Seo 2017 & beyond: a complete seo strategy

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Even many of the titans of the mạng internet could vì chưng with a bit of optimization of their điện thoại sites. Contributor Marcus Miller offers a comprehensive view of how khổng lồ ensure you"re making the most of the opportunity lớn forge ahead.


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In năm 2016, the inevitable happened, & di động overtook desktop as the primary device used khổng lồ access websites. This didn’t come as a huge surprise because, as far bachồng as năm ngoái, Google reported that more searches were conducted on Smartphone than on any other device category.

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In many industries, this may be conservative &, at the agency I head up in the UK, Bowler Hat, our B2C clients are seeing up khổng lồ 85 percent of all site sessions conducted on mobile devices.

Suffice it to say, di động has well và truly arrived. Yet, while responsive sầu kiến thiết has been around for a while now and is fairly well-established, the majority of sites tend khổng lồ fall down on usability. That is, the majority of sites are still built for desktop and then dialed baông chồng for Smartphone. That form-fill that was mildly annoying on desktop is an absolute pig on sản phẩm điện thoại. Even if it is responsive.

This is not good enough in the mobile-first world we are racing toward in 2017.

In this article, I am going to lớn look at how you can ensure you are truly optimizing for thiết bị di động users. We will look at the fundamentals of responsive sầu thiết kế và page tốc độ, but we will also look beyond this at user experience tailored to lớn điện thoại devices. We will then wrap this up with a mobile optimization checklist that you can use khổng lồ identify optimization opportunities.

Our goal here is to lớn go the extra distance khổng lồ create fully mobile-focused websites; to delight our users and drive conversions; to use điện thoại optimization khổng lồ develop a strategic advantage over the competition. And, of course, Google wants lớn delight điện thoại users so we can improve engagement & on-page ranking factors and also benefit from improved SEO. Better for users. Better for tìm kiếm engines. Win-win.

What Google wants

At this time of year, many SEOs are looking forward, &, referring to lớn an SEO best practices post for 2017, Google’s Gary Illyes complimented those who suggested điện thoại is the big drive for 2017.

Those of you who said “mobile”, you were spot on! https://t.co/CtuCW4xV15

— Gary Illyes ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ (
methode) 13 December 2016

The following are three key stats that I have lifted from Google’s promotional materials that clearly illustrate the importance of Mobile optimization:

Today, more people search on thiết bị di động phones than computers.People are five times more likely to lớn leave a site if it isn’t mobile-friendly.Over half of điện thoại users will leave a trang web if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

Because more people search on điện thoại than on computers, Mobile generates more page views. If your site is not mobile-friendly, users are less likely khổng lồ stiông chồng around. And if your site is slow, they may not even wait for the page khổng lồ load.

Add in the unreliability of Mobile data networks here & your site has to lớn be a mean, lean mobile-friendly machine, or you may not even get a shot at that customer.

The mobile-first index

The absolute nail in the coffin for a desktop-first approach lớn websites và tìm kiếm is the mobile-first index. Adopting this philosophy makes sense as more searches happen on di động than desktop. Yet, at the moment, ranking is still primarily based on the desktop version of a site.

When this happens, the content & link of your di động site, along with any other factors — tốc độ, user experience & so on — will be the key drivers of your search engine visibility. Desktop will likely still be a factor, but it will be in a secondary capađô thị. thiết bị di động first.

The writing’s on the wall here, folks — điện thoại has been important for a good while now, but 2017 is the year that it will become the key factor in your quest for improved rankings và conversion rates from site visitors.

The good news is that this represents a chance for those who really put in the work to develop an advantage over their competition. It will take work, but climbing over this obstacle is the way forward, và doing so before your rivals will put your site in better stead.

Mobile-friendly approach

Our first focus in gaining this advantage is to lớn look at just how we deliver mobile-friendly content. There are three possible approaches::

Responsive sầu web designDynamic contentSeparate URLs (Mobile site)

Responsive sầu website thiết kế is Google’s recommended way to tackle mobile-friendly sites &, as such, is the approach you should take unless you have very svào reasons not lớn.

Responsive design has been around for a while, so this is not a new concept. However, we still see sites that are technically responsive sầu while not providing a svào experience for điện thoại users.

Ultimately, responsive sầu design is just a small part of creating truly mobile-friendly websites.

sản phẩm điện thoại optimization

Google has a number of tools for testing for Mobile usability và, beyond that, Search Console has a di động usability report that details problems on a page-by-page màn chơi.

You should utilize these tools while developing your new site và use Search Console to lớn keep tabs on problems throughout the life of the site.

Search Console looks at the following mobile usability issues:

Flash usage — Most di động browsers vày not render Flash &, as such, you will want to lớn use more modern technologies.Viewport not configured — The viewport metatag aids browsers in scaling a page khổng lồ suit a specific device.Fixed-width viewport — This problem attempts to circumvent di động thiết kế with fixed width pages & is best shelved when a responsive kiến thiết is adopted.Content not sized to viewport — Here the page content does not fit the window, & a user has lớn scroll. This can be fixed with relative rather than fixed widths.Small font size — This is a scaling issue and requires users to pinch the screen to zoom in.cảm biến elements too close — This is a comtháng usability issue where it is too hard to lớn tap a given element without also hitting the neighboring element.

These are the key technical elements that Google is looking for and reporting on lớn webmasters.

Optimizing your site to lớn remove sầu these issues may have positive sầu effects on how the usability of your site is graded by Google & certainly has positive implications for users. Again, win-win.

di động optimization resources:

Page speed

Page speed is important on all devices, but it can be critically important on điện thoại when users are out and about looking for quiông xã answers. A page that may load relatively quickly on a WiFi network may not be quite so snappy on a di động data network. 4G has delivered some great speed improvements, but coverage (in the UK, at least) is not something that can be relied upon.

There are, however, a range of best practices for improving page speed and, once again, Google has come khổng lồ our aid with the PageSpeed insights tool. This enables us khổng lồ easily assess how fast our pages load & get some pointers on what we can vì lớn improve sầu.

Page speed insights is now built inkhổng lồ the Mobile-Friendly test:

https://tìm kiếm.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly

https://testmysite.withgoogle.com/ — the more attractive front end

To show how this works, I’ll tóm tắt details below for a small local B2C business called Vinyl khổng lồ Digital, which agreed for me to lớn use them as a case study.

Here is the output from Google’s testmysite.withgoogle.com tool:

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We can see some obvious recommendations for technical improvements here:

Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content.Enable compression.Optimize images.Minify CSS.Leverage browser caching.

This is a WordPress site và, as such, most of these are fairly simple tasks. There exist plugins that will tackle the majority of this without any costly development time.

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We can also see an overview of page loading times within Google Analytics in the Behavior > Site Speed report.

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Here we can see that average page load is almost four seconds, which is above the ikhuyễn mãi giảm giá two- to lớn three-second loading time. We can also see that almost half of that is attributed to lớn the average hệ thống response time.

Making the basic improvements from the PageSpeed insights tool and finding a faster hosting partner could likely get the loading time down to lớn around two seconds.

The main takeaway here is that you can get accurate metrics on loading time và clear insights on what you can do to improve things. You will have sầu to lớn customize this to your own CMS or approach, but you can often get 80 percent of the results with only 20 percent of the effort.

We also can’t talk about mobile page tốc độ without considering Accelerated sản phẩm điện thoại Pages (AMP). AMP.. has been designed khổng lồ enable the often slow, clunky và frustrating thiết bị di động website to load instantly anywhere.

Be fast. It makes your users và tìm kiếm engines happy.

Page speed resources:

mobile user experience

Mobile-friendly kiến thiết and page speed are the fundamental components of a mobile-optimized website. However, these two elements by themselves don’t always add up lớn a perfectly optimized trang web.

I first wrote about responsive design in 2012, and yet, despite the semi-maturity of the approach, many sites implementing responsive are still not truly optimized for the wants & needs of mobile users.

The raw technical implementation of a responsive sầu layout isn’t enough khổng lồ solve this problem. Instead, the designer must put himself or herself into lớn the user’s shoes và take into tài khoản what people will bởi and want lớn accomplish on a thiết bị di động phone.

Fortunately, the good folks at Google & AnswerLab conducted a retìm kiếm study khổng lồ determine how users interact with a wide range of mobile sites. The goal of this report is to lớn establish a set of best practices for mobile site design.

I have sầu not seen much noise regarding this report yet, which is unfortunate, as it provides the best overview I have sầu yet seen regarding how khổng lồ go beyond the basic mobile-friendly and page speed optimizations detailed above.

The results of the study were distilled down into lớn 25 điện thoại site kiến thiết principles across five sầu primary categories:

Homepage và Site NavigationSite SearchCommerce & ConversionsForm EntryUsability & Form Factor

The key takeaway from the report was that mobile users are goal-oriented. They expect lớn be able to achieve their goal quickly và easily with a minimum of fuss. No pinching to lớn zoom. No confusing navigation or touch elements too cthảm bại together to lớn really use.

Success comes from focusing on the sản phẩm điện thoại experience. Give sầu users what they need & on their own terms. Make it easy for them khổng lồ achieve their goal.

It is also worth noting that, while these tools are useful, you can’t beat good old-fashioned user testing. Determine the goals a site user has while on your site, & then have multiple users within your demographic demo across a range of devices. The insights you may achieve here are valuable and allow you khổng lồ understand the real-world implications of how a user interacts with your site.

I am also a big bạn of tools that record how a user interacts with your site. At Bowler Hat, we use inspectlet. This provides us with videos of user sessions, along with heat maps, scroll maps & a bunch of other features. With a tool like this recording user sessions, you are always conducting usability testing (so long as you watch the videos).

The tool offers a strong set of filtering options so you can easily identify patterns & Đánh Giá real users as they use (or attempt khổng lồ use) your site. Combining this tool with information from Google Analytics can be insightful. Say GA is telling you that 50 percent of thiết bị di động users drop off at the second page of your checkout. Now you can see exactly what those users are doing và why they are having problems.

When it comes down to lớn it, the essential elements khổng lồ performing Smartphone optimization are a combination of tools and real user testing.

mobile usability resources:

điện thoại optimization checklist

So we have sầu three fundamental components of building Smartphone sites that your users will love (or that will delight your users & drive conversions in Google’s vernacular).

Responsive sầu designPage loading speedSmartphone kiến thiết & usability

The following is a checkdanh mục based on the the three key areas reviewed in this article. We use this approach khổng lồ reviews sites lớn determine areas that can be improved for thiết bị di động users.

We have reviewed many sites & have yet to lớn find any that provide a perfect mobile experience. In most cases, the sites have a wide range of potential optimization opportunities.

Đánh Giá this menu point by point & refer back lớn the designing for multiple screens whitepaper for any required clarifications.

Basic sản phẩm điện thoại optimization

Responsive sầu designPage speedHosting speed

trang chủ page và site navigation

Keep calls to action front và center.Keep menus short & sweet.Make it easy to lớn get bachồng to lớn the trang chính page.Don’t let promotions steal the show.

Site search

Make site tìm kiếm visible.Ensure site search results are relevant.Implement filters to improve site search usability.Guide users to better tìm kiếm results.

Commerce và conversions

Let users explore before they commit.Let users purchase as a guest.Use existing information to maximize convenience.Use click-to-Hotline buttons for complex tasks.Make it easy to lớn finish converting on another device.

Form entry

Streamline form entry.Choose the simplest đầu vào method for each task.Provide a visual calendar for selecting dates.Minimize form errors with labeling và real-time validation.Design efficient forms.

Usability và size factor

Optimize your entire site for Mobile.Don’t make users pinch to zoom.Make product images expandable.Tell users which screen orientation works best.Keep your user in a single browser window.Avoid “full site” labeling.Be clear why you need a user’s location.

Download this menu as a PDF for printing or sharing.

thiết bị di động optimization as a competitive advantage

By working through this danh sách, we go beyond the basic & obvious. We create a thiết bị di động user interface that aims to lớn make the experience of goal-driven di động users truly delightful. Certainly, in my day-to-day experience of the web, I rarely find this lớn be the case. If I put my SEO & UX hat on, then even some of sites of the titans of the online world could vì much to improve.

So we focus on each of these areas to lớn create a site that is blisteringly fast và a pleasure to use on a Smartphone device. We help our users achieve their goals và, in return, we get better results from our kinh doanh. From improved visibility in organic tìm kiếm to lớn boosted conversion rates from all other inbound channels — focusing on mobile users allows us to lớn develop a strategic competitive sầu edge over our competitors.

Competitive advantages are not easy to lớn forge. There is a clear opportunity here for the fast and the brave. In 2017, focus on your sản phẩm điện thoại users and leave your competitors in your digital dust.

I would love sầu khổng lồ hear from any of you optimizing for Smartphone, and you can get me on Twitter.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author và not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.