With the constant changes, mobile optimization couldn’t possibly be more in important than it is today. For a few it’s old news, but for most it is still news – Google has once again updated its algorithms and this time, it influences website owners whose site is mobile optimized. Mobile optimization is one of the surest ways to make it easier for your mobile audience to view your web page, buy products, and the like.
With a mobile optimized website on hand you’ll be able to ensure that you’re not only attracting your audience and keeping them interested, but that you’re generating leads and sales. When it comes to mobile optimization, there are a number of reasons that you need to adopt this crucial feature if you haven’t so already. By jumping on the bandwagon, you’ll fare better on Google’s search rankings and as a brand overall.
There is a Mobile Friendly Ranking
With Google’s new algorithm, mobile optimized websites now get their own search rankings. The purpose of creating a search ranking for mobile optimized websites is to make it much easier for users who use mobile technology to find what they are looking for.
One of the main factors that works its way into the ranking is how mobile friendly your website is.
If you’re interested in Google’s mobile friendliness rankings, then you may want to take a test to determine how mobile friendly your website is. If you don’t fare well on the test, then you should seriously consider hiring a professional or making the necessary changes on your own to improve the level of mobile friendliness.
By taking the right steps, you can ensure that your website stays ahead of the game not only when it comes to rankings, but also in terms of leads and sales. Here is Google’s own mobile friendly test. When the test runs, it’ll look at the URL and the design of the web page.
How to Mobile Optimization can Help You Rank Well
Since your mobile website is now being ranked against other websites that are mobile optimized instead of the general pool of websites, you should be focusing on doing everything possible to improve your website’s ranking. Before you can implement strategies to boost your rankings, it is important to know what Google takes into account when it processes your mobile website.
The Size and Scale of the Font
Google recognizes that one of the most frustrating features for mobile users is a website where the font does not comport with the mobile technology. As a result, its rankings are taking into account the font scale and size.
If your font is able to scale to size upon visiting the website, you can be certain that your website is going to fare better than others. The purpose of scaled font is that it enables users to read the information more easily instead of having to play with the screen size and struggle. If you don’t know how to change the size of your website’s font, then you may want to talk to a professional to handle the task for you.
Website Buttons and Touch Elements
There are many mobile websites that have touchable elements, but you’ve probably noticed that not all of those touchable elements work well. Sometimes, you need to resize the screen in order to access the button. Other times, the button simply doesn’t work as expected.
As a result, Google is trying to improve the system by prompting websites to ensure that their website’s touchable elements are accessible and easy to use. This means that in order to rank well on the rankings, you need to make sure that users can press on the website’s touchable elements and have no problem using them.
Flash Player – Get Rid of Flash!
Another frustrating aspect about mobile websites is that the flash player continuously crashes. A crashing flash player makes it not only difficult to use the site, but it also leads to problems with all of the open windows on the mobile technology. With that, flash player on the website is now another factor that goes into the ranking.
When you have flash player running on your mobile website, you want to make sure that the player is working properly and that it doesn’t cause the browser to crash. If it does, then you may find that your site is ranking lower than its fully potential. If flash player isn’t compatible with your site, you may want to find another alternative.
Mobile URLs for Optimized Loading
What is interesting about most mobile websites is that when there are URLs in place, the user is directed to a desktop URL and not a mobile URL. This not only hinders the mobile technology and viewing experience, but it also leads the user to a webpage that may not be compatible with their mobile technology.
As you can imagine, Google is now taking this quality into account and websites that are able to redirect their visitors to mobile URLs are going to fare better in the rankings. In order to ensure that your user is reaching other mobile URLs instead of the desktop version, you are going to need to optimize more of your webpages.
If you really want to make a project out of this process, then one recommendation is to view how the mobile web page fares from other mobile web pages based on features. You can test each page and see how high the visitor count is and whether the page is leading to conversions.
Load time – Go FASTER!
Lastly, another important feature that is going into the raking is the load time for the web page. As you have noticed through your own experiences, there is nothing more annoying than having to deal with a web page that loads slowly. Websites on mobile technology are notorious for slow load times, which is not helpful for users.
As a result, in order to prompt website owners to upgrade their sites, the load time is now configured into the search rankings. The faster your web page loads, the more success you are going to have in the rankings. If your web hosting service is causing the slow ranking, then it may also be time to make the switch for better service.
There are many great ways you can test and tweak speed and we will be holding a live webinar on this very soon. However, in the meantime you can use Pingdom’s very nifty little speed testing tool to test your site. There are also other great tools like Google’s Page Speed testing tool and GTMetrix. The first rule of speed, make sure you are caching your sites. On WordPress, for example, W3 Total Cache, SuperCache can give you a significant speed boost and adding a Content Distribution Network and CloudFlare will help take the load off of your site.
Examine Where Your Website Falls and Fix It…
Before you implement any of the above changes to your web page in order to improve your search rankings, the first think you may want to do is to determine where you fall exactly in the rankings.
If you are pretty high up in the rankings, you know that you are on your way to successful mobile optimization. However, you can still make some changes that are going to put you at the top.
In addition, when looking at your ranking, you also should analyze your website against your competitor’s site. If anything, your overall goal should be to out rank your competitor because your website will be the premier site that users go to when they search for a topic related to a product or service that you are offering.
For a more thorough approach, you can also view your competitor’s mobile website and see where they are lacking and where you can make improvements. The process is time consuming, but it does help you in the long term.
App Indexing – A Big Opportunity
Mobile optimization is important for search rankings for another reason, one that you may not have been expecting. The new change that Google announced involves what is known as app indexing. App indexing is a process by Google that indexes web page applications for content. Once the content is analyzed by Google, it’ll appear in system’s search results.
What should be noted about this app indexing system is that it only applies for users who are logged into their Google account. If they are not logged into their Google account, your website’s application is not ranked for its content.
Professional versus Individual Strategies
As you may have noticed, it’s time to ensure that your website is mobile optimized. If you aren’t ranking well enough in the search rankings, you may not only lose visitors on your mobile site, but you’re hindering your brand as a whole. In order to remedy the problem, you have two options – either mobile optimize the website on your own or hire a professional.
When it comes down to it, while you can certainly undertake the task on your own if you have the knowledge set to do so, those who are less savvy should reach out to someone. There are professionals out there who constantly run tests and gain information on how to consistently improve a mobile website’s level of optimization. By ensuing that your website is getting the attention it needs, you’ll be much happier with the overall results and ranking of your site. In addition, you’ll be able to stand out more against your competitors and make the sales you are aiming for by reaching out to your mobile audience successfully.
So, what are you going to do next year to make sure you are 100% mobile optimized and ready to take advantage of these optimizations for 2016? Leave a comment below, we love to hear from you…