin, we’re going to take a look at the most common mobile mistakes, according to the Google Webmaster Central Blog.
1. Absent Structured Data on Mobile Pages
For those of you who did not already know, structured data is markup on a web page that helps bots crawl your pages better, and even helps the Google algorithm better understand information about your business and content. Structured data is basically any information that uses organization tools to better communicate the information. In fact, to quote Google, structured data helps “highlight your pages in fancy ways in the search results.”
For instance, consider a website that post online reviews and comparison of digital services, like cloud storage. If the content creator simply wrote a paragraph detailing the differences between two services, this would be an example of unstructured data. However, if the content creator put the features of each service in a table, or even better yet, a database, this would be an example of structured data.
Unfortunately, due to coding conflicts, oversight, and a lack of testing, sometimes there are discrepancies between standard and mobile pages. The good news is there’s a simple antidote for this problem. Simply test all of your pages and compare the desktop versions with the mobile versions to spot inconsistencies.
2. Absent Alt-Text
The next mistake, like the first one, revolves around disparities between your standard and mobile pages. The second largest oversight with mobile pages is absent alt-text, even though the alt-text is present on desktop versions of the site. If you weren’t already aware, alt-text is the text that’s displayed when an image hasn’t loaded, and is a ranking signal to help the Google bots discern what the image contains. Furthermore, alt-text is used by accessibility applications to communicate the content of an image to visitors who are seeing-impaired.
The solution for this problem is arguably easy, though it could be pretty darn tedious if you have a lot of images on your site. Google says the best way to correct these issues is to simply check the image tags in the HTML code. The fastest way to do it is to hit the “ctrl + f” keyboard shortcut and search for the “img” attribute.
3. Slower Mobile Pages
Visitors hate slow web pages with a fiery passion, and will bounce if your page is taking too long. However, note that slow pages do not only encourage visitors to leave your site, it also harms organic rankings, because page load speed is a ranking signal to the Google algorithm.
The following are ways you can optimize mobile pages for faster loading times:
- Use image compression plugins to reduce bandwidth consumption on visitors’ devices
- Reduce redirects as much as possible
- Use a hosting provider with bandwidth guarantees
- Convert content into Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
- Measure performance with Google’s PageSpeed tool
4. Errant Redirects
A redirect can go wrong in a variety of ways, but the first way is simply a redirect to a different page on a desktop site than a mobile site. Furthermore, a bad or faulty redirect might send mobile users to the desktop version of a site. In addition, sometimes web administrators make the mistake of internally linking to content, but forgetting to link to the mobile version of a page for mobile users. Instead, they accidentally send mobile users from a mobile page to a desktop page.
5. Failing to Create a Mobile Version
By now, everyone should be aware that it’s imperative to host a mobile version of your site in addition to a desktop version. The use of mobile devices is still increasing year after year as mobile devices become more sophisticated, and the use of mobile devices don’t show any sign of slowing down. If you don’t already mobile versions or your pages, you need to get on it ASAP.
6. Blocked Elements, Pages, and Files
Google can’t see what it can’t crawl, and sometimes unintentional oversights lead to mobile page elements being invisible to the Google bots. If your website has pages that don’t allow Google to crawl them, you’re missing out ranking signals that could elevate your pages in the SERPs. The good news is there is a fairly straightforward and simple solution. Simply dig into your robots.txt file and verify that everything preceded by the “Disallow:” syntax really should be disallowed.
7. Mobile Pages Not Secured with HTTPS
In a perfect world, every website connection would be secured with HTTPS. Unfortunately that’s not the case, though you should strive to implement HTTPS as much as possible. Why? For a couple reasons. First of all, even if your website doesn’t collect or send any sensitive data with your audience, it still helps your visitors feel safe and secure, and to trust your site when they see the green padlock indicating a secure connection. Secondly, it’s imperaitve to use HTTPS because it is a ranking signal to the Google algorithm, and can give you and edge over competitors to increase the likelihood of landing on page one of the SERPs.
If you don’t have the time, energy, or skills to market window treatments to mobile users, then its time to reach out for the help of a qualified professional. As the decade draws to a close, digital marketing in a mobile context becomes ever more critical to the success of small businesses.