Say It Ain’t So… A Google Mobile Site Speed Penalty?

Get the “Mo” in SoLoMo ready because Google is yet again ready to change rankings of mobile search results. Isn’t it shocking how many updates are rolling out this summer? Don’t hold your breath because more are expected before the season is over.

Google’s Hints
While it hasn’t always seemed official/explicit, it looks like mobile site speed will be an important factor in Google search rankings on smartphones. For some time now, Google has been urging webmasters to prepare for this change. Although sites won’t be out right penalized for slow mobile sites, they may face a demotion in rankings and that’s never a good thing. Will this mean that SEOs will soon have two things on their plate: desktop and mobile SERPs?

Along with slow mobile site load time, Google is also looking to crack down on typical mobile mistakes that webmasters might make. For example, forwarding landing pages to the mobile home page instead of mobile versions of that specific page. Also using a lot of Flash video since it’s not viewable on iPhones or phones that use Android 4.1+. Take a more in-depth look at what Google has to say about mobile ranking factors from the latest post on the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog.

To Be Responsive or Not?
Responsive design
sounds like the way to go to take care of most of these problems. Unfortunately, depending on the size of your site and resources available, it might not be so easy to get a mobile responsive site up and running. Quality control and consistency is also important for responsive web pages as you want a seamless browsing experience. If you’re not ready or willing to fully commit to a responsive website, it might not be time just yet to go that route. But remember, the longer you wait, the sooner you might be forced to face Google’s mobile search ranking factors.

Find Out What’s Best for Your Site
Is your website mobile friendly? How many people are actually coming to your site via a mobile device. Some business owners might be surprised to find out that there are more visitors coming to the mobile version of their site than the normal, desktop version. If this is the case, it’s all the more reason to invest more into an efficient mobile site. If you’re looking for input or alternatives, it’s helpful to know that there isn’t a “right” answer for all websites. It’s arguable that for some industries, like e-commerce, responsive web design could actually hurt the user experience. Contact us today and let us know any questions you might have. We’re here to help!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

What is SoLoMo and is Your Website Ready?

so-lo-mo

If there are 3 areas of online marketing you should concentrate on this year, these are it. If you don’t think your site is quite ready, you may be more prepared than you think!

Social – Focus on a few social networks that you can consistently update. You don’t want to be the website with dozens of social media publishing buttons. Instead, focus on quality over quantity. You’ll want to make sure that everything you post on your website is shareable and somehow linked back to your social media profiles. Remember, this isn’t just to be user-friendly, but search engines are paying more attention to these metrics as they play a factor in your search engine rankings.

Local – Paying more attention to local marketing means proper keyword research so that you use terms that are relevant to geographical areas. Additionally, you’ll want to encourage customer reviews and testimonials that will be linked and crawled from Google Places, Yelp, Yellow Pages and more. Remember, the goal isn’t to FAKE reviews… because it is totally noticeable as well as unacceptable. Instead, you might want to create a short, standard questionnaire to send to satisfied customers/clients. These blurbs will help boost your brand reputation without taking forever to complete.

Mobile – If it isn’t totally obvious by now, you need a mobile website! You can read more about some recent mobile trends here. With the growing trend of browsing the internet via phone and tablet, experts believe that mobile browsing will soon surpass desktop usage! If you’ve been wondering why mobile optimization is so popular, it’s because of the potential that you can claim. Google indexes the desktop and mobile version of your website separately, so that your results can differ depending on what device your customers are using. Take advantage of mobile SEO today before your competitors do!

Funny name aside, SoLoMo is going to be an important part of marketing goals for 2012. Make sure that your business is prepared before another year slips before your very eyes!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.