A look forward toward 2015 – Mobile SEO

thinking-cloudYear End Thinking …

As I usually do, I take a few days off between Christmas and New years. A good time to do some unencumbered  thinking. And as my musing went, it landed upon the challenges this year brought in regards to effective website design, use and measurement. Including how Google’s many algorithm updates to Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird and  Pigeon constantly kept all of us “dancing”.

The fruit of all of this free thinking was a shift in web strategy for 2015.  Mobile has been growing in importance, but in 2014, with the growth in larger display smartphones, it must become a higher priority. If you’re not already revising your plans on how to incorporate or shift your development and SEO strategy to ride this wave, you’ll find your site and your company playing an uncomfortable game of ‘catch-up’.

Gone are the days of desktop first, and mobile second.  Also skating on thin ice is the idea of having a desktop designed site that is ‘mobile friendly’ vs a true mobile experience. Pinching and zooming are sure ways to increase your bounce rate these days!

Visitors are increasing using smartphones for their first visit to a website. Why?  Convenience and access.  Smartphones display sizes and resolutions now provide a reasonable platform for true user engagement, without ever visiting a desktop version. And “yes”, including full eCommerce. In my own informal survey covering many different types of business, not-for-profits and education the patience a user has with a site that is not mobile friendly has grown very thin.

So with that in mind, I wanted to offer some insights/tools for your year ahead.

2015 – Mobile … Design and Delivery

A) Let’s get started with a very handy tool from Google …   PageSpeed Insights.

This is a very handle online site to test key aspects of your web page. See below for a sample of the output

pagespeed

 

 

 

 

 

Reporting Categories:

  • Speed
    • Should Fix
    • Consider Fixing
    • # of Passed Rules
  • User Experience
    • Should Fix
    • Consider Fixing
    • # of Passed Rules

B) Next up is Google’s “Mobile Friendly Test“.  The value of this tool is in its analysis of how well your page will render and function on a mobile device and importantly, what to do if it’s deemed “not mobile friendly”.

If your page is deemed “not mobile friendly”, Google will provide the reporting categories to help you address the issues:

  • Reasons this page is not mobile friendly
  • How Googlebot sees the page
  • How to make the page mobile friendly

Mobile SEO

In addition to design and delivery, optimizing for mobile SEO should be a key priority for 2015 as well. Well written content should be as much of a consideration for the mobile visitor as for the desktop. In addition try to take advantage of Google’s new “Mobile Friendly” SEO tag. To achieve this for your pages, Google has 4 tests the page must pass :

  1. Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  2. Uses text that is readable without zooming
  3. Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  4. Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped

Achieve these, and Google will automatically add the coveted “Mobile-Friendly” to your SERP.

Here’s the full article on mobile-friendly tagging from Google.

On Your Own …

Lastly, if all of this sounds a bit confusing, you might benefit by a little brushing up on your skills by taking advantage of this useful article from Google: Mobile SEO

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