These are the projects that will likely make a real difference to performance in 2017 and shouldn’t be overlooked.
While every project is unique and has its own priorities, three main areas are important to dial up the consumer-centricity of your SEO campaign.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
On September 20, 2016, Google began rolling out accelerated mobile pages across the main mobile search results; this global rollout was expected to be completed by the end of 2016. In short, they are no longer restricting AMP to the Top Stories carousel. While there will be no rankings benefit from implementing the AMP framework, it provides the opportunity to offer a much faster mobile experience to consumers — and thus increased engagement and potential conversions.
Personally, I believe that the pared-back AMP experience is a good thing, but the user experience that AMP offers needs to be assessed on a site-by-site basis to ensure that it enhances the mobile experience.
This holds importance on three fronts:
Consumers are seeking a more secure and trustworthy online experience, and HTTPS is the ideal way of delivering it. This will become even more important with Chrome now flagging insecure sites.
HTTPS is a Google ranking factor.
It is a prerequisite for implementing HTTP2, which will allow sites to load significantly faster than with the legacy HTTP protocol. To understand this speed increase, take a look at this video, which demonstrates in five seconds how a web page loads faster in SPDY, the HHTP/2 protocol.
The benefits may seem small, but with HTTPS being a prerequisite for HTTP2, I see real value in the page load time improvements delivered across both desktop and mobile.
Many sites offer strong mobile experiences these days, but there is still room for improvement in terms of usability. As we move through 2017, mobile traffic is going to continue to increase, which places even more importance on delivering a great mobile experience.
In conjunction with mobile usability errors in Google Search Console, there is value in reviewing your mobile site and ensuring it delivers as strongly as possible. It is important to review your site with the eyes of a consumer and check for any pain points, including:
Is the end-to-end site mobile-friendly?
Are you able to access the same depth of content across devices?
Does the navigation fit to screen size without the need to scroll?
Are all the links big enough to allow you to click through?
Are rich media assets slowing down page load time?
If anything is uncovered at this stage, note that it will likely be a lengthy process to make changes to the mobile site template. However, it is still absolutely worthwhile, regardless of time frame.
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