For quite a few years now, mobile has played a part in Google’s algorithm and sites that have been optimized for mobile usability have had a tendency to rank higher than those who have failed to implement a mobile strategy.
On the 21st April, things are going to change. A recent Google blog post has indicated that this new algorithm will have a “significant impact” on mobile search results. According to a recent Search Engine Land article , next month’s algorithm change will have more of an impact than previous Panda and Penguin updates.
Like the majority of Google algorithm updates when they are first revealed, we still do not know all the facts, for example, it is unclear what new factors will be added or how will these changes will impact a sites’s search visibility. We can assume that sites that have failed to optimized their sites accordingly will decrease in the search rankings.
Mobile Search Dominance
According to ComScore, more than 60 percent of all Google searches are now performed on mobile devices, this statistic clearly shows the reasons why the search giant has rolled out this algorithm for next month as they can capitalize on mobile search traffic and in addition helps improves a mobile user’s search – end of the day a user does not want to click on a site that has a poor UX and a high bounce rate.
How to prepare for next month’s mobile change
Use your limited space well (avoid getting hit)
When it comes to mobile devices you have less space to work with, it is therefore recommended to keep as much original content, avoid replacing content with CTA buttons for example, having less unique content on your page can cost you dearly in search, the last thing you want is to get hit in the face with a penalty.
Write specifically for mobile
Whether you’re creating a blog post or a landing page, you should always be thinking about your potential mobile readers. Today, people expect to have consistency across all devices. Make sure you are putting lists in logical order for speed and also make sure you a linking more – putting short links in at the end of every section to relevant pieces of content helps spend less time on entering search terms into your search box. Moreover, make sure you include navigation menus at the top and bottom of the page so users do not have to keep scrolling back up every time they want a different page.
Hierarchy of Information
On mobile devices it is paramount that your users see your message straight away, if they have to spend a lot of time searching on your page about your main products and services, they will go somewhere else. In order to avoid this from happening, it is recommended that you display your company message in one or two sentences at the top of your website. Once you have done that you can then prioritise your other messages.
For further reading and also for reference we recommend the following articles :
- 5 WordPress Plugins To Help Create a Mobile Friendly Website
- The Definitive Guide To Mobile SEO
- Ten Tips for Designing Mobile UX
- Webmaster’s Mobile Guide
- Five New Mobile Marketing Strategies for 2015
Google’s April mobile algorithm change seems to be the biggest one yet, but like most Google algorithm updates it probably won’t be the last. At the end of the day, the search engine giant wants to keep to its mobile users happy, so make sure you have some sort of plan in place, otherwise the ramifications could lead to a downgrade in the search rankings as previously mentioned. If you are not a web designer or do not have the funds to hire one, we recommend that you look at WordPress themes that are fully mobile optimized.