Google AMP irks users  

The launch of Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) has been the talk of the previous year with Google urging sites to prepare for mobile optimisation. However, despite the constant reminders, tips and tricks AMP didn’t particularly launch to a smooth start.

 

It turns out the Google’s URLs are being displayed in search results instead of the publisher’s which is a pretty big faux pas on Google’s part if searcher’s can’t even view the site address of their results. Those that are still behind on being AMP ready can view this is a new opportunity to get their sites ready while Google is still in the process of addressing this issue.

 

But why is AMP so important for publishers? Well, with mobile search, mobile commerce and mobile use increasing each year, it makes sense that there is a greater chance your site will benefit from being mobile optimised. This is particularly true if you are an online retailer or you rely heavily on local business and local searches.

 

If you’re still not sure how to optimise your mobile site for AMP then a quick trick is to invest is a mobile-optimisation builder, which can help guide you along the way for more convenient mobile sites.  

Our tips for improving conversions across all screen sizes

We often talk about making your desktop website mobile friendly and how to optimise a desktop site, but what about everything else in between?

 

Screen sizes have extended far beyond the two mobile and desktops that we’re used to hearing about. In fact, a recent survey has found that no single screen size occupies more than 20% of market share, that’s between laptops, tablets, smartphones, monitors and even TVs.

 

So, how can you possibly account for the ever-expanding digital surfaces that the online world can be accessed from? Images are a big factor that can impact your website across different devices, for example, an ultra high-definition image translates well to a Retina Mac but not so well to a basic smartphone. To send the right images to the right sites, try rendering the images through various servers or compress the image to reduce size.

 

The next factor is particularly relevant to mobile devices – page load time. We all know how annoying it is to wait for a website to load on your phone, and more often than not, slow load time means page exits. We’re not going to tell you how to make your mobile page load faster, because let’s face it, we’ve been over it, so visit our previous blog if you haven’t yet for more information.

 

Another way to improve conversions across various platforms is to get ride of long forms. No one wants to fill out copious amounts of information when they’re typing on a smartphone or tablet and its almost impossible when accessing the site through your TV. Decrease the amount of information required keeping it to the bare essentials.

 

Although the future of mobile is definitely here, we can’t forget about all the other screen sizes that are still significant portions of the digital market space.

The verdict is out: consumers have the attention span of a toddler and brands are lagging behind us

As consumers we are getting more and more impatient. A few decades ago everything took time – banking, telephone calls and letters. Now? Not so much. In a matter of seconds you can transfer money between your accounts, FaceTime a friend and send multiple text messages.

 

The fast pace that we are able to perform daily tasks is fuelling this desire to make everything fast, posing a new challenge for brands. Data indicates that 40% of consumers tend to exit a mobile site if the page takes longer than 3 seconds to load. The problem is that the average loading time for a mobile site in July 2016 was 6.9 seconds. Not only that but 79% of shoppers are less likely to re-purchase if they have a poor experience with the mobile site.

 

With 30% of all shopping purchases made from mobile devices we can’t ignore our increasingly impatient customers. So how can you improve your customer experience?

 

The number of images and page elements are considered to be the biggest contributors to bounce-back. This is largely due to the difference between mobile and desktop usage – they require different approaches.

 

Making your mobile site more streamlined, easy to navigate and less clunky is one of the easiest ways to improve consumer experience and keep them coming back for more.

Google releases mobile friendly measuring tool

It’s no surprise to anyone that mobile usage in increasing and that mobile commerce is increasing so clearly it’s very important to have a mobile friendly site – but that is old news and not what we’re here to talk about.

 

We have written a few articles in the past that help build a mobile friendly site that is easy to navigate and to use but without consumer feedback it can be difficult to measure how successful any changes were… until now.

 

Google has recently launched a tool that allows users to measure the friendliness of their mobile site, and it is completely free! Simply type “mobile friendly” into Google and paste your site’s URL into the search result box that appears.

 

Google will then let you know if your site is mobile friendly or not, so there is really no excuse for not updating your site.

 

 

While this seems like just another feature that Google is providing businesses it is in fact part of a bigger picture. Next year Google is rolling out their mobile-first index and sites that are already mobile friendly will be given priority in this process.

 

So get ahead of the curve now and start making all those little and big changes that you keep procrastinating.

 

Google’s mobile confusion

With mobile usage increasing, it is becoming more and more important to improve and develop mobile sites. This move is not only for user experience such as AMP but also for improved SEO. Despite Google’s announcement of a mobile first index to be launched in 2017 a combination of delays, trials and complication have pushed the roll out date back to 2018.

Following the continual flow of data heralding the age of mobile search most business’ would have improved their mobile sites, some maybe even switching to m-dot sites. While this may be been the most tactical move in the pre-mobile index era, that isn’t necessarily the case.

In fact, Google is urging site owners to change their m-dot sites to fully responsive websites before their 2018 roll out. Their reason for this is that full responsive sites already have an indexing system in place, so when the roll out occurs, sites will automatically migrate to mobile-first index.

However, should m-dot sites migrate after the roll out the process will take far longer, which could have short-term and long-term impacts on your mobile site. According to Google, the roll out will occur on a site-by-site basis rather than a single launch date in which all sites switch over at the same time.

While you don’t necessarily have to shift over you m-dot site now, it’s definitely worth doing before 2018 so that your mobile site is ahead of the game.

The mobile takeover continues

 Everyone man and their dog is probably sick of hearing about mobile devices but there’s good reason that SEO blogs don’t shut up about it. With mobile searches now accounting for 51.3% of total searches, exceeding desktop, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your site is mobile friendly.

 

To make it easier for you to mobile-proof your website, we’ve compiled a short list of mobile ranking factors to help you along.

 

 

THE GOOD

We’ve mentioned AMP before, Accelerated Mobile Pages are almost essential if you want your mobile site to rank and be user friendly. AMP allows your mobile site to load at a much faster rate, which of course is exactly what the user is looking for.

 

Stores with a physical location would strongly benefit from adapting a local SEO strategy. This is because mobile phone users are on the go and moving around, coming across a local SEO result could lead them from their current location to your storefront.

 

Most mobile search users are looking for quick results that give them direct answers to their queries. Reading huge chunks of texts on a small screen isn’t easy, which is why you should let images do they talking for you. Not only do they complement your overall site aesthetic but they are a much easier way to communicate to your audience.

 

 

THE OKAY

Internal links are one of those factors that should be used in moderation, a link here or there is okay but over-linking won’t get you anywhere. Generally mobile sites have 75% fewer links than their desktop counterparts, this is because excess links can impact overall user experience, making the page slower to load and harder to navigate.

 

Keep your content short and sweet on mobile sites. Similar to the reason for using images, shorter content is more user friendly as very few people use their mobile devices to read long pieces of content.

 

 

THE UGLY

Because most mobile browsers don’t support flash at the current moment in time, it’s best to avoid using it all together. You don’t want a potential customer to click on the link to your website only to find that it doesn’t work on their phone. Save your customers and yourself the trouble and save flash for desktop sites.

 

It may seem simple and self explanatory but we’ll explain it anyway, small font is an absolute no-no. It might seem like a good idea to make font smaller to suit a smaller screen but the only thing this will do is make your users squint before giving up and exiting your site. Make sure your font size is big enough to read comfortably, this goes with any other touch features on your page, they should be big enough to tap without continually tapping the wrong link.

 

Pop ups are the bane of any Internet users existence. On a desktop they’re pretty easy to close, just a click of a button, it’s a different story on mobile sites. Most pop ups aren’t actually designed for mobile sites so not only does the pop up obstruct an entire page of content but it can be almost impossible to find the exit button. Get rid of mobile site pop ups completely because more likely than not, users will simply exit your site instead of dealing with the hassle.

 

Mobile searches are only increasing so don’t let your business be left behind. Make sure to update your mobile site to make it as SEO and user friendly as possible. Of course for those that are still at a loss, an agency like SEO Premier can help you get on track for the mobile takeover.

Avoid these HUGE but common small business mistakes

When running a small business, navigating your online presence can sometimes be difficult. The sheer size of the digital world can often prove overwhelming making it difficult to start. To help you out we have compiled a list of common mistakes that we don’t want you to make.

Not using local SEO

 

Considering a large proportion of people use search engines in order to find goods and services, ignoring local SEO is a major, yet common mistake that many small businesses make. By not utilising this incredibly useful tool, your business is essentially non-existent to a search engine user, hidden in the many back pages of the Internet.

 

For the best, most specialised results, invest in a SEO agency that abides by industry guidelines. SEO Premier not only provides superior search engine optimisation services but abide strictly by Google’s industry guidelines and standards, ensuring your business is void of penalties.

 

SEO services assist in your digital presence and online traffic as it elevates your search result ranking, therefore heightening your relevance amongst your potential customers. This service is undoubtedly an indispensable service and essential tool for success.

 

 

 

 

Being mobile-UNfriendly

 

As smart phones become smarter and more widely used by the general public, digital commerce and browsing become far more commonplace. A common mistake that small businesses make is not being accessible for these mobile users.

 

A recent Google survey has revealed that 74% of mobile users consider mobile-friendly pages to be of high importance. Developing a mobile-friendly site refers to the layout and user-friendliness of the site whilst on a mobile device. This encourages users to stay longer and ultimately can result in higher conversions.

 

Another factor to consider is loading time – in an age where everything is instantaneous, your mobile site should be no different. Recognising the importance of this phenomenon, Google has developed AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) to allow mobile sites to load faster and increase user experience.

 

 

 

 

Ignoring customer reviews

 

Prior to businesses becoming digital, the only method of receiving customer feedback was tedious surveys and word-of-mouth, both of which are difficult to accurately measure.

 

However, the increase of small businesses online allows their reviews to also appear online, whether posted in direct association with the business or on an online forum, or blog.

 

This information was previously unavailable to businesses and acts as an indispensible tool for development and growth. This is because users heavily rely on fellow customer feedback before purchasing a good or service.

 

Positive reviews are not the only useful aspect of this trend but negative reviews can also prove to be valuable. It provides an opportunity to better your business based on customer opinion.

 

The most important thing to remember with negative reviews is to never delete them! Use a negative review as a chance to connect with your customers and demonstrate your receptiveness to their opinion. A positive and open mindset will translate to loyal, repeat customers and improve your brand image.

 

 

 

Being antisocial on social media

 

Often small businesses believe that simply creating a social media account and allowing it to be dormant is sufficient for business social media presence. However, this is far from the truth.

 

A common mistake that small businesses make is being antisocial on social media. In order for this platform to be successful, engagement with users is critical. Whether it is reposting their content or responding to question and comments, engagement develops the customer-brand relationship.

 

Sometimes a business may not have time to dedicate the necessary amount of time to remain active, or maybe you are unsure of how to engage with your target market. This is where a professional digital marketing agency comes in such as SEO Premier, who can provide social media services that your brand requires to engage with your audience and boost your online presence.

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Katreena Pevec

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