The more I learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) the more I like this guy Michael Black. Some of his advice is hard to swallow like the one about not using sliders. However I’m learning Mike’s advice is backed by data and easy to understand. He’s also into WordPress, so when he speaks at WordCamp, I try to attend.
Here’s some info you should be aware of about your website:
MOBILE FIRST: Google is/has changed over to ranking your site solely based on how it performs on a smart phone. Any content you may have on a website that is only desktop friendly will not be considered when your customers search for your business. Which means your business listing will not be toward the top or even on the first page. If you wonder how many of your customers find you by doing a search, look at your Google Analytics Monthly Report under Referral Channels/Organic Search. Most likely you’ll see about half of your customers do a search to find you. If your site is not responsive, fix that as soon as possible. Even if you have two sites, a desktop and m.site.com you still need to change over to a responsive site.
Don’t confuse “Mobilegeddon” from 2015 with “Mobile First” 2017 they are different. Google’s “mobile first” shift is the largest change in the history of Google which is almost 20 years.
Think about who is looking at a desktop site… like someone doing research at work. They’re probably looking at a large screen, typing on a full keyboard and using a mouse. This is not a description of your customer. You’re customer is more likely to be walking around or sitting on the couch, with app notifications going off every 5 minutes. This person may be a bit fickle, but more likely to make impulse purchases. Bonus if your site has Online Shopping. In order for your customer to get anything out of visiting your site, you need to consider they are looking at a smaller screen. Try to edit down some of your content. Also, think about how their phone is going to run slower and they will be using their fingers to navigate. They can’t have 5 tabs open at once so less multitasking is done on a mobile phone. Don’t ask your customer to remember info from one page to the next.
Let’s say you’ve made it this far reading this article but most everything still sounds Greek to you. Do this: pick up your phone (you can’t do this on a desktop computer) and lookup “mobile friendly test”. Underneath you see “Is your web page mobile friendly?” put in your store’s website url, then tap “RUN TEST”. If you get “Page is mobile-friendly” in green pat yourself on the back, you’re doing well. If you get “Page partially loaded. Not all page resources could be loaded…” take a screen shot and send it to your web designer to fix.
Here is a list of what your responsive site should have:
- Right-size images
- “Click to call” on your phone number
- Forms edited down to be as small as possible
- Integrated mobile pay
- Contact info at the top AND bottom of each page
- Title and description tags: Use a keyword first, not brand name, and try not to go over 55 characters
- Hidden content by default that is expandable if you have lots of content on one page
Your responsive site shouldn’t have: Sliders
Website speed is HUGE! Google analytics may not be the best place to check your website’s speed. Instead go to: webpagetest.org where you can pinpoint what is making your site slow. For example: that photo a friend sent you and you put on the “about us” page. Big photos can be found where you see long purple lines.
Website rankings are getting shook up. Test your competitions website to see if they know what “Mobile First” means. This could be an opportunity to get ahead on the World Wide Web.