What Can You Do to Improve Your SEO?
Good news first. It appears that Google will not penalize digital publications on browser searches. However there may be implications for your SEO on a mobile search if you haven’t prepared your site. I guess Google doesn’t want users to access sites that are not mobile friendly; as we all know it’s extremely frustrating when you can’t read the content on a mobile page. This fits in well with Google’s long standing stance on ensuring the web user has the best online experience possible.
Do it now or regret it later:
1. If you want to find out how Google views your online publication on mobiles, check out the Googles Mobile Friendly Test Tool. By putting in your URL you can actually get actionable recommendations to improve on your site.
2. I thought Google’s advice on describing what a faulty redirect is and how to fix them was really useful, and it might be a good idea to have your sites developers look at it. Remember that mobile friendliness will be determined on a page by page basis. So just because your homepage is mobile friendly does not mean your whole site is (check the two aligned screenshots below).
4. If you want your digital publication to be available on different mobile operating systems you should check its performance by creating a Mobile Usability Report. If you get a ‘no usability error detected’ report, your site should be optimized for different mobile devices.
5. Users should be able to access your content in less than a second on their phone. Though the loading speed for mobile pages is not something that will be penalized by the Google change, it is something that needs to be dealt with as it can be a huge factor on bounce rates and user retention.
No More Domain Names
One of my favorite SEO experts, Matt Southern, used a great term to describe what will happen to your URL after the Google update. No longer will mobile users see your domain name in the search results, it will rather show your sites name that people recognise you by. In addition, my personal favorite, is that as a mobile user I will no longer see an incomprehensible URL, rather a breadcrumb like format (Thanks Matt), that actually will help me understand what your website is about. I think this is really crucial on mobile as people don’t have time or patience to click on sites that might not be what they are looking for. I am really looking forward to this clear up of SERP results, just check out the example below.
I found Google’s guidance on how to get your sites name in search results really helpful to make sure you are in control of what happens to your URL during this change.
Publishers with their own App WILL get ahead
Having an app as a publisher might just distinguish you in the mobile race. When a user searches for a topic on their mobiles, a list will appear near the top of recommended apps that are available to download. It’s a huge topic, but there is a great post on the Moz Blog that covers everything you need to know about mobile app search. I suggest reading it to get a good understanding of what it means to have an app and how best to place keywords in order to rank higher in searches.
If you have not yet developed an app for your website, it might be worth checking out what deep linking is. This currently helps users with your app access your content from Google search results, though this might be something that will be extended to users that haven’t even installed your app.
Is this the beginning or the end?
In a couple of days we will all be finding out how the Google update will really affect the publishing world. I wonder if this is really the beginning of the end for desktop browsing or is this just heading in a parallel path to the traditional browsing methods we have currently.
What are your biggest fears regarding the update? How will advertising be affected by mobile browsing?