Mobile searches will account for more than 60 percent of all searches in 2015. Everyone has a mobile phone, and many individuals have tablets such as the Ipad and Kindle Fire. As a business owner, or someone responsible for driving traffic to your website, you should have a major focus on making your website more mobile-friendly for the years to come. If you don’t, you can expect your rankings to suffer. Here are three ways to prepare for SEO in 2015, along with some great free tools to help you get ready.
Now that we are clear on the impact of mobile, let’s make sure you website is mobile friendly. About a week ago, Google started to put a little icon next to all sites on mobile devices that have been deemed mobile friendly. This alerts potential viewers that the site may not function properly, and acts as an evaluation on the expected user experience. You should consider this Google’s Warning System. Google’s goal is to provide the best user experience possible, and they will go to great lengths to do so. You can expect in 2015 that websites that are considered mobile friendly, and have Google’s Seal Of Approval will be showing up at the top of the search engines on all mobile devices. So our first way to prepare for SEO in 2015 is:
1) Your Website Must Me Mobile-Friendly To Rank Highly On A Mobile Device.
If you want to see how well you stack up, you can visit Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. I have to admit, I was pretty shocked at what I saw from local orthodontists in my area. Considering how much it cost to put a set of braces on a 13-year-old, I would think that these professionals would spend a bit more time working on their sites.
Not surprisingly, the #1 ranked website had a mobile friendly site. Same for the #2 spot in Google, along with #3. Did you know that roughly 65% of people click on one of the top 3 spots on Google? Yeah, it is that important!
What didn’t surprise me was the listings at the bottom of page 1. Even though I was searching from a desktop computer, the rankings were still impacted organically on a desktop. If you have all of the pieces of your website optimized properly, including mobile, you are going to rank higher. There are many factors involved, but this is a big one. Another huge factor for 2015…..
2) The Speed Of Your Site Will Severely Impact Rankings
Leave it to Google to provide us with yet another tool we can use to make sure our website is properly optimized. This is Google’s Page Speed Insights. This tool will tell you how fast your website is on both mobile and desktop devices. The faster your page can load, and get your information to the searcher, the better your rankings will be. If your site loads slowly and pictures and pages are not shown when the full page loads, this is going to impact the usability of your website to both humans and the search engines.
A human searcher is going to get annoyed and leave your page. This will cause a very high bounce rate, and a low time on site. Simply put, this kills your stats in the eyes of Google. A search engine spider or robot is going to land on your page, get stuck with a slow load time, and move on to another site. This will cause your pages to not be indexed in Google, and yet again, your rankings will suffer. Having your site speed optimized is another huge factor in 2015, and most SEO’s don’t even consider this when reviewing a website. They fail to fix one of the most important factors in SEO which is the speed of a website. If your pages don’t load, they don’t get viewed.
Here is a before and after shot of Hit Me SEO working on the speed of one of our client’s websites. Which one do you think is going to perform better in the search engines? Which one is going to provide the better user experience Google so desperately wants?
Finally, the last thing you must concern yourself with for 2015 is your Google Maps listing. It has changed names several times, you may know it as Maps, Google Places, Google My Business, etc. Whatever you call it, it is crucially important for your success in 2015.
3) Google Maps Is Most Important To Local Businesses
If you operate a local business, you have to have an outstanding Google Places listing. These listings are the little maps that appear with the bubbles when you do a search on desktop and mobile device. Google’s goal is to provide different results to people living down the street from you. The search engine giant wants to be so precise and specific, that nobody can come close to providing the results they do. A well-optimized maps listing is going to get your business displayed when people in your area are looking for the service you provide.
In the past, if you wanted to rank for a term like Harrisburg personal injury lawyer, you had to build pages on your website for that phrase. Fast forward to today and look at the results that show when I perform a search for plumbing repair, without the Harrisburg modifier. Google knows exactly where I am searching from and wants to deliver the best possible results.
All of this information is crucial to your SEO efforts for 2015. Heck, you should already be using this information in 2014, because it matters. Local SEO is such an enormous market, and companies that take the time to do it right, are going to be laughing all the way to the bank in 2015.
Are you ready? If not, let Hit Me SEO help you. We look at all three of these factors above, plus several more. We dig into the darkest places of your website that most other SEO’s overlook, to provide our clients with more local leads than they can handle. If you want to see what we can do for you, take a few minutes and fill out our online discovery form.
It will take you a few minutes to complete, but this is because we have to look at everything related to your website. You wouldn’t expect your doctor to prescribe you pills without doing an exam, so you shouldn’t expect an SEO agency to throw out a price without knowing exactly where you stand today, and what needs to be done tomorrow.
We look forward to taking you to new places in 2015!