Are you aware that Google recently rolled out a new update called “Mobile-Friendly” update and it’s taking serious effects for the ranking of sites this 2018? Is your site mobile-optimized?
The new update was developed to penalize pages that couldn’t be fully accessed on mobile phones and tablets.
The rolled-out Mobile-Friendly update is popularly called “Mobilegeddon”. To get a first page rank in 2018, your site must be fully optimized for mobile phones and tablets.
And in today’s ultimate guide, I’m going to show you details about mobile SEO and how you can get a first page rank this 2018 by optimizing your site for mobile devices.
Let’s get started in five lessons right away:
Lesson one: Mobile Optimization
Lesson Two: How To Implement A Google Ranked Mobile Site
Lesson Three: How To Optimize Your Site For Mobile Phones & Tablets
Lesson Four: How To Optimize Your Mobile Website For UX Signals
Lesson Five: Top SEO Tips & Working Strategies
Lesson 1: Mobile Optimization
In this lesson, I’ll show you the fundamentals and teach you the strategies to optimizing your site for mobile phones and tablets.
If you can’t be so sure as to whether your site is mobile-optimized or not, this lesson will give you an insight into that.
The mobile optimization strategies and best practices will be discussed fully in this post.
What Do You Understand By Mobile SEO?
Mobile SEO is the act of optimizing your site for those who surf the net via tablets and smartphones. Mobile optimization means enabling search engine spiders to access your site data.
What Is The Efficacy Of Mobile SEO?
Literally, the number of mobile searches is increasing exponentially day by day. It’s found that over 60% of all searches made come from mobile devices.
Google recently disclosed that the number of searches performed on mobile is 27.8 billion more than the number performed on desktop.
Obviously, the future of SEO is mobile. And that’s literally why Google’s search algorithm is being overhauled to focus on mobile search.
What Is Optimizing For “Mobile SEO” All About?
In as much as over 94% of all searches performed on Google come from mobile, it’s worth optimizing your website for mobile SEO.
Google’s search algorithm has been optimized for mobile users in order to maintain this level of dominance.
The Mobile-Friendly update called “Mobilegeddon” was globally rolled out by Google on 21st April, 2015.
The ranking of mobile-friendly web pages was maximally boosted on mobile search results. Sites that couldn’t be accessed on mobile (Sites that weren’t Mobile-Friendly) were severely penalized by this update.
Google is now fully set to make its entire search algorithm “Mobile-First”. And your site must be Mobile-Friendly to avoid getting penalized.
What Does Google’s Mobile-First Index Stand For?
Google’s Mobile-First index simply ranked sites based on mobile versions regardless of whether the searches are being made on desktop or mobile.
Prior to introducing the Mobile-Friendly update, Google was using two indexes; the mobile and desktop versions.
At that time, Google would show search results from its mobile index when a search was made from a smartphone. Desktop results would also be shown if a search was made from a desktop.
Henceforth, all search results are shown from the mobile index in Google whether you are searching from a mobile or desktop device.
More emphasis will be made in the chapters below to ensure that you get your site Mobile-Optimized in earnest.
What’s The Efficacy Of Getting Your Site Mobile-Optimized?
Your rankings will drop from time to time as Google rolls out its search algorithm (HummingBird) based on its “Mobile-First” index if your site is not optimized for mobile searches.
Your site will never receive Google’s penalty if:
- Its mobile version displays the full content
- All redirects and internal links are perfectly working
- It loads fast as expected by mobile users
- It loads data on all devices.
To ensure that your site does not get penalized, the rest of this post is geared towards helping you get your site Mobile-Optimized.
How Does Google Define “Mobile”?
Most people categorize smartphones and tablets as mobile devices whereas in Google’s view, tablets are not mobile devices.
According to Google, smartphones, iPhone and android devices are categorized as mobile devices.
The most important thing is that you must optimize your site for mobile searches whether you are using mobile or desktop devices.
Lesson 2: How To Implement A Google Ranked Mobile Site
To prosper with mobile SEO these days, your site needs to be Mobile-Friendly.
If the full version of your desktop site cannot be viewed by a mobile visitor, there is a lot of trouble, be rest assured.
In as much as implementing a Google ranked mobile website isn’t a big deal, it’s worth achieving.
In respect of this, we shall be focusing attention on mobile SEO with a view to implementing a mobile site that gets ranked in Google.
You Have 3 Alternatives When It Comes To Configuring Your Site For Mobile
To configure your site for mobile, you have 3 different alternatives.
1. Use An “M” Configuration Which Implies Getting Multiple URLs
With this configuration, you have a mobile version of your site (“M” version) and the desktop version (Main version).
In this case, your site automatically detects the type of device any visitor is using at a particular time and then redirects such to a specific URL configured for that device.
As the “M” versions of your sites would convey tons of search engine optimization issues, it wouldn’t be a recommended way to configure your site for mobile.
When you configure the “M” version of your site, every post published on that site must have separate URLs which complicates certain issues in SEO.
While trying to configure your site for mobile, the “M” configuration / Multiple URLs method is really undesirable for the reasons stated above and, therefore, not recommended for configuring your site for mobile.
2. Have All Of Your Posts On The Same URL
When posts are dynamically distributed, all of them are on the same URL though users are shown different CSS/HTML depending on their respective devices.
If people try visiting your site https://onlinebusinesspublications.com/how-to-write-a-quality-blog-post from a desktop device, they’ll be served a desktop version of your site.
If your site is visited from a mobile, then a mobile version of your site would be served.
Thus, having all of your blog posts on the same URL is a more fantastic approach than using the “M” configuration / Multiple URLs though there are still certain SEO issues with this method.
Dynamically distributing versions of your site to mobile users is better for SEO than the “M” configuration though this approach is still found with technical SEO issues.
Using this alternative would call for creating multiple versions of each of your blog posts for all the latest devices. If this is not done, your page may not recognize the latest devices and that may constitute a more complicated SEO issue.
In spite of these, having all of your blog posts on the same ULR is not recommended for mobile optimization.
3. Use The Responsive Design
Using the responsive designs will make your site’s content, images and layout responsive to the different individual visitors irrespective of the devices being used.
With the responsive designs, there wouldn’t be needs for different CSS or multiple URLs for the different devices.
The responsive design is superb and great for SEO as you have all of your blog posts on a single URL which facilitates getting backlinks and sharing posts.
The most interesting part is that the responsive design is recommended by Google itself. It doesn’t call for redirects which slow down your site and cause a lot of technical issues in SEO.
Lesson 3: How To Optimize Your Site For Mobile Phones & Tablets
In as much as your site is optimized for mobile searches, you can get mobile SEO for your site easily.
You’ll learn to ensure that your site is Mobile-Optimized and is considered Mobile-Friendly by Google and other major search engines.
Find Out If Your Site Is Mobile-Usable
You have the Google’s mobile usability checking tool in the Google Search Console to see if your site is Mobile-Usable.
To start leveraging the Google’s mobile usability checking tool, log in your Google Search Console account, click on the Search Traffic button, then on “Mobile Usability”.
And Google will notify you if mobile users have issues accessing your site.
An alternative way to find out if your pages are Mobile-Friendly is to leverage the Google’s Mobile-Friendly test by popping your website URL into the tool.
You will get a detailed report from Google stating whether or not your site is Mobile-Friendly. You will also be notified if the “”Mobile GoogleBot” is having issues loading all of the data on your page.
With the introduction of the Google’s Mobile-First Index, there would be a technical issue if the mobile GoogleBot could not load all of the data on your page even if the desktop GoogleBot could do that.
Allow Google To Crawl All Of The Resources On Your Page
Do you care to check if GoogleBot is prevented access to the HTML/CSS or any other crucial part of your page?
Be rest assured that GoogleBot won’t be able to say whether or not your site is Mobile-Optimized once it cannot be crawled.
To find out using the Google Search Console whether or not GoogleBot is prevented access to the CSS/HTML of your website’s code, click on “Google Index” followed by “Blocked Resources”.
The console will give you a clear report stating whether or not GoogleBot is prevented from accessing certain parts of your website.
Alternatively, you can get to know if GoogleBot cannot access certain parts of your site using your “robots.txt” file.
If nothing crucial is blocked on your site, there is no cause for alarm. You’re good to go.
How Do Intrusive Popups Impact Your Search Rankings?
It’s an indisputable fact that everybody dislikes popups. Without any doubt, Google too dislikes popups particularly for mobile internet users.
Google admires quality and helpful content but this attribute loses value once the content becomes hidden due to intrusive popups.
If you use an intrusive popup on your site, it could negatively impact your overall search engine rankings.
Find Out How Your Responsive Site Looks
Seeing how your mobile site is viewed by Google is one major thing. Viewing your mobile site on all devices is awesome.
Using this completely-free tool is highly recommended if your site has responsive designs.
This tool will display how the pages on your site look on different devices such as small phones, iPhone, Smartphones, Tablets and many more.
Use The Google Search Console’s “Fetch As Google” Mobile Feature
As most people prefer learning visually, yet it’s much more crucial and helpful to really see how Google views your pages.
Spot-testing some crucial pages on your site using the Google Search Console’s “Fetch As Google” mobile feature is highly recommended.
You implement this by popping an important URL from your website into the tool.
From the drop-down menu, select “Mobile: Smartphone” as shown below.
Allow Mobile Internet Users To View Everything
Doing these led to faster loading of data on mobile devices and speedily improved the mobile user-experience.
In the Google’s Mobile-First index, your site’s mobile version becomes the main version.
This implies that your content will not be crawled or indexed if hidden from mobile viewers.
If any part of your content is hidden from the mobile internet users, such will be ignored by Google, thereby carrying less weight on it.
Mobile users must view all of your page’s resources the same way desktop users do, otherwise, you will be penalized.
Lesson 4: How To Optimize Your Mobile Website For UX Signals
Google’s RankBrain algorithm is basically designed to assess Google researchers’ interactions with your page.
Once Google’s RankBrain detects that mobile users are frustrated by your site, you will be dumped like a useless piece of rag.
To make sure that your mobile users have a better user-experience accessing your site, learn more below.
Monitor Site Speed On Mobile
Do you know at all if Google cares about your mobile site speed while ranking your site in search results?
According to Google’s recommendation, your site must load up within 1-3 seconds when mobile users are accessing it.
Though making your mobile site load as fast as for a second seems difficult to achieve, I am pleased to inform you that there are free tools that will at least help you reach Google’s expectation
The first tool that will tell you how fast your site loads on mobile is the Google’s PageSpeed Insights. And it suggests what can be done to increase your site’s loading speed on mobile.
An alternative PageSpeed checking tool highly recommended is the WebPageTest which loads sites on desktop browsers. Select “Mobile” from the menu and have your site loaded on a mobile browser.
Make Your Content Readable On Mobile Phones
Do mobile users have to start scrolling to read your website content on mobile devices?
To make your content easier to read for mobile users, the following suggestions may help:
- Use few lines (Usually 1-3 lines) in each of your paragraphs
- Make each line up 50-70 characters in length
- Use 15-16 pixels font for your content.
Use HTML5 For Animations and Videos
Do you have animations performed on your page? Do you have videos embedded within your content?
For animations and embedded videos to work on mobile phones, content must be coded in HTML5, not in Flash.
Implement These 3 Quick Tips To Boost Your Page’s Usability For Mobile Users
While implementing the mobile UX hacks, the following three tips might be helpful.
(a) Reduce The Size Of Your Header Images:
If there are giant images on your site, it could frustrate Google’s mobile researchers in trying to access your site.
A great way to implement the mobile UX hacks is to remove the giant header image or simply crop to a smaller size like this.
(b) Use Several Negative spaces:
Creating an uncluttered page will help a lot in making your site more usable for mobile users.
Do you have negative spaces on your site? Do you try boosting your site’s usability for mobile researchers?
A negative space is really awesome for mobile pages.
(c) Input Social Media Icons Appropriately:
Putting the social share icons in the main, left or right sidebar will help you receive hundreds of social shares and values to your site content from day to day.
Some plugins may not allow you to put the social share icons in the left or right sidebar. In this case, you may place these icons at the bottom of every post.
Lesson Five: Top SEO Tips & Working Tactics
Now that your website is fully optimized for mobile searches, it’s high time you moved your blogging game to the next game.
In this particular lesson, I’m going to analyze the top SEO tips and working tactics. And you will find these helpful.
Boost Traffic By Fixing Your Mobile Organic Click-Through-Rate
Do you know that your mobile Click-through-rate is a great ranking signal in Google?
If it’s constantly detected that searchers do not click on your page URL in search results, Google will rank you down and this bounces back on site traffic.
To maximize your mobile organic click-through-rate, click on “Search Analytics” in Google Search Console.
Now, select the “Compare Devices” tab as shown below.
Click on the “Compare” button after selecting “Desktop vs Mobile” in the navigation bar.
Upon getting results, you may find that your desktop and mobile click-through-rates are somehow different, yet there is no cause for alarm. This is still a normal result.
The GSC analysis will further give you suggestions on how you can augment your mobile organic click-through-rates.
Implement These 3 Tips Towards Building Your Mobile Page Speed
Going by the Mobile-Friendly update, what matters most to Google as far as ranking your site is concerned?
Is it your site’s desktop page speed or mobile page speed?
The mobile page speed of your site is more important. Your site must load as fast as possible on mobile devices.
To enhance the mobile loading speed of your site, you must conduct a test using the TestWithGoogle.com.
Using this tool, you’re going to get a full report telling you the length of time it takes your page to load on mobile devices.
Google will tell you about your site mobile page loading speed status as to whether you’re in good shape or not. If it says you’re in good shape, then you will rank to the first page this 2018.
You will get further instructions on what to do to fix the errors responsible for the poor page loading status of your site.
Below are some great tips to implement when it comes to optimizing your site mobile page loading speed:
- Compress Your Images: The EWWW image optimizer plugin is highly recommended if you are a WordPress user. A good example is the 100% free image smusher plugin designed by the superteam at WPMU DEV. This incredibly compresses, resizes and optimizes all of your images for a faster loading speed.
- Enhance CDNs: CDNs can enhance the loading speed of page elements on your site three times over.
- Leverage Browser Caching: To enhance the mobile page loading speed of your site, you need to leverage browser caching.
Are you aware that Google recently rolled out its “Mobile-First” Update and it’s being implemented for ranking sites this 2018?
Is your own site Mobile-Optimized?
How are you optimizing your site for mobile SEO?
Do you leverage page loading speed testing tools to assess your site?
What are your own tips towards strategizing mobile SEO this 2018?
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Wish you breakthroughs,