Google recently announced a big change to its mobile ranking factors. Starting from July 2018, page speed will become a major ranking factor for mobile searches. If you have a search presence of any kind or you’re already advertising to prospects on mobile devices, then this article will be very useful to you!
Google has recently announced a big alteration to its mobile ranking factors. Starting from July 2018, page speed will become a key ranking aspect for mobile searches. If you have a search presence or you’re already advertising on mobile devices, then this article will be very useful to you!
Mobile browsing passed desktop traffic in volume in 2016
We are going to go through what you’ll need to do for your PPC and SEO efforts to ensure that the new Google update doesn’t disrupt your business.
You’re going to learn why page speed matters, what Google “Speed Update” is, how the update will affect PPC and SEO and what tools you can use to determine your page speed.
Since 2009, page speed has been a factor, but not on mobile.
Google states that a slow page is more likely to rank if it has relevant information and content.
The sites that you’re competing with have an impact on how the new update is going to affect you.
Starting in July 2018, page speed will be ranking for mobile searches as well as desktop.
The update however is going to have a negative effect on pages that deliver the slower experience to their users.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that if you have relevant, strong content you shouldn’t worry about your page speed.
There are multiple tools that allow you to benchmark your page speed to see where improvements may need to be made. Google recommends ‘TestMySite’ to identify areas where you can improve your mobile load times.
This tool tests your site through a 3G connection, although we find that most of our users connect with 4G speeds and optimise suitably.
There are many page speed tests that you can use to have a better look at your sites performance.
Google publicised the update six months before it’s going to take an effect.
Make the switch to AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
An AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) is an alternation to the source code of your site, which points your standard HTML page over to a minimalist version of itself.
AMPs are so infrequent; they tent to load super-fast. AMPs can reduce load time between 15% and 85%. However, you don’t need AMP to create super-fast mobile experience.
If you’re looking for a relatively quick way to cut your page load time, it may be worth trying it out!
Think About Intent
Search engine users enter desktop queries differently than mobile queries. We have become more familiar with our devices so queries in general have become more conversational. Nevertheless, mobile queries are still dictated by the desire for speed and simplicity.
Leverage Search Console and PageSpeed Insights.
There is a quick way to identify which mobile pages have speed and usability issues!
Leveraging Search Console is a very good way to check on your site’s usability. The ‘Smartphone’ tab allows you to identify any faults that might be burdening your mobile pages. You can see how crawlers view your site by “Fetch on Google”.
The “Mobile Usability” report tells you precisely which pages have mobile usability issues.
Google states that the update “will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries”
The AdWords documentation implies that there are five ways to affect progressive change relating to your site’s landing page experience.
Check your landing page experience in AdWords
Log into your AdWords account and select the “Keywords” option in the bar to your left.
Find the status column and hover over the visible text for any keyword.
Pay attention to the final piece of information labelled “Landing page experience”. If it says “Average” or “Above Average”, you’re fine. If it says “Below Average”, your issue may be to do with page speed if you’ve got keywords in place.
You can use WordStream Advisor if you’re a WordStream Customer and you can look at your landing page experience with the ‘Manage’ tab.
To conclude, if you’re an AdWords user, make sure that you’re observing for landing page load time. From an SEO perspective, contemplate making the switch to AMP, think about intent, and leverage the power of Search Console and PageSpeed insights.
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