Everyone talks about ranking for mobile search on Google, but we sometimes forget to check the basics. Is your SEO campaign working for you or against you?
Certain Google algorithm updates (ahem, Mobilegeddon) have made mobile friendly websites a crucial component to any successful SEO program. The factor that mobile friendliness play in ranking is more than substantial; it is now required to even be considered on the first page of most Google search results pages.
You can’t take the easy way out, either. Too often will web developers use a one-size-fits-all solution for optimizing a website for mobile and desktop usage. Even worse, they then continue to only track their desktop search engine rankings. In a world so obviously powered by the mobile market, this is a risky plan of action. More than half of all Google searches are done on mobile devices, so why track less than 50% off your rankings?
How Is Your Website’s Mobile Friendliness Calculated?
One would assume that ranking a site based on its mobile friendliness would be impossible, since it is “subjective”. However, technical issues and solutions are carefully calculated to let Google know whether or not your site is optimized for mobile usage.
- Site Loading Speed
The highest ranking mobile websites on Google all have great loading times, which infer to Google a sense of mobile friendliness. If you want to see where your site can improve in terms of speed, test your site here.
- Flash And It’s Effect On Mobile
Flash is, typically, not very mobile friendly, and Google knows this. Instead, you can make use of HTML5 in place of Flash, as it typically displays content on mobile quite well.
User Friendliness On Mobile Sites
How is user friendliness ranked on mobile websites? Mobile screens are much smaller than desktop screens, of course, so you will need to factor details such as font sizes in to your mobile design. There are other elements that also play crucial roles, which we will expand on here.
- Unordered Lists
If you look at the top ranking mobile websites on Google, you will see they typically make use of unordered lists. Moreover, they are also made shorter and readable. Bullets are fine, as long your content is compact, yet still dense with information.
- Internal Links
Internal links play a crucial role in any SEO program, but you will notice a stiff decline in internal links on mobile websites. Internal links should still be utilized on mobile sites, but make them meaningful and clickable. A page riddled with too many internal links might decline the user friendliness of your mobile website.
- Pictures and Images
A trend that is apparent on the top ranking mobile websites is a decline in images. On average, mobile websites should have four or less images per page. You website needs to load quickly, and a barrage of images will increase your loading time.
While the previously mentioned factors all play roles in your mobile and user friendliness rank, there is always more that can be done. Word counts on your mobile site should be lower than your desktop site. In the simplest of terms, reducing content while keeping your website information rich is the key to a successful mobile website. As always, your off site social media platforms will also help cement a higher search engine ranking.
There is no -one-size-fit-all strategy to creating a truly user and mobile friendly website. Instead, it is best to tackle each sub-division of mobile friendliness one at a time to really create a website that Google will rank highly.