Since mid-2018, Google announced a significant change to the mobile ranking factors. Even though speed has always been a factor in determining organic rankings as well as Google Ads Quality Score, Google’s change shifts this focus slightly.
Since July of 2018, page speed is a determining factor for mobile searches.
This is relevant for you if you are running any ads on mobile devices or if you are looking to improve your search engine rankings. You need to improve your website's mobile speed. Let’s run through the things you need in terms of your SEO and PPC efforts to ensure your business is aligned with this Google update.
Even though page speed has been a ranking factor since 2009, mobile speed had never been taken too seriously, it has never been officially applied. Google themselves has stated that speed has been used in ranking for a while, but was only focused on desktop searches. As we’ve mentioned earlier that page speed is a ranking factor for mobile searches since July of 2018.
Thinking your site will have a ranking drop? Don’t worry, you will be allowed to benchmark your page speed with a few tools and check what aspects you need to improve. Google Page Speed Insights is a recommended tool from Google themselves, which will enable you to specifically improve your mobile speed and it's page load times.
You can run these tools on any site you’d like as it doesn’t require you to have and admin access to your website. It’s essential to benchmark yourself with your competitors as it will give you a clear image of your site if it is vulnerable for a ranking drop.
Adjusting your mobile strategy for Google’s speed update
One of many things that you can do to improve your mobile speed is include a switch to AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) where Google has tested and proven to cut down over 15% to 85% of load time. Note that you don’t necessarily need AMP to create super-fast mobile experience, but consider it if you are willing to try a quick way to minimize your page load time! Keep in mind that implementing AMP can have an affect on your page layout. The best way to ensure an excellent mobile experience is to make sure your website is built with a responsive design.
One thing that’s different between mobile and desktop search engines is in the queries. Generally, queries have become more conversational as we are becoming more dependable with our devices, but mobile queries are still based on the desire for simplicity and speed. Mobile queries are also shorter.
Diagnosing your Mobile pages
Wondering if your mobile pages can be diagnosed quickly to increase mobile speed and mobile usability issues? It is possible with Google Search Console! It's a great way to check the usability of your site. There are few tabs such as “smartphone” located under “Crawl errors” which can be used to identify any crawl errors that are potentially clogging up your mobile pages.
You can also check if crawlers are viewing your site with “Fetch on Google” and the “Mobile Usability” tab gives you info on which of the pages have problems in mobile usability.
Want to learn more about Google’s updates for your website optimization?
Make sure you are optimizing landing page speed and load time, especially if you are a Google Ads user. Don’t only focus on relevance. From an SEO point of view, consider making a switch to AMP and think deeply about the intent and raise the power of Search Console and PageSpeed insights.
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