Google recently started testing its mobile-first index. It means that Google will look at the mobile version of your site first for the ranking signals. If your site does not have a mobile version, it will load its desktop version instead which may work not as well on a smaller screen. Google first updated their audience about their intentions of a mobile-first index and posted details about it in their blog in November of 2016. By now, it is vital that your website is optimized for mobile to obtain a competitive advantage.
You can capitalize this index by making a completely mobile-friendly version of your website. Mobile as a channel continues to dominate the electronic revolution. Because of this, search engines emphasize different features on mobile and putting sites with mobile capabilities first. Here are six tips you can do to take advantage of Google’s mobile-first index.
1. Implement AMP
Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP is an open-source project made to give a smoother web browsing user experience to all mobile users. AMP provides an optimized version of your site pages which can be viewed on mobile quickly. An AMP-powered website showing its high-speed loading performance can make you feel like you are using an app on your phone.
Also, making your website AMP-powered can rank you higher in mobile search results in Google. Implementing AMP is easily done using a free WordPress plugin. It creates AMP-compatible versions of your posts which can be accessed just by adding /amp/ to your URL.
2. Optimize Content for Voice Search
Using voice search is a very innovative way in today’s advancements in search technology. Google is currently advising websites to optimize their pages and posts to match with voice search phrases.
This process of optimizing posts for voice search is different from the normal SEO strategies. Google uses a set of guidelines to rank the results for voice search. Inside these guidelines include the ability of the site to convert the post to voice using text-to-speech technology, proper grammar, proper pronunciation, and more.
3. Compress HTML, CSS, and Images
Before anything else, you should ensure that your website loads quickly and perfectly. By having a quick loading speed, you can avoid visitors to be frustrated and leave, therefore losing them as your customers. It is applicable mostly to mobile devices.
An effective way to hasten your mobile loading speed is to compress your HTML, CSS, and images. Compress your high-resolution images to assure that pages do not consume too much data, especially for mobile data users. You can also compress your website’s HTML and CSS which can give you a huge speed boost. Lastly, using a great caching plugin will help you hasten everything up.
4. Opt for Mobile-first Web Design
Another factor to optimize your business for mobile devices is to emphasize using a mobile-first design. It will make your site mobile-friendly and viewable on any mobile device.
A mobile-first web design exhibits a minimalist or simple theme with one or two color palette, simple icons, and overall design, and single column layout that can be scaled up when viewed on a desktop console. Usually, some of the features of the website are minimized when on mobile and the complete website can be experienced on the desktop. These minimized features are not entirely important for mobile users so that developers can hide or omit it. It is a good alternative if you cannot accommodate making separate versions for mobile and desktop of your website.
5. Change your WordPress Theme
You can check your WordPress theme and see if it is not mobile-friendly and hinders the users’ experience in your site. If this is the case, you may strongly consider switching themes to a mobile-friendly one. There are abundantly ready themes for mobile in the WordPress directory which may be free or for sale. Changing a theme needs a lot of effort, but it can give you a lot of benefits in gaining mobile traffic and ranking up on the search engine mobile result page.
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6. Improve Your Website Speed
Currently, Google considered page loading speed as part of the several ranking factors for mobile search results. Google will prioritize ranking fast loading mobile websites rather than slow ones. It is because a loading speed affects the number of visitors who may tend to avoid websites that take longer than 3 seconds to load.
You can start your speed optimization process by using Google PageSpeed Insights and go for a test run. Google will give you a rating, evaluate the mobile version of your website, and provide you insights on where you can improve your site’s loading speed. Next, you can use a Content Delivery Network to improve your speed by making your site available via different cities in the world.
Mobile web has no doubt established itself as the best channel to communicate with your target audience and an even larger audience. Using the right tips and tricks can give your site a sudden increase in users. So, take advantage of these steps and make your site optimized for mobile.