The inevitable happened in 2016 as we saw mobile devices overtake desktops as the primary device for accessing websites. This news did not come as a surprise since Google reported back in 2015 that more searches were conducted on mobile phones than any other device. Despite these facts, many companies are still blissfully unaware of the need of SEO for mobile devices.
As Google continuously moves towards a highly responsive and more mobile-friendly Internet, they have announced that 2017 is be the year when they crack down on optimized websites, annoying pop-ups, and interstitials. What’s the need for improved mobile friendliness? How to improve SEO for a website? Keep on reading to find out.
Google now counting mobile friendly aspect as a ranking factor
On February 26, 2015, the search engine giant released an official statement regarding how they’ll be treating mobile friendly search results. While Google counts many factors into their ranking algorithm, mobile SEO is one such aspect that you cannot ignore.
Now that Google has also announced their new mobile testing tool, it’s high time that you looked into the design and speed of your website to stay relevant in the search engine game.
ACCESS THE GOOGLE TOOL HERE: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
Why do you need a mobile friendly website?
A mobile friendly site is one that correctly shows information on mobile phones and other handheld devices like tablets. These responsive web designs respond to a variety of display and devices, regardless if you are viewing the page on a 5.5-inch mobile screen or a 52 inch LED TV in the living room.
The benefits of having such a website are pretty self-explanatory, after all, you would want to provide a streamlined experience for the visitors viewing your site. Even though the amount of digital traffic coming from mobile depends on the industry, it is said that an average 50 to 60% of the said traffic accounts from mobile devices.
Now, there are many valid studies that show that the percent of actual online purchases made using a smartphone was considerably less, however in the 2016 holiday season almost 40 % of purchases were made this way.
This is not a figure that you should be comfortable turning a blind eye to. In short, some of the benefits that we can attribute to a highly responsive and mobile friendly website are the following:
-Better overall user experience.
-Positive streamlined experience across various devices.
-Positive ranking signal.
-Improved conversion rate from mobiles
-Faster download speed and cost effectiveness compared to app development
How to improve SEO for a website?
Mobile optimization isn’t just about content; it takes a look at the design of your site, its structure, page speed, and other elements that supposed to provide value to the visitors. The three things that you must look at to optimize your website are the ones discussed below.
There is perhaps nothing more important for mobile users than page speed as every user is limited by their hardware and connectivity issues. Unlike desktop users, people browsing websites through mobile phones do not have the liberty to utilize extremely powerful processors and graphics units to load images, videos, and other content.
Three Free Tools That Will Make A Difference
There are three fantastic tools that you can use to optimize site speed. And the best part is that these tools are easy to implement and completely free! Yes, you read that right.
BJ Lazy Load: Lazy Load is a free WordPress plugin that not only makes a site load faster but also saves bandwidth. This plugin actually replaces all post images, thumbnails, content iframes and gravatar images with a certain placeholder that loads content only when it’s in the current browser window as the visitor scrolls through the page.
It also performs well with text widgets.
Just a note here, that this did cause a conflict on just one of my sites so be sure to check it out when you install it.
EWWW Image Optimizer: This is another free WordPress plugin that optimizes images as soon as you upload them to your blog. It can also optimize images that have been already uploaded, or convert images to the optimum format for the smallest file size.
This image optimizer tool will:
- Load your pages faster
- Provide faster backups
- Consume less bandwidth
- Convert images super fast
- Provide best JPG and PNG optimization
- Much other stuff
W3 Total Cache: this is a free WordPress tool that improves the user experience by improving website performance, and reducing download times through the usage of CDN integration. This is the only WordPress optimization framework that’s been designed to boost user experience as well as help with SEO.
W3 Total Cache has shown to drastically improve search engine page rankings, especially for SSL-based sites and sites that are mobile friendly.
Simplicity is what’s trending in the modern generation and user experience is what’s paving the path to how web developers do their design work. People no longer like to scroll endlessly, see intrusive pop-ups, and spend too much time figuring out what a site is all about. So, to stay in Google’s good books, ensure that your website has a responsive design.
To create a mobile user interface that makes user experience driven by certain goals is truly delightful. This counts as going above and beyond what can be considered as useful for the users since it aims to guide every visitor towards their intended destination or goals.
Mobiles and other handheld devices are the future, and it is only by providing better user experience, can you truly outshine your competitors in terms of SEO.
Stop throwing money away!
Believe it or not, most smartphone users won’t even think twice before leaving your website if it isn’t formatted correctly for mobile. Can you imagine how annoying it must be if you had to pinch and zoom to focus on a particular part of the text in order to read it? And God forbid if someone has large fingers; it’s quite common for them to tap on the wrong link.
Take note of these points and design your mobile website in a way that doesn’t shun the customers away. Make your website ready for the revolution that’s already here.
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