Thursday, 24 November 2016

Optimize Your Website for Mobile First Index in Just 5 Steps

Google is officially in testing a mobile-first index. So experts in the field have already predicted the success of mobile-friendly sites. The new index being tested by Google will go to the desktop version of your site only after throwing a look at its mobile version for ranking signals. Gradually, Google has started taking its step towards mobile-first index. It has been over a year now.

In case, you have not joined the mobile revolution, yet, it is the right time to take action. Mobile is ruling over search. This has forced Google and various other search engines emphasise more on mobile.

Listed below are 5 easy yet very effective steps to be taken in order to optimize your site for mobile-first index of Google:

1. Respect The Speed

According to a report about Site Performance for Webmasters video of Google, it has been revealed 2 seconds is the threshold for acceptability for any modern e-commerce website . For Google, users aim for under a half second! These days, users expect their websites to load faster. Hence, it is crucial to make sure your website loads as fast as possible. This will help it rank well on mobile. Some of the best ways to optimize page speed, includes the following:

Optimize Image – Remember that large images always decreases speed of a website. So make sure you optimize images to the appropriate size.

Focus on Browser Caching – The process will help you store web page resource files on a local computer as soon as a visits your web page.

Code Minify - The process involves removal of all unnecessary characters from source code sans any need to change its functionality.

Minimize Redirects – A website may reload and slow down dramatically if there are too many redirects.

2. No More Blocking

Although blocking these CSS, JavaScript or images has proved helpful in the early days of mobile design, they caused problems for users and even made the site drag to a point that the users got irritated. In most cases, smartphones are widely used and preferred as compared to computers. These phones are very efficient at handling just about anything thrown at.

3. Mobile Design

It is crucial to understand how SEO has transitioned from a mere technical task to an art. The present day SEO should be about acquiring knowledge and detailed understanding of more than just codes and cliched ranking signals. You must know various effective ways to use design to influence rankings. Mobile design is certainly a form of art in its own sense.

Having responsive design is the best way to go for a modern age site. Regardless of the procedure and various techniques involved, you need to follow certain tips to optimize mobile website design for search in a better way. Here's what you need to focus on.

- Do not use Flash. Most mobile users cannot view Flash elements on their phones. This makes eliminate Flash a necessity to remove them. Try using Java or HTML 5 instead of Flash. You may even think of adding some extra cool elements to the site.

- Another tip is to eliminate pop-ups completely. These are a total turn-off for your potential and existing clients. Remember that lead generation is a crucial element for success of any website. In case, your mobile site is overloaded with pop-ups, it frustrates your users. They will make an exit immediately, resulting in a very high bounce rate and low rankings. Hence, make sure you get rid of pop-ups on mobile.

- Focus on designing your website for “the finger.” This is because your mobile users require navigating with their finger. Hence, making design “finger-friendly” will ultimately make it easier for users to navigate through your website and spend more time on it. Remember that accidental taps can irritate your visitors to a point that they want to exit sites without even browsing through it. Hence, the site should be built in a fashion to help visitors scroll and tap without hassles.

4. On-page Optimization

There's not much room to work with especially with respect to the mobile SERPS (search engine results pages). So it is crucial to make sure that titles and descriptions are as concise and to the point as possible. This is crucial to support GoogleBot understand your page faster. It also ensures a better understanding of who you are. The final result is a higher click-through rate leading to improved rankings.

5. Local Optimization

Google released 'Possum' in September. It is a massive update to the local search algorithm. Businesses looking forward to drive foot traffic into their stores should seriously consider mobile search. As per a research by Google into local search behavior, it has been revealed that local searchers are all set to take the necessary action.

As per the report, they have revealed that around 50 per cent of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone had visited a single day. Additionally, around 34 percent who already searched on a tablet or computer did the same. Local businesses can benefit a lot from the mobile-first index.

Listed below are certain important things you must keep in mind in order to increase mobile visibility of your website:

  • City and state in the title tag
  • City and state in the H1 heading
  • City and state in the URL
  • City and state in content
  • City and state in the alt tags
  • City and state in the meta description
  • Business Name, Phone and Address

There's a lot more to learn as Google progresses with their experiment and mobile index. However, taking action right now or as soon as possible means making efficient steps towards visibility in mobile search for your site.

The idea is not to wait until the switch to mobile-first indexing gets “official.” The present day is the right time for action. Following the above listed tips will help you optimize your business website for mobile first index of Google.