How You Can Take Advantage of Google’s Mobile-First Focus

Visitors have to see your website for you to do business with them

As Google moves to its mobile first index (perhaps by 2018 for a partial rollout) there’s still time to get your site in shape for the launch. It makes sense for Google to go to a mobile-first index because mobile traffic continues to grow worldwide (users in the USA spend 71% of all online minutes using mobile devices). One way Google is helping webmasters and marketers prepare for this mobile-first change is through its June 28 update to its mobile site speed tool.

Why is mobile site speed so important?

Here’s the reason you need your site to load fast: If it doesn’t, your audience won’t stick around. They’ll go visit a competitor’s site. And the decision to do that is made in mere moments. Let’s look at the enhancements to Google’s mobile site speed tool so you can find out how to make your site load faster on mobile devices.

The tool now provides insights into potentially how much traffic a site could lose if it loads slowly. Google says that most sites lose half their visitors due to slow load times. Google brings up an interesting point:  Most (70%) cell phones will use 3G or slower connections until 2020. So it’s imperative that your site render fast – and not just on 4G LTE connections.

Here’s an example of the tool’s output using as the tested URL:

mobile site speed test | Engine-IUS Marketing

You’ll note that Google estimates how much potential traffic a site can lose if the load time is not increased. We tested several consumer product websites and often a readout of 10s load time/29% estimated visitor loss occurred, which makes us wonder if there is a rounding or averaging effect used with the tool, showing that many sites may fit into this ‘poor’ category.

mobile SEO site speed | Engine-IUS Marketing

What to do with Google’s mobile site speed recommendations

With its mobile site speed tool Google tests a range of usability factors and HTML. It also benchmarks the input URL versus other sites in its industry. The tool (as with its previous version) provides in-depth recommendations on how to fix load time issues; simply click ‘get my free report’ and provide your email address. Google will then send you a list of areas to fix that can increase site speed. Google will estimate the number of seconds you can save by employing the fixes (example below):

mobile site speed SEO | Engine-IUS Marketing

Bonus Tip: If you run a WordPress website there are plugins which can speed up your website (often these address image caching and minifying code). We recommend running one plugin at a time then re-testing your site. Check to see that the site still renders well on mobile devices in addition to checking its speed. Obtaining a 100% score on the Google site speed tool is nearly impossible; some sites can get into the 90-96% range; more likely you will obtain into the high 70s – 85% range; and this is a much better score than many of your competitors will obtain, allowing you to have a chance at coveted traffic.

Get Ready for Google’s Mobile-First Index

Don’t know how to incorporate the fixes Google recommends? Or maybe you just don’t have time and would prefer someone do it for you. Engine-IUS Marketing knows how to increase mobile site speed, plus how to make your site render well on all mobile devices. And once visitors get to your site we know how to keep them there via engaging content. Contact us today to learn more about getting ready for Google’s mobile-first index. It’s coming – are you ready?

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A group of SEO specialists reviewing long tail SEO optimization for a client