- Posted on 16 June 2016
Why are website mobile-friendliness & page speed important for SEO?
More searches occur on mobile than on desktop – Is your SEO ready for this?
More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers, and industry leaders agree that visitors from mobile will continue to rise over the next couple of years. So what does this mean for a company’s future SEO efforts?
Companies need to have more focus on their mobile-friendliness and page speed if they want to take part in the big boom of visitors coming from Google searches on mobile. One of the biggest issues is that many desktop versions can be difficult to view and navigate on a mobile device because they aren’t mobile-friendly and it requires the user to pinch or zoom in, to be able to read the content – users find this to be a bad experience and are therefore likely to abandon the site. Alternatively, the mobile-friendly version is readable and immediately usable and therefore provides a great user experience.
However, even among all the companies who have a responsive version that fits the needs of the mobile visitor, surprisingly many still don’t have user experience from a mobile perspective in mind, and that can be very expensive in the long run.
8 tips to take mobile optimisation to the next level
If your site is already well optimised for desktop, there are only a few additional things you need to think about when optimising for mobile:
1. Page speed
Due to hardware and connectivity issues, page speed is even more important for mobile users than desktop users.
In the old days, some mobile devices couldn’t support all of these elements, but for the most part, that´s no longer true. So don’t hide it. These elements are also critical to helping Google understand if you have a responsive site or a different mobile solution.
3. Site design for mobile
Mobile devices are simplifying and revolutionising the ways sites are designed. “Above the fold” no longer has meaning in a world where we scroll endlessly. It shouldn’t need to be said, but don’t use Flash – instead use HTML5!
4.Don’t use pop-ups
It can be difficult and frustrating, so try and disable these for mobile devices.
5. Design for the ‘fat finger’
Make it easy to touch and navigate, in order to prevent accidental clicks.
6. Use Schema.org structured data
With limited screen space, a search result with rich snippets is even more likely to stand out than on desktop.
7. Optimise for local search
If your business has a local element, remember to optimise your mobile content for local search. Go with NAP, which means standardising your name, address, and phone number, and including your city and state name in your site’s metadata.
8. Mobile site configuration
This here, is probably the most important decision you’ll make when setting up a mobile site. You need to decide whether you want to use a responsive, dynamic serving, or separate site configuration. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Google prefers responsive design but supports all three options as long as you have set them up properly. (See graphic below).
(As the image above shows, Google recommends responsive web design)
(June 2nd, 2016) – Google introduced a new tool to help businesses with their mobile SEO
Nine out of ten people leave a mobile website if they can’t find what they’re looking for right away so now, Google has made it even more simple with their new tool to help website owner’s determine if their website performs well and what to do if it doesn´t.
Below is, with Google´s own words what the tool checks for, and what the scores say about your website:
Mobile-friendliness: This is the quality of the experience customers have when they’re browsing your site on their phones. To be mobile-friendly, your site should have ‘tappable’ buttons, be easy to navigate from a small screen, and have the most important information up front and centred.
Mobile speed: This is how long it takes your site to load on mobile devices. If customers are kept waiting for too long, they’ll move on to the next site.
Desktop speed: This refers to how long it takes your site to load on desktop computers. It’s not just the strength of your customer’s web connection that determines speed, but also the elements of your website.
Google penalises websites that are not optimised
Back in April 2015, Google Search expanded its’ use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change affected mobile searches in all languages worldwide and had a significant impact on Google Search results. With this update, Google took another step towards providing better user experience when using mobile for search and general website visits.
1. The speed and user-friendliness of your website has now become a ranking signal for SEO on mobile.
2. User experience is a big part of ranking signals as well, so if you don´t have a fast and/or user friendly website, people will leave your website fast and leave you with bad numbers in regards to bounce rate and time spend on your domain/subpages per visitors.
3. With a slow or non user-friendly website, you get bad or at least worse conversion rates than if you’ve done the opposite.
So, if you don’t already have focus on mobile friendliness and page speed, now is the time to give it some attention and get your share of visitors from mobile devices.
If you want to discuss your mobile optimisation strategy for 2016, get in touch
SEO Manager, Denmark