Industry changes and updates are always big news in the Wired Studio and assessing what they mean to our clients and how to implement the changes into a strategy is a big part of our working week.
In September 2018, Google announced that their search engine would now be indexing mobile content as the primary source of web content. We spoke about this on our social media pages, but asked our Marketing Director, Claire Hamilton, what this actually means for a business’ website.
Claire explains that prior to this announcement websites rankings had been based on the desktop version of the website; and mobile performance was secondary. With mobile Internet usage surpassing desktop usage, the announcement is not unexpected, and the Google has offered clear guidance on how best to prepare your website to be mobile friendly.
When ranking for mobile, structure, logic and keywords are all still important, but equally important is usability and page load speed.
Here are our top 5 mobile ranking factors:
Page Load Speed
Giving page load speed a more prominent place in the algorithm was one of the main changes that came with the mobile indexing update. A page that does not respond in a reasonable amount of time will lead to a high bounce rate for mobile visitors and send negative signals to the search engines. To support the change, Google has released a tool to test the page load speed of your website, the tool will test the website in a 3G environment (considered the “worst case” enviroment by Google) and deliver an average page load speed and an indication of whether the speed is excellent, good, fair or poor compared to other websites in your industry. What number should we be looking for? The tool shows that a website with a page load speed of 7 seconds or more, will loose on average 33% of visitors. Check your website out here: https://testmysite.withgoogle.com/intl/en-gb
Accelerated Mobile Pages
Accelerated mobile pages load 30 times faster than the average web page. The pages are built with minimal code and delivered to users in record speed making them the optimal page structure for mobile indexing.
Keywords still play an important role in organic search rankings, so it is important to include relevant keywords from your strategy, but on a mobile device usability is equally important so long pages of text should be avoided. We recommend adding content that is valuable to your visitor but concise. For blog content make sure that pages offer a user -friendly layout and readable text size.
Avoid Flash and Pop Ups
Nothing ruins a mobile journey like flash content. While the position might change in the future, at this time mobile devices do not currently support the display of flash content so is not recommended for mobile journeys. Pop ups can be supported but it is important to ensure that any pop ups respond correctly and show “close buttons” clearly.
Local Search Optimisation
For organisations with brick and mortar locations, local indexing is a key. Over 80% of searches for restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs take place on a mobile device and the introduction of “near me” searches and Facebook Local have further cemented this market. Make sure your business is listed in the correct category and at the correct address.
Still confused? Just ask or contact us to talk about how we are supporting our clients with this change.