New changes to mobile friendly SEO may finally bring a much needed upgrade to Google’s mobile algorithm.
In May 2015, Google announced plans to integrate mobile friendliness as one of their many ranking signals. In response, websites leapt into action to adapt their sites to be more mobile friendly in order to meet the April deadline. The SEO community dubbed the launch, “Mobilegeddon” as a result.
The subsequent “changes” left plenty to be desired. Most sites who adapted their pages to be mobile friendly saw very little change in their rank. Some sites had trouble getting the “Mobile Friendly” distinction to pop up next to their page on the SERPS.
A few weeks ago, Google announced plans to further the mobile SEO experience. According to Google, “getting good, relevant answers when you search shouldn’t depend on what device you’re using.” This is true, but mobile device usage should also be more relevant to Google. Most people carry some sort of smartphone nowadays.
Without explicitly recognizing the lackluster changes of last year, Google admits that their new rollout coming in May will place stronger emphasis on mobile friendliness as a signal. The rollout will be slow, they say. Sites with current mobile friendliness will have a different experience than users with prior mobile friendliness.
If you jumped on the craze back in 2015 and made your site mobile friendly, your ranking on the SERPS will not likely immediately change as a result of the update. You can hire Phoenix SEO experts to improve your SEO and optimize website for mobile.
SEO Steps for the Mobile Launch
If you have yet to launch your platform into the mobile-verse, you might want to consider revamping your site to be mobile friendly. The average online surfer uses not only the computer to search online, but also smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. If your site is mobile user friendly, it may boost your repeat user numbers.
Having mobile compatibility is important, especially for your USA audience, says Google. Google Develops reports that “94% of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones” and “77% of mobile searches occur at home or at work.” Mobile devices are taking over the traditional computer use. Homes and workplaces already have laptops, but the trend is moving away from the traditional desktop interface.
Even if your company has an app, it may be a good idea to have a mobile friendly website as some people prefer that interface. Mobile friendly sites save app space on their mobile devices and use a familiar platform. Plus, mobile friendly sites can offer the user more options that are optimized for user experience than a smartphone app in certain circumstances.
How do you know that your site is mobile-friendly?
Google has offered some common signs that your site may be mobile-friendly:
- Avoid software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
- Uses text that is readable without zooming
- Size content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
If you are trying to optimize your site for mobile use, consider taking your core content and transferring it into a mobile format. Everything your users love about your site will still be there. The content will just be more conveniently formatted for their mobile devices.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is purposeful use of navigational options that function well for your mobile site. Organization on the page is even more crucial on a mobile friendly format. This includes using a font that is big enough to be seen on a mobile device. The biggest tell-tale sign of a site lacking in mobile compatibility is the microscopic, hard to read font.
If you are still unsure about your site, Google has conveniently created Mobile Friendly Test to see if your site is compliant with mobile devices.
Still, some sites have been frustrated with the Google testing page. The results will reveal that their site is okay, but then their ranking does not change. Other times it is the ranking and lack of the “mobile friendly” descriptor.
The only thing left to do in the coming weeks is to hope that this new launch will be better than the last one. “Mobilegeddon 2: Google Strikes Back” sounds like it could be a cool movie, but we hope this one actually lives up to the hype.