5 Tips to Improve Your Website’s Search Engine Rankings: Part 2: Start with Responsive Design & Optimize Your Site

5 Tips to Improve Your Website's Search Engine Rankings: Part 2: Start with Responsive Design & Optimize Your Site

If you’re in the process of building a website for your business or are researching what updates your existing (and maybe a little outdated?) website needs, then you’ve prrrrobably heard or read about mobile-first indexing and how important it is to have a mobile-friendly (or ‘Responsive’) website for your law practice or business. All of this is part of Google’s latest development in their ever-ambitious efforts to make web browsing more mobile-friendly and on-trend with its users’ behaviors.

There’s also a lot of head-scratching around what this means for the average business owner. Do you have to update anything? Start over or update everything? If your site looks good on mobile devices, will that be good enough?

What does “mobile-first indexing” mean, anyway?

Mobile-first indexing is exactly what it sounds like. It means that the mobile version of your website is the starting point for what Google includes in their index, and the baseline for how they determine rankings. If your site is Responsive, you essentially have a site that adapts to any screen and is both mobile AND desktop-friendly.

If a site doesn’t have a mobile-friendly version, the desktop site can still be included in the index. However, the lack of a mobile-friendly experience can negatively impact the rankings of that site, so a site with a better mobile experience would potentially see a rankings boost even for searchers on a desktop. Basically, without a responsive website or a website with a mobile version, you’ll have to work a lot harder. The takeaway here? Responsive design! More on Responsive Design


Optimize your website. What does this mean?

Have you ever visited a business’ website for the first time, only to find that it took forrrrevvverr for the page to load? Or all of the text was teeny tiny and you struggle to “pinch to zoom”, just to read the name of the business and its information? What about no phone number in plain site, or one that doesn’t dial out when tapped on?

With about 90% of all new search traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s extremely important to have a website that has been optimized from a design standpoint. However, if you want your website to actually be found in relevant searches, and want to convert new visitors into leads, it must also be optimized on the back end.

You want to ensure that visitors who access your website from mobile devices have an experience optimized for the device. Here are a few of the big checklist items to pay attention to:

  • Site design for mobile = RESPONSIVE DESIGN
  • Page speed= Statistically, most users will not wait more than 4-5 seconds for a page to load, before leaving.
  • Easy navigation= Make important info easy to find and navigate. No one wants to immediately be confused or lost.
  • Contact info linked + LOTS of CTA’s= Phone number and emails linked to dial out (from mobile) or send. As long as they’re strategically-placed, having frequent Calls to Action (CTA) throughout your website is a huge plus; make it easy and natural for new users to interact with you and your brand through contact forms, phone calls or ‘signing up’ for your blog or newsletter.
  • NO flash or pop-ups= These are typically found on older websites (think: pre-iPhone days) with animation or fancy graphics, but are still used by individuals who haven’t kept up with technology. Most mobile devices aren’t compatible with flash or pop-ups, so having them on your website means that users will not be able to see your content or browse your site accurately or easily.
  • Optimize your titles and meta descriptions= Pages and sections of your website should be correctly labeled on the back end, and the descriptions of what’s included on each page should be reflected accurately.
  • Don’t block CSS, Images or Javascript + Optimize your images= Your site will have more ranking influence and your site’s images will load correctly–and quickly–onto various screens.

These will both assist with search engine rankings AND increase conversions!

Stay tuned for Part 3…..