Creating A Mobile-Friendly Website for Google’s New Site Ranking Algorithm
The latest data shows that searches from mobile devices will surpass desktop searches in 2015, if they haven’t already, especially in organic traffic levels, paid clicks and marketing spending. In response, Google has announced it is adapting its search algorithms to ensure relevant, optimized results for mobile search users.
More than ever before, businesses and individuals alike need mobile friendly websites.
April 21st 2015 – An Important Date for Website Owners
As of April 21st, Google made a website’s mobile-friendliness and usability a ranking factor in mobile searches.
With mobile searches set to surpass desktop searches, the idea is to ensure mobile users find relevant content more quickly and on mobile-friendly websites optimized for their devices.
There are things that every website owner should do to ensure theirs retains prime ranking position.
What Does Google Expect from Mobile-Friendly Websites?
Prepare for the change by understanding what Google expects from a mobile-friendly website. Below are some examples of their mobile optimization criteria:
• The site loads quickly across all devices.
• Site owners should limit image sizes and enable processes like browser caching.
• The site uses a simple, easily-navigable design.
• Effective site navigation systems are critical to mobile performance. Ensure there’s a clear flow to site content and use simple designs to limit user confusion.
• The site uses geolocation. By utilizing the benefits of geolocation, mobile site owners can provide their users with a more personalized experience while driving local traffic.
• The site offers streamlined content. Mobile users don’t want to scroll through long pages of text. A mobile website’s content should be concise and crafted for effective use of each word.
What Problems are Associated with the Optimization Process?
In gearing up for the algorithm change on April 21st, Google sought advice from webmasters about the most common mobile optimization mistakes:
• Unplayable content. Some license-constrained media and flash-dependent content are unplayable on mobile devices. Site owners should test each piece of content carefully.
• Mobile-only 404s. Some sites display an error page to mobile users trying to access specific content that has been optimized only for desktop.
• Irrelevant cross-linking. Many websites often link to content that hasn’t been optimized for mobile audiences. This can reduce the performance of the website and limit the mobile user experience. Check all links and ensure they’re taking the mobile user to the relevant optimized page.
How To Ensure Your Website is Mobile Optimized
Under the new search algorithm, there will be no degrees of mobile optimization. A site’s individual pages will either be mobile-optimized or not optimized. A web page that does not pass Google’s mobile-usability standards will not rank well for mobile searches, even though it ranks well for desktop searches.
Therefore, site owners must employ the latest Google testing tools to determine whether they meet the criteria. Google recommends using its Mobile-Friendly Test. It allows a user to analyze its entire site for mobile optimization problems and provides tips and assistance.
The search marketplace is evolving rapidly to respond to user trends. Site owners can ensure they’re ahead of the latest changes by heeding the advice of Google and other market specialists and adapting their websites to the needs of mobile users.
When in doubt about creating a mobile-friendly website that will come up prominently in search rankings, contact the experts whose sole job is helping companies do just that.
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