Google has rolled out its mobile-first ranking update the last year, which made the website owners expand their search horizon on mobile. You might be thinking about what made Google include mobile responsiveness of a website as a ranking factor.
The answer lies in the whopping increase in product search, browsing, and shopping on varying screen sizes of mobile devices. As a result, Google has started considering ranking mobile versions of websites for the users surfing the net through smartphones and mobile devices.
What does Mobile First Indexing mean?
Through Mobile-First Indexing, Google aims to take into account the mobile-friendly version of a website first than its desktop version. Therefore, if your webshop or business website has a mobile-optimized version, Google is going to rank it in search based on its speed, performance, and responsiveness on mobile devices. The end goal is to provide mobile users with a version of the website that is useful for them.
Things you need to consider about this update
The Google Mobile First Ranking update has already rolled out, but it is not taking each and every website into consideration. The moment it selects your website or online store for the update, you will be notified on the Google Search Console account.
It is where you may need to start thinking more about the mobile-friendliness of your website to deliver ultimate ease and comfort to the users. This may not be considered an end to the desktop version, because Google will continue showing and ranking the same way to the users browsing on their desktop computers.
The most important thing you need to know about the update is that the update is a step ahead in easing your potential customers in finding products or pages on your website. In fact, feel relaxed and find the things you need to consider in the following post.
Keep the Checkout Form Simple and Short
Adding more and more fields to the checkout form may annoy the user and may result in higher cart abandonment and bad user experience. Instead, keep the number of fields limited to acquire necessary information about customers and their orders. Stay away from the default design of checkout page that has a series of fields required by the users to answer.
Try to remove the additional fields and replace the fewer ones with custom options either with the code or by installing a plugin according to the eCommerce platform you use. The stores powered by Magento can find such a tool on FME Extensions or any other marketplace to make the checkout form more personalized, user-friendly, and mobile responsive.
Optimize Mobile Page Speed of Your Website
Consider testing mobile page speed of your website on Google PageSpeed Insights to know the time your website takes in loading on a mobile device. Scoring too slow may need to think about optimizing the online store for high speed and performance. It may demand to minify the code, compressing the images and other files, switching to accelerated mobile pages, or installing tools for browser caching.
Apart from the overall site speed, you may also need to speed up the checkout page so that a user can swiftly go through multiple phases and place the order without any hassle. This can be performed by empowering the checkout with Ajax-based technique or replacing the multi-step checkout by one-page. The one-page checkout eliminates the load time after every step. As a result, the mobile user enjoys a smooth payment procedure.
Place Your Content in Accordion or Multiple Tabs
If you are still publishing a product description like an article without any blocks, tags, or accordion, your webshop is on the brink of rejection in mobile-first indexing. Break a comprehensive description into multiple sections or sub-headings for key features, benefits, strengths, practical usage, its examples and case studies. One of the brilliant methods is the use or accordion menu that hides the rest of the information while showing the one the user is interested in.
Refine or Remove the popups
Pop-ups create an excruciating experience, specifically for mobile users, as it blocks the visibility on the small screens that are difficult to exit. Refine the design of popup is that does not contain a clear exit option or adopt Wishpond’s strategy that closes the popup window wherever the users click or tap. Conduct an A/B test of the popup window to evaluate its effectiveness, so that you can consider removing it or continuing with the same.
Optimize the Tap Target and Padding
Most of the multiple calls to action conjoin too close that makes it difficult for the end users to click exactly on the one they need. The mobile users find it quite unappealing when they aim to click an option and something else clicks in between the links. So, try making the links and buttons tap friendly.
Additionally, you may need to consider checking the readability of the text as font size that is too small is too hard to read. Make it to at least 16px or above.
Facilitate users with ‘Save Cart’
Plenty of users are still hesitant in checking out for products on mobile devices. They usually search for products on a smartphone but insist to pay on a desktop at home with a private connection. Facilitate these users with additional options like Save Cart, Add to Cart, Share Cart, Copy Cart Link, Add to Wish List or any other function that may encourage them to finalize the product selection and payment on a mobile device. This helps them start the purchases right from where they had left.
Consider thinking mobile-first
Switch your thoughts to mobile-first with whatever option, feature, or functionality you aim to implement on your online store or business website. Before making a move, think about its viability for mobile users and varying mobile screens first, while keeping the rest of the matters secondary in your plans.
Mobile first indexing update is all about refining the SERPs in a way that delivers the most relevant and well-optimized results for the mobile users. It is simply like Google will project the mobile version of your website in search results while keeping the same ranking factors for the desktop version. As a result, the mobile and desktop users will be served with a version of the website most suitable to their screen sizes. Above in the post, I have shared some of the factors you may need to consider to keep the website abreast for the update.
Syed Waqqas Mohsin is an Online Marketing Specialist with over 5 years of experience in Digital Media and is currently a Team Lead at FME Extension, a leading e-commerce web design and development agency. Over the years, FME Extensions has successfully delivered projects in Magento, WordPress, WooCommerce, Joomla and other CMS/shopping cart platforms. You can find him on the LinkedIn.
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