In 2016, mobile overtook desktop as the primary device used to access websites.
In 2017, the following are a given:
1. Today, more people search on mobile phones than computers
2. People are five times more likely to leave a site if it isn’t mobile friendly
3. Over half of mobile users will leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load
Because more people search on mobile than on computers, mobile generates more page views. If your site is not mobile friendly, users are less likely to stick around. And if your site is slow, they may go elsewhere. Remember, on the internet competition is just a click away!
Responsive website design is Google’s recommended way to tackle mobile friendly sites. Google has several tools for testing for mobile usability and the ‘Search Console’ has a mobile usability report that details problems on a page-by-page level.
Search Console looks at the following mobile usability issues:
Flash usage – Most mobile browsers do not render Flash and you will want to use more modern technologies.
Viewport not configured – The viewport metatag aids browsers in scaling a page to suit a specific device.
Fixed width viewport – This problem attempts to circumvent mobile design with fixed width pages and is best shelved when a responsive design is adopted.
Content not sized to viewport – Here the page content does not fit the window, and a user has to scroll.
Small font size – This is a scaling issue and requires users to pinch the screen to zoom in.
Touch elements too close – This is a common usability issue where it is too hard to tap a given element without also hitting the neighboring element.
Interstitial usage – A full-screen pop-up often represents poor user experience on a mobile device and is a big no no.
Keyword placement plays a part in how Google finds sites. Google looks for keywords throughout each Web page, but some sections are more important than others. Including the keyword in the Web page’s title is a good idea. Google also searches for keywords in headings. Headings come in a range of sizes, and keywords in larger headings are more valuable than if they are in smaller headings. Keyword dispersal is also important. Webmasters though should avoid overusing keywords.
The Google algorithm’s most important feature is arguably the PageRank system, a patented automated process that determines where each search result appears on Google’s search engine return page. Most users tend to concentrate on the first few search results, so getting a spot at the top of the list usually means more user traffic. Many people have taken a stab at figuring out the exact formula, but Google keeps the official algorithm a secret.
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