Is Your Website Really As Mobile Friendly As You Think??
Well, we hope so because Google is going to start ranking both your mobile presence side by side with your desktop version and together, the combined results will determine your ranking.
A few weeks ago, the news broke that Google’s starting the “mobile-first indexing of the Web”, meaning that they are beginning to index the mobile version of websites, when available, as opposed to the desktop version. The less obvious — but perhaps even more important — implication of this change is that Google will now also analyze mobile pages against the ranking signals to determine how a site should rank in both mobile and desktop search results.
That literally means that the information about your mobile site (such as page speed, content, Meta tags, structured data, etc.) will determine both your mobile and desktop rankings in Google. This coincides with the mandate Google made two years ago that all eCommerce sites also had to have a mobile presence. Remember the rush to go mobile and the smart ones took the plunge and went “Responsive Design” This group was actually ahead of the game for the following year’s eCommerce holiday sales and reports show they reaped the benefits. And mobile is not done yet!
If you think about it, it makes sense. Google’s previously said that over half of search queries globally come from mobile devices; a report from Hitwise suggests that mobile searches in the US amount to 58% of all queries. The research is based on 11 key categories and covers hundreds of millions of online search queries across PCs, smartphones, and tablets. Interestingly, the ratio of desktop to mobile searches can vary significantly for different categories, with Food and Beverage, Health and Sports queries leading the way.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past year, everyone, from eCommerce specialists to CNN have been talking about how smart phone-related sales have been the main stimulus for making the past holiday seasons surpass previously tracked sale figures.
It’s a given now that if you don’t rank in mobile search, you may be missing out on a disproportionately large share of sales — studies show that mobile searchers have higher buying intent, with over 50% of them reaching for their smartphones to make a purchase decision. With local mobile searches, the numbers are even more staggering — 78% of consumers who run a mobile search for a local business end up making a purchase.
So it’s only fair that you should focus on mobile SEO no less, if not more, than desktop. But how exactly do you get to the mobile top, and how’s the optimization process different from the desktop SEO we’re used to?
Well, you can start with checking to see if your site’s pages are mobile-friendly. Google’s mobile-friendly test includes a selection of usability criteria, such as viewport configuration, use of plugins, and the size of text and clickable elements. It’s also important to remember that mobile friendliness is assessed on a page basis, so you’d need to check each of your landing pages for mobile friendliness separately, one at a time.
The quickest (and free) way to run the check is with WebSite Auditor — Google’s mobile-friendly test is incorporated right into the tool.
The next thing you will want to look at is run a full blown audit of your mobile presence. You want to make sure that all your important pages and resources are accessible to Google-bots and your mobile pages are free from errors.
The simplest way to conduct an in-depth mobile website audit is by running a site crawl in a tool like the WebSite Auditor with custom user agent and robots.txt settings.
Optimize load time. Fun fact: 40% of mobile searchers will wait no more than 3 seconds before abandoning a site. Make sure to do all you can to improve the speed of your landing pages, especially on mobile devices.
If this all seems a little daunting to you, remember, you really can’t put off making sure your mobile site is working to its optimum! Not unless you don’t care where Google ranks your eCommerce website. If you would like to have the professionals at Black Arrow Marketing take a look at your mobile presence just give the team a call at 888-225-4780 and let them help you get started to making your mobile site work the way it was meant to do.
Call Black Arrow Marketing Today!