Keep Calm and Optimize Your Site for Mobile
If you have taken the time to search for products and/or services on your smartphone, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the internet is shifting from desktop to mobile. People like to access information on the go and are no longer tied to their desk. The latest update by Google may be a game changer for content marketers and SEO experts. This version places sites that are well-optimized for mobile above those that are not. Here is what you need to know so that you do not get left behind.
A New World Emerges
In today’s world, if you are not optimized for mobile and have a strong social media presence, you might as well not exist at all. You probably already know that mobile-optimized content differs from desktop content, and it differs even more for print.
Not only that, mobile devices have changed Google in other ways. In the future, videos will rule rankings. Consumers prefer watching videos over reading text and will stay on the page longer to watch videos. This is evident by the rise of video content, which is on a steady incline year after year, worldwide. Not only that, but there is an evident shift with younger generations from traditional cable television to Internet-based consumption of video. If you’re a Millennial or Gen Z, it seems no one is watching TV anymore, and it’s all about Netflix, YouTube, and Instagram stories. In addition, voice searches are increasing, which means that natural language is the way of the future when it comes to SEO.
It Is All About Speed
Google’s new algorithm will rank slower loading pages below those that load faster on mobile devices. Even if you have high-quality content that is relevant, you may be docked if your page loads slowly on mobile devices. Test the mobile loading speed of your website ahead of time. Keep checking as time goes on; technology will advance and so will loading speeds, so an adequate loading time may change in the future.
Another important resource is Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Guide for developers. This resource provides step-by-step guidance on how to develop pages that load faster on mobile devices. This should be the first step in making sure that your site is ready for the new, faster world.
If you have not checked your speed for mobile optimization and speed, it is now the time to do it. You also have to realize that it is not about doing it once, this should become something that you check on a regular basis. Sometimes, content may become too image-rich, or guest posts may harm your speed. Be vigilant to stay on top of this in the mobile-ready world.
Tips & Tricks to Make a Site Mobile Friendly
Here are a few tips and tricks to get your site mobile friendly and ready for Google’s update. Get the most out of the new speed-based system with:
- Content is Still King. You still have to prioritize strong, relevant content and use correct keywords to rank higher. Speed weighs more heavily into the algorithm, but quality content is important.
- Usability. Check the site’s usability. This includes its load speed and overall performance. Dead links will also lower your rankings, so be sure to check them often. Replace any dead links with ones that work.
- Search Console. Make sure your search console works on mobile devices as well as on a desktop. It must be clear and easy to understand.
- Optimize Pictures. Pictures are one of the biggest downfalls when it comes to website loading time, so reduce those file sizes.
- The Same Site. Google wants to see the same site on mobile and on desktop. They want a consistent user experience across all platforms. Hiding your content or removing it from your mobile site may cause you to drop significantly in rankings.
- Give Users a Choice. One solution to optimizing content may be to use the Read More button so that all of your content does not have to load at once. This will allow the user to scroll through the content that they wish to read and may encourage them to stay on your site longer.
- Speed Up Load Times. Last but not least, speed up all of your load times across the board. This will be the biggest issue with the new speed-first update.
Keep Calm and Load Faster
There is no reason to panic about the new updates, but if you ignore these warnings and do not pay attention to your speed, you will soon find your site dropping down in rankings quickly. The tips and suggestions here should get you started, and luckily, Google is transparent about what it expects and how to do it. Content is still king, but you cannot be lazy about your speed or all of that good content may go to waste.