Google announced earlier this month that it will now be indexing mobile sites separately from their desktop versions. The “mobile first index” will first look to the mobile version of your website when it comes to rankings and then look at the desktop version if no mobile site is available.
So now more than ever having a properly optimized mobile friendly site is important for your business. If you are wondering what you can do to improve your mobile site here are a few tips.
Speed is a very important ranking factor especially when it comes to mobile sites. People accessing mobile pages are usually on the go and have little time to wait for a web page to load. Here are a few tips to optimize your mobile site for site speed
- Compress large images: Large images on your site can slow down load time. Optimize your images my compressing them to be the proper size.
- Install Caching plugin: Browser caching stores web files on a computer for a quicker load time. Install a caching plugin on your website to help speed up load time.
- Reduce Redirects: Too many redirects can cause the site to have to constantly load and reload which can slow down user experience. Reduce the number or redirects on your mobile site to help decrease load time.
Mobile Design Optimization
Now that Google is indexing mobile sites separately, make sure your mobile website is well designed. A responsive design is often the best when it comes to SEO as it ensures that your website looks good across all platforms and includes the same content on your desktop site. Here are some tips to optimize your mobile site design
- Design for the “finger”– Unlike desktop users, mobile users have to navigate your site using their finger. This means leaving enough space between icons to avoid accidental taps.
- Avoid pop-ups: Pop-ups can be frustrating to users especially those on a mobile device. Pop-ups can cause people to leave your site and decrease rankings.
- Avoid Flash: Apple products do not support flash and since many mobile users are also Apple product users flash on a mobile device is a bad idea.
Mobile traffic is crucial for a business looking to drive foot traffic into their stores. By making sure your mobile site is properly optimized for Google’s local search algorithm you can help increase traffic to your store or business through people conducting searches on their mobile devices in your area. Here are a few ways to optimize your mobile site for local search
- Include city and state in Page Titles & Meta Descriptions
- Include city & state in URL
- Include city & state in H1 Tags
- Build service area pages for specific city & states
- Make sure your Business Name, Phone Number and Address are consistent
Although Google’s ‘mobile-first index’ is still in the testing phases it is important to take these steps to ensure your mobile site is ready. By taking action now you can help improve your mobile sites rankings.