Google’s Mobile-First Search Algorithm & the CloudOctober 25, 2018
Article Written by Avery Phillips
For the past few years, business owners have been scrambling to rework their websites to fit mobile technology. If you don’t keep up, you will be left behind. Right now, mobile is king and Google sets the pace.
Late in 2017, Google decided to redesign their algorithm to prioritize mobile-optimized pages. Since more people (63 percent) now search using mobile devices, and almost 75 percent of all online searches run through Google, this is news that you cannot ignore. As of June of this year, websites that run quickly on mobile now rank higher than those that load slowly.
Unfortunately, this puts a lot of businesses in a bind. If previously your website came up on top of a Google search, you may now find yourself buried beneath a lot of responsive, mobile-ready, dynamic loading websites. So what can you do about it?
Mobile-First Content Strategy
To compete in this mobile-hungry world, businesses need to re-think their content strategy to fit the new mobile benchmark. What this means is finding creative ways to get your marketing message across quickly and simply using far less real estate. Mobile devices are small and leave very little room for extraneous content.
When thinking about your mobile version, remember "a picture is worth a thousand words." No one, especially younger visitors, are going to read a lot of text on a small screen. Instead, you need to find ways to tell your story using video, animations, infographics, photography, and charts.
The trick is finding a balance between small bits of powerful text with interesting graphics. The more visually appealing your mobile website is, the better chance you have of users staying and wanting to know more. Plus, it will rank better on Google too.
Keep Text to a Minimum
Many business-minded leaders make the mistake of wanting to tell the whole story online. However, the thing is, website visitors aren’t interested in reading volumes of text. They want the shortest version possible that gets the message across to them so they can then make a decision.
Minimize your text blocks and be concise with small, impactful headlines, subheaders and calls to action. Think of the mobile version of your website as a teaser that invites the visitor to contact you to learn more. Don’t use more than five sentences per paragraph.
The "Less Is More" Approach
When formatting for a small screen, think about your very best content. Take those sales and marketing messages that are your best sellers and reuse them here as headlines or graphics. Cut out anything that is not necessary.
Be sure to put your most important messages at the top and any legal jargon at the bottom. Many users don’t like scrolling and will only view the top section of your mobile site. Review some outstanding mobile websites and take your cues from them.
You might be tempted to want to duplicate your entire desktop website, but resist the urge. Not only will the user experience suffer, so will your search rankings. Mobile-ready is the direction of the future, and you need to be ready now.
Employ Cloud Services to Help
When your goal is to improve the speed of your mobile website, you can use some tricks and tap into cloud computing solutions that help. For example, instead of storing all your website images on the site, which might affect load times, you can use services like Amazon S3 to speed up and centralize access to your site’s images.
Integrating your website with other cloud services takes the weight off your hosting provider and lets these optimized systems do the heavy lifting.
For example, if you were selling your house and wanted to get your listing seen by thousands of people, you might use a cloud-based MLS real estate portal to post your listing. These cloud-based sites have already been streamlined for mobile view and have a track record of ranking well in searches.
Don’t Forget About SEO
Even if you spend time and money revamping your mobile website to load quickly and look spectacular on small devices, you still need to remember search engine optimization (SEO). Google’s decision to prioritize mobile-friendly sites can actually work in your favor, but to plan for any future changes, you need to cover all your bases.
Nothing can compare with a solidly executed and planned SEO strategy. When crafting your mobile headlines and minimized paragraphs, don’t forget about your keywords; use them as you would in your desktop version. Compressing your website can help you focus tightly on your mission and your most important message.
About the Author
Avery Phillips is a unicorn of a human being who loves all things relating to people and their entrepreneurial spirits. Comment down below or tweet her @a_taylorian.
Credit: Photo by Charles Deluvio