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Happy New Year everyone!
We’ve seen a lot of new changes already this year, and we can say without a doubt that 2018 will be a very interesting year for Online Marketing. One major change we’ve noticed is Google’s new year, new SEO Ranking algorithms.
That’s right, Google will be experimenting with mobile-first indexing, which is expected to roll out gradually over the year.
What does this mean?
Well, previously Google’s crawling and ranking system primarily looked at the desktop version of your website to evaluate the relevance of its content to user queries, it’s loading speed and overall usability in order to determine your site’s rank in its search results. Now, the primary determinant of you site’s ranking for BOTH the mobile and desktop versions will be determined by the mobile version of your site.
With the rise of mobile internet browsing, it’s only natural that Google update their ranking algorithms to reflect this trend. After all, we all use Google because it provides us with the best results.
That being said, this also means that if the mobile version of your website’s content is not properly optimized, or worse yet, you don’t have a mobile version, your site will take a significant hit in Google’s ranking.
What can you do?
If your site is already set up with a responsive web design, as is the case with WordPress sites, then there is no need to fret. Kika Marketing also offers free site evaluations. Our experts can audit your site and let you know if your site is ready to compete under this new model.
In the meantime, we’ve collected a few few tips that will help prep you for the future of Google search ranking:
Make sure the content on both versions of your website are consistent:
- Some sites use reduced content or usability for their mobile version, but given that 60% of searches are now done on mobile, the need to have a quality mobile site is more important than ever. In order to make the top ranking you must ensure high quality content is present on both versions of your site. Ideally the same quality content.
Make sure your mobile site loads quickly:
- We live in an age of instant access, so if your mobile site takes too long to load, it’s safe to say you are losing a good deal of traffic. Daniel An, from think with Google, explains that the average loading time for a mobile site is 22 seconds, but up to 53% of users abandon the site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. This won’t only affect your sales or engagement. People leaving your site will cause your bounce rate to increase, which will affect your site’s credibility and rank in Google’s SERP, and nowadays if you aren’t ranking high on Google, you’ll be as good as invisible. We recommend using Accelerated Mobile Pages, to help improve your site’s loading speed.
Make sure your site content structure is solid:
- Making sure your site’s data is well structured and your code is easy for Google to crawl is a major factor in improving Google search ranking. The faster google can crawl and index your site, the better you will do. Make sure to clean up any broken links and duplicate content you find on your site. Using Robots.txt files to inform Google crawlers which pages should be indexed and which should be skipped is also an effective way to make your site easy to crawl.
Make sure your Desktop and Mobile sites have the same metadata and title tags:
- As I mentioned earlier, consistency is key in Google’s SERP ranking algorithms. Metadata helps Google index your site and provides its bots the necessary information to match your site to relevant queries.
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Make sure your servers are set up to accommodate increased crawl rates:
- Gary from Google Webmaster Central Blog explains that you should expect an increase in crawling from Smartphone Googlebot and to keep in mind that the Content that is pulled to Google Cache pages will be drawn from the mobile version of your site.
We hope this article has provided with the tools you will need to navigate Google’s latest update. At Kika, we pride ourselves in always being on the cutting edge of online marketing practices. If you would like more technical support, our friendly crew of google certified experts are here to help. Do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.