Google is increasingly focusing on mobile terminal users and strives to provide them with a more enjoyable experience both within their own services and by providing relevant results to Google Search searches that, in turn, to provide people with the information they need in a more accessible way.

Based on the experience gained in the Promo SEO Technical, I present in this material the most common 10 mistakes in SEO optimization for mobile, as well as how they can be corrected.

Let’s make sure your site shows up in search results. Here you can learn how to configure your site for multiple devices and help search engines understand your site, more on Mobile SEO Overview

From the article, you will learn how to identify these issues even if you do not perform an advanced professional SEO audit.

1. Blocking images and JavaScript or CSS files

In order for Google to clearly understand the content of a page, it needs to be able to access both the text, the CSS, JS, or the type of image that comes into making that page.

If these resources are stopped by indexing through the robots.txt file or by another method, Googlebot will not use them in understanding the content, which leads to ranking issues.

My recommendations:

  • – Make sure Google can index the javascript and CSS resources by using the “Fetch as Google” option, which is available in Google Search Console. This allows us to see exactly how Google understands a particular page.
  • – Check that the robots.txt file is configured correctly with the dedicated tool in Google Search Console.
  • – Use the Google Mobile Testing Tool to check if they meet the criteria set by the search engine in defining a URL as “mobile friendly”. It will report any compatibility issues.
  • 2. URL redirects set incorrectly

    If you use distinct URLs between desktop and mobile variations, for the same page, you must dynamically redirect visitors to the correct address, not to a general location, such as the homepage.

    It is very important that each URL includes a reference to its correspondent, of the following form:

  • in the desktop version, there must be the rel = “alternate” statement specifying the corresponding mobile URL;
  • on mobile, each URL must have the rel = “canonical” tag, which refers to the desktop version.
  • This annotation can also be extended to sitemaps.

    According to Google, in this case, it is preferable to use a 302 type redirect.

    More details and implementation examples in Google’s official documentation.

    An issue of incorrect redirect settings is when they only work for certain types of mobile terminals or browsers (ex: works only on Android or just on iOS).


  • Check the “Smartphone Crawl Errors” report from Google Search Console periodically. Although there are not automatically all problematic URLs, the selection shown may help identify the cause of these errors.
  • Check the way the different types of pages in the site work (eg at an online store, check the category page, the product page, a link generated by applying filters, etc.) on several types of phones.
  • Try to use a responsive design that allows you to keep the same URLs in both versions, but dynamically displays the content so you can provide an experience tailored to the accessory.
  • Check also SEO in 2018: Trends and Lucrative Techniques, there is some valuable information that can help achieve more knowledge.

    3. 404 errors only on mobile

    The issue frequently occurs with websites that use distinct URLs for mobile and desktop versions.

    Thus, there are situations where for a URL available in one version there is no correspondent to the other, which is why, when the automatic redirection is made, the visitor is sent either to a 404 or 404 page or to the homepage.


  • Use Google Search Console and confirm ownership for all versions of the site (https, www, non-www, mobile, etc.). Google sends notification messages in some cases, including the occurrence of a significant 404 error.
  • If a page does not have a mobile version, it’s best to show your visitors the desktop version rather than redirecting them to a page with irrelevant content.
  • Check the “Crawl Errors” report periodically in Google Search Console.
  • 4. Remove Pop-up’s that cover the screen

    As we signed in Google News in August 2016, we are working on an algorithm where the search engine will penalize sites that display interstitials in mobile versions.

    This measure is motivated by the fact that the practice generates an unpleasant experience of use.

    My recommendations:

  • Use, less intrusive methods of presenting a promotional item, preferably natively integrated into context.
  • Google promotes Smart App Banners (for Safari) or Native App Banners (for Chrome).
  • If you’re using an Android app, consider app indexing so users who can find relevant information directly in your app can do this through Google Search.
  • 5. Fast Web Page Load Speeds

    It is very important that pages load quickly, both from Google’s perspective and from users’ perspective.

    A site whose desirable loading speed produces frustration among its visitors, giving them an unpleasant navigation experience.

    This is reflected not only in the visibility of SEO, but also in elements such as conversion rate, average time spent by people on the site, or page count per session.

    My recommendations:

  • Use Google PageSpeed Insights to identify issues limiting your site’s load speed. The tool prioritizes recommendations based on their impact on speeding.
  • Look for technical speed-up solutions, depending on the platform you’re using (e.g., WordPress, Magento, Prestashop cache plug-ins).
  • Study Google’s recommendations for proper web architecture, which improves the overall performance of a site.
  • Understand how you can identify the source of the speed problems to address them correctly (eg it is a server problem, a database architecture problem, a problem generated by the items on the page, etc.)
  • Implement Google AMP to increase site load speed.
  • 6. Flash content – Flash is bad for SEO

    Do not use large graphics, video, or animations that may delay the full display of your mobile page, or even prevent it from displaying correctly.

    Such a situation generates an unpleasant user experience and prevents the site from gaining good visibility in organic results.

    Google recommends using HTML 5 for banners or animations, but also for playing video clips.

    This technology works on all browsers and equipment (as opposed to flash).

    For more details on how Google recommends treating video content, please visit this page.

    Mobile Optimization Services

    7. Make sure to use correct meta viewport

    Since site users are using a variety of mobile terminals (default screen sizes and resolutions), it is necessary to correctly define the viewport by the corresponding meta tag.

    Among the commonly encountered errors we mention:

  • Use a fixed-width viewport, which makes the page not scale correctly on all mobile devices.
  • The arbitrary fixing of a minimal viewport, which makes it necessary for some mobile terminals (with lower resolution) to scroll horizontally to browse the entire content.
  • For more details, recommended deployment and common mistakes, visit this Google page.

    8. Too small font size

    Avoid using a too small font that requires the zoom function to be legible and check its size after setting the viewport.

    Google PageSpeed Insights generates a recommendation if the analysis algorithm identifies such a situation, by shifting it to this page with explanations.

    A carefully chosen font brings many benefits.

    The text of a site captures a lot of attention.

    If the text is easy to read, you have more chances for users to consume all the information.

    You do not have to be a web designer to improve the legibility of your site, here are some tips.

    My recommendation:

        Do not use more than 3 fonts on the site, even 3 are many.
        The main font should be simple, and the font of titles is usually different and stands out.

    9. Active elements at touch, too close – Size tap targets appropriately

    Avoid cluttering items that users can interact with by touching, such as links or buttons.

    Google offers a set of recommendations in this direction, including:

  • A minimum of 48 pixels (under the correct viewport setting) for the elements with which they are frequently interacting.
  • A distance of at least 5 mm between the clickable elements is recommended.
  • Users do not have to zoom to be able to accurately press an item.
  • 10. Proper monitoring of SEO visibility

    About the SEO campaign monitoring, I have repeatedly written on the blog Promo SEO.

    There are many cases where a site has certain positions in Google on the desktop and completely others in the results displayed on mobile.

    Monitoring is vital because it allows the rapid identification of differences and, implicitly, the causes that determine this.

    Normally, for a properly optimized SEO site, there must be no major differences in the visibility of the search engines.

    Once you have verified that the AMP has been properly implemented and any errors have been fixed, you will be able to monitor if any issues remain with the Google Search Console AMP.

    In addition to seeing errors on AMP pages, it will also mark their “severity” level, which shows “critical” those errors that will prevent your AMP pages from being displayed in Google’s search results, by which pages of the problem were specified and noting who should give priority to remedy.

    In addition to setting up and monitoring the analysis correctly, it is important to directly monitor the visibility of AMP in Google’s search results as well as its impact on your website traffic and conversions.