In April of 2015, Google decided to finally put their foot down regarding websites that ignored the needs of mobile users. Websites that met their mobile-friendly design guidelines would get a ranking boost for all mobile searches. The change effectively punished sites that weren’t able to keep up with their expectations. There wasn’t a huge penalty but the difference was enough to create a gap that potentially lead to lost leads and revenue. Furthermore, since behavior signals like click-through rate and overall traffic can help or hurt your rank, building a solid experience gives you a competitive SEO advantage.
Times have changed dramatically over the course of the last several years. The written word and radio are no longer the media powerhouses they once were as 90% of media consumption is now screen based, with nearly 40% coming from our phones.
The reason for making sure your site has an intuitive navigation should be obvious: the number one priority of the user is to find what he or she is looking for as fast as possible. The goal of anyone who runs a website should be to satisfy that users desire for a quick, easy browsing process, and navigation is a major component of that.
Website navigation can easily become needlessly complicated, especially for sites with huge product inventories. Strive to avoid unnecessary complexity through the use of a flat architecture, which puts most content within reach in only one or two clicks.
Your links, paid search, and social media acts as the icing, but your content, information architecture, content management system, and infrastructure act as the sugar and makes the cake. Without it, your cake is tasteless, boring, and gets thrown in the trash.
Pop-up ads are annoying even in a desktop environment, but on mobile, they can ruin an otherwise decent user experience. Keep your pop-ups to an absolute minimum, and if you must include them, make sure they’re designed in a way that allows them to load fast and be removed with a single click.
While it’s theoretically the same people behind both mobile and desktop traffic, these people tend to behave differently across devices. Despite limited bandwidth, mobile users tend to consume a disproportionately high amount of visual media, with a major focus on short video and images. Social media sites like Vine and Instagram achieved massive success from offering solely video and images respectively. Capturing this traffic requires an optimized design, harnessing the power of these media types to engage users. For example, when Bryan Harris switched to SumoMe’s mobile-optimized share bar, his social shares immediately DOUBLED.
If your website it difficult to use on mobile devices, you’re not going to be able to generate any sales leads. When someone checks out your site using a mobile device, your key selling points or message should be immediately apparent. It should be easy to recognize and activate the calls to action. Without mobile optimization, you’re missing potential sales and you’re doing a disservice to your company.
While it might be a dream come true, it’s not realistic to think that your site is going to rank for every keyword you could ever want. Many are simply too competitive, and a new website must do proper keyword research in order to find the right keywords. The ones you select should bring in traffic but also have an appropriate amount of competition.
About 100 million hours of Facebook videos are watched every day. If you feel ready to take on a challenge, video is an excellent way to create even better engaging content for your audience. It’s important to note when diving into Facebook videos that 85% of them are viewed without sound, so make sure that content is engaging even without a voice behind it and don’t forget to add captions, they are a necessity.
A bad mobile experience can create bad feelings about your company. Nearly half of participants in the survey said they feel frustrated and annoyed when they happen across a site that’s not mobile-friendly, and that it makes them feel like a company doesn’t care about their business. More than half said a poor mobile experience makes them less likely to engage with a company in the future.
11. Mobile App
Apps are faster than websites. Apps are more convenient and familiar than mobile-websites. Mobile apps can offer offline support to content without needing wifi or data. Apps better integrate with social media and help increase organic engagement. Apps provide improved access to onboard services (i.e. native calendar, GPS, Google Maps, beacons, camera, and targeted push notifications.)
Site speed is one of the most critical performance indicators of all: it’s estimated that you risk losing traffic when a site takes over 2.5-3 seconds to load and that the abandon rate shoots up after 5 seconds.
By boosting speed, you cut abandons caused by slow loading and also help to improve your SEO.
Increasing your website’s popularity heavily relies on boosting brand awareness. In order for your website to be popular with your target audience – or just popular in general – that means your content asset (page on the website, video, or image) needs to be well-liked. This usually comes about in the form of other websites providing a ‘backlink’ to your site or landing page. Creating brand awareness and growing your website’s popularity is the best way to optimize an asset for higher placement within search engine results. This could be done through strong and effective marketing, keyword placement, strategic domain choice, and other SEO fundamentals.
Your title tag is like your page’s headline. It’s by far the strongest signal that you can send to Google about your page’s topic. Ideally, you should work your keyword into a title that’s also compelling for readers (that way, you’ll get clicks from people who are browsing the search results).
Jonathan Fielding has put together a great free little tool in which you can calculate your performance budget. Simply input how fast in seconds you want your site to load, and pick the connection speed. On the next page you can adjust the sliders based on the CSS, JS, Images, Video, and font usage on your website. On the last page it gives you a performance budget breakdown and estimated load times across the board for different connection types. Again these are all estimates but it can be useful to see how much spread there is between all the connection speeds. Don’t forget to optimize for mobile and slower devices.
Quick question: what are the page titles of your website? Most business owners have their page titles as simply the name of your business. This is great if your business name is perfectly optimized, but most aren’t (the best search names usually follow the City + Service format, like Kansas City Auto Body for example.)
Try changing your page titles to include your #1 keyword. This can be something as simple as “Your business name + Top Keyword” but you can get creative. Try to incorporate a slogan that includes the keyword.