In 2017, it’s essential that you comply with the major changes that Google is rolling out for mobile SEO. Google is currently the most important player in the search engine world so it gives you all the more reason to follow their lead. What’s more, more than 50% of all searches originate from a mobile device and mobile have overtook desktop in searches, in 2016. So it’s evident that Google is getting serious about sites providing stellar mobile experience.
Method One: Improve Mobile Site Performance
Before we get into the details, let’s take a look at one of the major changes Google will be implementing in 2017. For starters, the search engine giant will focus more on ranking pages by mobile first. Yes, you heard that right. It’s mobile first and desktop second. In the past, mobile SEO was only a factor; one of the other hundreds of ranking factors. However, it is quickly turning into a primary ranking factor and it is happening in a few months’ time.
Google is coining this is as mobile-first indexing and they want to see your website as if it only existed on mobile. If your site does not look or function well on mobile, you risk having your site going down the rankings in 2017.
What You Can Do
For starters, you can consider running a quick Google mobile test to check if your site is sufficiently mobile-friendly. Google has stated that websites should not look too small. If the content is squeezed too closely together, your visitors will have a hard time reading or clicking anything. That’s a big no-no. What’s more, you need to avoid creating a site that’s too big; one that needs you to swipe left or right while browsing.
Next, you want to improve the loading times of your website. Make sure your site fully loads in three seconds or less. Any longer, web users tend to abandon a site if it does not load within that timeframe. So remember, speed matters. To make sure you are on the right track to meeting your potential visitors’ expectations, start checking your site via Google Speed Tool. With less people leaving your site, you get to experience higher site rankings. It’s going to cause a snowball effect in a good way.
Hey, got a quick tip for you. If you want to see what your pages look like from a Google perspective, simply access your Google Search Console. Make sure you have added your site as a property before heading to Crawl and selecting Fetch as Google (select Mobile/Smartphone in the dropdown list). If you have too many pages to check, just choose five to 10 most important pages on your site and enter them into the URL field.
Method Two: Avoid Using Interstitials on Your Landing Pages
Today, it’s good to create web pages that contain text and content that is readable without zooming. However, it’s a huge mistake to create pages that display intrusive interstitials to visitors. Some may argue that the underlying content is still present on the page and is even available to be indexed by Google. You need to understand content that’s visually obscured by an interstitial often frustrates users. When that happens, there’s bad user experience and Google will rectify the issue by making the pages not rank as highly on mobile search results.
You have to get the transition right.
Make your content easily accessible after a visitor taps on search result (a link to your page). If you aren’t sure what an interstitial is, they are ads that appear – right in your face – when a chosen web page is downloading. Alternatively, you can think of them as aggressive email-capture tools for mobile.
Okay, now there’s a major problem. Isn’t email the only tool you have full control over? Won’t it become a hassle when a major driver of traffic (emails) and even sales to your website suddenly implements rule amendments? You start to feel kind of powerless, right? Don’t worry!
What You Can Do
A high converting tactic you can use is click triggers and they bring good news too. You see, Google’s 2017 mobile SEO rules state that click triggers fall within the accepted standards of the aforementioned. What are click triggers? They are popups (hold on, don’t panic) that appear only when you click a button or link. These triggers only activate the popup when you choose to see a particular offer. Since click triggers do not automatically show when a page is loading or after it has loaded, they are good to go on mobile.
Another way is to embed your popups in your page. It’s a super mobile-friendly move as the popup will seem like it was part of your site, page, blog, etc., all along. Let’s not forget about using call to action bars at the top of your pages. This is a cool email capture solution that’s non-intrusive and only shows up when a visitor first loads the page and when they scroll up. You can rest assured that it scales directly to mobile device resolutions.