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Mobile Friendly SEO and What You Need to Know

June 17, 2020


Why is Mobile SEO Important? 

If you’re a B2B marketer, you are most likely familiar with the phrase “SEO Mobile Friendly” but do you know what that actually means? 

What does it take to actually make sure your site is mobile optimized and according to Google standards pass the Google Mobile Friendly test? 

According to my own personal experience in working with so many B2B, mid size businesses is that they might be aware that they have a problem, but are just not quite sure how to go about making that happen. 

If you’ve been keeping up at all with Google (and I’m sure you haven’t because you likely have other things on your plate like running a business), then you might be familiar with the next big rollout by Google called the Google Page Experience Update.

For years, Google has been advising site owners to design their sites with users in mind. 

As far as I’m concerned none of this is news, but what I am telling my clients is to make sure you have this all in place BEFORE January 2021. 

Even though Google is giving us “6 months notice” prior to rolling out, these are things I include in every audit and analysis, so if you are a client of The Bartoli Consulting Group, then you have nothing to worry about. 

Keep reading on though, if you’d like to learn more.

What Does "SEO Mobile Friendly" Actually Mean? 

’ll assume that by the type of question asked, you aren’t an SEO, and just need to know the basic facts. What does SEO mobile friendly even mean? 

  • Site design
  • Site Structure
  • Page Speed 

Google now looks at your site from a “mobile first” view. Which essentially means that prior to 2018, it would look at your site from the desktop version first. 

But with the abundance of mobile devices, and a massive spike in usage - virtually all over the world, the #1 search engine in the world had to take the mobile experience and focus its attention on the mobile experience of a site. 

That means that if you have an “m.website”, (which was pretty popular around 2008) or separate experience from what you have on your desktop, you will need to change things. 

First I would start with any number of free and reputable SEO tools like Google’s Mobile Friendly Test 

Simply type in any URL from your site, and take a look at what Google “sees” 

google page speed mobile

The other place you can and should be looking at is your Google Search Console account. 

Login there and head over to URL Inspection - type in a URL from your site and watch Google tell you how it sees that page. Also, doesn't hurt to check out your Mobile Usability while you're at it. 


What Are the Benefits of a Mobile Friendly Website? 

The number of benefits you’ll gain from having a mobile friendly website are numerous. 

Let’s start with the obvious one.

IMPROVED USER EXPERIENCE:

It’ll provide your future customers with a useful experience as they pick up their phone or tablet and search your business. 

Especially now in 2020, customers expect you to have a professional looking website. If they’re hampered by viewing your site on anything other than a desktop, you could be telling them to go find your competitors instead.

INCREASED VISITOR ENGAGEMENT ON SITE

By having a site that’s actually accessible on any device, enables your visitors to hang around a little longer to see what else you might have to offer them. 

If they’re in the research phase of their search, and they’re waiting for another appointment to start, and they decided to Google something describing your company - they might be inspired to read about all the other really interesting things you can help them with.

FASTER PAGE LOAD

This is not only great for your potential new customer, but for the search engine to be able to parse out your site and save valuable time downloading and processing every page of your site aka "Preserve Googlebot crawl budget" Making a site faster improves the users' experience while also increasing crawl rate, which is a good thing. 

BEAT OUT YOUR DIRECT COMPETITORS

Now even though your competition is ranking ahead of you, that does not always mean they have a spectacularly well optimized site. They could likely have the slowest loading site in your industry, but if you can work on improving your page speed you can improve your chances of surpassing them. 

Of course there are many other variables at play and please don’t interpret this as my way of saying you’ll beat out your competitors by just improving your page speed.

How Do I Make Content Mobile Friendly? 

There are many business owners and marketing executives I speak with that ask how they can easily get their site content developed in a mobile friendly environment. 

Years and years ago, we would create “mobile” content and “desktop” content. Now, in light of Google’s mobile first indexing, your content should be focused for a mobile audience. 

  1.  Your images should be of the highest quality (PNG, and compress those images! Case study: Increasingly.com improved website speed by 33% / 2 seconds by compressing images.
  2.  Make sure your videos are also optimized for mobile - either by self hosting or having them imported from YouTube. Keywords, titles and your description are helpful.
  3.  Make your content easily readable. Short, skimmable, easy to read content is the best way to serve content in a mobile and user friendly way. 
  4. Replace any wordy sentences with shorter sentences that aren't too difficult to read. 

Why is Making Your Site Mobile Friendly So Important? 

f you’ve gotten this far you probably already have the answer, however, I’ll simplify this by saying that even if you couldn’t care less about what Google thinks about your site, your users do. 

Making your site mobile friendly is important in order to be competitive in just about any industry there is. 

Search engines do care about the website experience. If you’re going through a site redesign or platform migration that will improve your site experience.  That’s where you’re developer should be making sure your site is responsive, meaning, it will adapt to any device your site is viewed on. 

  • Future proof your site by getting your site mobile optimized. 

  • Build credibility and show off your professionalism with future and new customers.

  • Reach a far greater audience globally - many international visitors have been using a mobile device for years to search for all kinds of products and services.

  • Here's a few stats for those of you who like data... 

Mobile share of organic search engine visits in the United States from 3rd quarter 2013 to 1st quarter 2020


Check out this video to learn the 4 ways you can easily and quickly learn how to determine if your site is actually SEO Mobile Friendly or not... 

How Fast Does Your Site Load on Mobile? 

Every site varies based on a variety of factors. The ideal speed is 2 seconds or less. 

There's loads of tools out there that measure your site's page speed. 

If I had a nickel for every tool out there that measures page speed, I’d be a billionaire.  There’s so many and so many that I’m not even aware of. 

When you do look to test out and measure your page speed, my recommendation is to use one tool to measure with and use that same tool consistently. 

These tools do not calculate page speed in the same way. They can be all over the place. Kind of like using a scale to weigh yourself on, if you use different scales you’ll probably get different results.

Here’s a list of some reputable tools to measure your pages speed. 

FYI: If you have an internal IT team they may have something they use to measure page speed, but this is NOT the same as what Google, Bing or any other search engine looks at to measure the browser experience. 

Here’s the top and my recommended tools:

  1. GTMetrix 
  2. Google Page Speed Insights
  3. New Relic - uses real user monitoring and shows you from the front end or what your user and the search engine sees and shows you what’s wrong. 
  4. Pingdom - an oldie but a goodie. 

So keep in mind, decide which one you’ll use and only use that to measure your results against each month. 

SUMMARY

I hope you come away from this having learned something more about the importance of your mobile site experience, it’s impact on SEO, how your users experience your site and its pages and how you can dramatically improve the experience with just a few considerations. 

If you do go through a website redesign, make sure you have SEO oversight and that SEO expert is focussed on mobile optimization from start to finish. Ideally, they should be working very closely with your development team or website designers because designers and developers are NOT SEO professionals and will overlook the details that go into properly optimizing your site. 

If you need any assistance at all, or would like to take advantage of a free SEO strategy consultation and discuss your mobile strategy with me - grab a spot on my calendar over here. 

 

About the author 

Janet Bartoli

Founder and Strategist-in-Chief With over 16 years experience creating and managing SEO, and digital marketing programs for some of the world’s most iconic brands (Verizon, Fiat, Payless Shoes, Bank of Montreal, etc)

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