2017 – SEO for Google

Written by: Jason Bayless | August 02, 2017

Trends in the search engine optimization world are constantly changing. If you don’t stay up-to-date, you lose your competitive edge and face the risk of watching your website lose its rank in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPS). In 2017, one major theme stands out. Websites should be optimized for mobile devices. This is no surprise as a majority of people now use their mobile phones to search the web. Here are some tips on optimizing SEO for mobile searches.

Mobile-First Optimization

In 2015, Google made changes to its algorithm that emphasized mobile-friendly pages. In fact, pages that contain mobile friendly guidelines receive a boost in the SERPS. Mobile-friendly guidelines include having a responsive web design, dynamic content and a separate mobile site URL.

Currently, incorporating a responsive web design is the best way to optimize your website and make sure that it’s up to speed with the current trend. This type of design has been around for a few years and will not be going away. When optimizing your website, the focus should be placed on a few details. These include:

– Font size – Text should not be too small to read.
– Viewport configuration – The viewport should be set.
– Clickable elements – Elements on each page that require clicking should not be too close together.
– Flash – Browsers on mobile devices are unable to render Flash. It should not be used.
– Full-screen pop-ups – Google will be cracking down on these type of interstitials and penalizing sites that use them.

These are the key technical items that Google is monitoring. When your site is optimized for these factors, Google is happy and your users receive a better experience.

Page Speed on Mobile Devices

Page speed is still an important factor in 2017 and should be focused on when deploying your website. When a person is out and about and looking for quick answers on their smartphone, they expect pages on your website to quickly appear. 4G technology has given the internet community a faster amount of speed for browsing. You can help your website pages render more quickly by tweaking a few technical aspects. These include the following:

– Reduce CSS code as much as possible.
– Optimize all of the images on your website.
– Be sure to leverage caching for the browser.
– Enable Gzip compression.
– Remove render-blocking for CSS and JavaScript.

By incorporating and working on these technical issues, you should see a difference in how fast the web pages of your site load. Typically, your speed increase will equal a few seconds. This may not sound like much, but in the world of internet search, it’s a big deal. It makes search engineers at Google happy with your site as well as end-users.

Hosting Speed and CDN Usage

Another factor that can help boost speed and performance for your website is the type of hosting service that you use. A dedicated server will definitely increase the speed of access for users who are trying to reach your website. With dedicated hosting, you are the only website on that server and reap the benefits of this technological power. Shared hosting will not provide the same speeds. In addition, you may want to consider using a content delivery network (CDN). This type of network hosts your web content in specific geographic locations. When a user tries to access data on your website, they receive web content from the closest CDN to their location. This speeds up access and also adds great protection when large surges of Internet traffic bombard your site at once.