Google Webmaster Tools Update: Mobile Usability Reporting & Best Practices for Advertisers

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Google Webmaster Tools Update: Mobile Usability Reporting & Best Practices for Advertisers

Google recently announced an update to its Webmaster Tools, called Mobile Usability. This update will help advertisers gain additional insight into mobile performance and visibility on the search engine results page (SERP).  As more searchers turn to mobile, advertisers should increase website optimization efforts, with focus on better user experiences for smaller screens. Google’s new Mobile Usability update will help advertisers optimize web content by identifying potential issues for users viewing pages on mobile devices. Mobile Usability reporting features a tool which enables advertisers to track the impact of mobile site optimizations over time.  This tool can be found under the Search Traffic section in Webmaster Tools. mobile usability screenshot *image courtesy of Webmaster Central Blog BEST PRACTICES for ADVERTISERS Today, getting your mobile website right is crucial.  Google’s new Mobile Usability tool can help you identify various usability errors.  To fix these errors, Performics Performance Content team can ensure that your mobile optimization efforts are properly focused.  We provide top-to-bottom consulting help on information architecture, creative services, content strategy and other UX pain points. Mobile best practices, highlighted in the new Mobile Usability tool include: Content:

  • Create easy-to-read pages on smartphones with content that only scrolls up and down, not side-to-side
  • Most mobile devices do not properly support Flash. In July, Google started issuing warnings to users who click on search results that direct to Flash content, if Google’s algorithm detects that Flash is not supported on the device.  Advertisers should move high-impact website content to HTML5.


  • A viewport is a tag which communicates to the mobile browser the width and initial scale of a landing page
  • A meta viewport is a needed for websites pages that are accessed by multiple devices as it relays initial content zoom to the browser. Without a viewport, website content is often illegible when accessed from a mobile device. New viewport reporting flags missing viewports, content not sized to viewport and fixed-width viewport.

Tiny Fonts:

  • Fonts are defined in four common units: pixels, points, EMs and percent
  • Set a base font of 16 CSS pixels, and do not use multiple font types and sizes (which can appear messy on mobile devices). Mobile Usability will flag pages on sites that have print too small to read.

Link and Button Accessibility:

  • When website content is accessed through a mobile browser, links and buttons become “tap targets” on a page. Tap targets can become tiny or cluttered, making page content (such as a search bar or navigation link) difficult for mobile users to engage with.
  • Set the most-clicked tap targets at 48 CSS pixels. For best user experience, tap targets should not have to be zoomed-in on to activate.

For more information on Webmaster Tool’s Mobile Usability tool or help optimizing your mobile site, please contact your Performics Account Team today

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