Mobile and smart devices are becoming an essential way to search online. With around 50% of daily searches coming from mobile search, it’s even more important to pay attention to these statistics, and see the difference mobile search can have on your site. We’ve been monitoring mobile search trends for a while, and have started to see the impact mobile search is having on SEO.
With that in mind – we thought we would give you an insight how mobile search is really starting to change SEO.
Mobile first indexing is coming….
In October, Google announced that they had begun testing its mobile-first index for sites. Currently, Google is aware that there are more daily mobile searches than desktop searches but up until now, when Google evaluates a site it currently analyses the desktop version of the site.
The new mobile first indexing will hopefully fix this, and Google will look at the content, links and structured data of the mobile version of your site – if one is available of course… Don’t worry – if your site currently doesn’t have a mobile version then Google will revert back to the desktop version of the site. But don’t think you can get away with it lightly. Your desktop version will still need to have a strong back link profile, up to date optimised content and structured data – don’t get caught out! Make sure you are doing your very best to ensure your site is SEO friendly.
Mobile search interface updates!
With the likes of voice activated searches and search interface updates constantly evolving, the way we search for key terms on mobile devices is changing. Google have recently began testing a new search interface feature which could have a huge impact in terms of keyword rankings. The new search interface feature will begin to include a ”back to the top” button within Google’s search results.
This will allow users to revisit to the top of the page once they have viewed the 10 initial search results. From a ranking perspective, it could make an even bigger impact for companies who are not in the top three Google search results and also for sites that are not running paid ads.
The new search interface feature will redirect you to the top of the search results from the search query you have entered. With the top three place in Google’s search results more competitive than ever, this potential new feature could increase the competition for those positions even further. So, it’s important that you ensure your site is mobile friendly, responsive and optimised for mobile use – otherwise you won’t be seen when the user clicks “back to the top”.
Don’t panic just yet! Google are only testing this new feature for mobile search, but it’s something worth monitoring in future for sure.
Having a responsive site is everything!
If your site is currently struggling from a mobile point of view, you may want to analyse the design of your site. Mobile search queries are increasing more and more each day, and these queries are equally as important and frequent as desktop searches. So, if you’ve noticed that your bounce rate, CTR and page views has been negatively effected on your mobile and desktop site – it could and probably is down to the fact that your site isn’t responsive. It’s crucial that you ensure that you take responsive web design seriously – if not your site could suffer negatively from an SEO perspective.
Responsive design is beneficial from an SEO point of view because of its unified code base. Googlebots and a number of other search engine bots give importance to simple and neat page hierarchy, which they can only find in responsive sites. That means, without having a responsive site – Google will need to spend more time crawling and your site will contain content repetition. Duplicate content is a big NO NO for Google, as content is a key ranking factor for Google. You can see where I am going with this – without a responsive design -your keyword rankings could suffer at the hands of a simple design issue.
How can you make sure your site has a responsive design? Well, there a number of themes and plugins that can be used for a wide range of websites. For example; if you have a WordPress site, then you have plugins such as WPtouch and JetPack, and these can make your site a mobile friendly one.
Have you noticed any mobile penalties which have affected your website, and your not quite sure how to resolve them? If you would like to find out more information regarding penalty removal, the please feel free to get in touch with Ricemedia today. Give us a call on 01212 200 3336 or contact us.