For many fashion bloggers, SEO is a vital long-term investment used to boost the success of their blog. Blogs new and old have the opportunity to attract new eyes through high-placement on Google. Equip your blog with a competitive edge by staying informed of emerging SEO trends.
For years now, the majority of searches originate from mobile devices. To discover great content quickly, people pick up their phones and begin their search. Odds are good that you’re reading this blog post from your mobile device!
Google rewards blogs and websites that load quickly for mobile users with higher keyword ranks. SEO experts respond by applying mobile-first practices to their websites. The recipe for SEO success right now is to serve great content on your fast-loading, mobile-optimized website.
What Does Mobile-First Mean for SEO?
Google’s primary directive is to serve the best possible content to their users. Last year, when we saw the volume of mobile searches exceed desktop searches, Google responded with a mobile-friendly algorithm update. This had an immediate impact on the SEO of many blogs and websites. Google continues to “buckle down” on website mobile-friendliness in order to benefit the end-user experience.
SEO experts agree that mobile page speed is more than a trending fad for SEO. They recommend trimming your mobile-friendly site to the essentials so the page loads quickly and results in a positive user experience. This includes, but is not limited to: compressing images and videos, caching your browser after updating, and reducing server response time. You can test your website’s page speed through Google Developers here.
There are two major focuses that successful mobile SEO campaigns utilize: page speed and mobile experience. Page speed ensures that mobile users can access your site quickly, and mobile experience ensures that they can browse your site’s content easily.
What Is Page Speed?
Page speed refers to the amount of time it takes for a page to load on mobile devices. The challenge for all websites is that mobile users generally have half the bandwidth of their desktop Wi-Fi or Ethernet, but increased impatience.
Mobile users typically wait 3 seconds or less for a page to load. This means that every page on your blog should be as fast as possible so mobile users can find what they need quickly without abandoning. 70% of users leave a blog because it took too long to load.
What Is Mobile Experience?
You have a new visitor! After a user has loaded your site on their mobile device, the next step is to ensure your blog’s layout and content is easy to navigate. Google’s ranking algorithm centers around usability, to give their users the best possible experience for their search. So, if your site loads quickly on mobile, but does not give users a good mobile experience, you are likely missing out on new followers/subscribers.
For example, if your page loads quickly, but the content doesn’t display well, or doesn’t make it easy to subscribe or follow you, you miss out on the readership boost that would have stemmed from increased keyword rankings.
Your approach to mobile should be different than your approach to desktop. It’s a good practice to spend as much time looking at your mobile site as your desktop site, in order to discover friction that could be harming your mobile experience.
How Can You Improve Page Speed?
There is good news: page speed is entirely in your control! Page speed stems from a couple of things, including the file size of your images, the caching of old content, and response time from your server. Consider the following for quick tune-ups.
- Reduce Your Image Sizes
Having huge images is something of which many blogs are guilty, partly because it’s not entirely intuitive when you want to show off your work in fashion. But consider this: have you ever accessed a page that couldn’t load past an image? Did this frustrate you? Did you contemplate exiting the site and looking elsewhere?
Large images drag your load speed down a lot, so you want to upload them to your host at the minimum possible size. By size, we mean the width and height measurements of the image, in pixels. If your site is going to display an image at 300×200 pixels, then upload it at 300×200 pixels. Uploading anything larger than that is a waste of resources for the website.
You don’t want your site to have to load an enormous 3000×2000 pixel image, only to display it at one-tenth of that size. It’ll save you a lot of bandwidth. There are a lot of free compression and image editing tools out there if you need them, such as Compress JPEG and Pixlr.
- Clear Your Cache
Not every website caches automatically, and this may be slowing your mobile site to a crawl. Caching is the process of saving certain web resources, so that they don’t have to be loaded from scratch every time (which is a good thing).
SEO experts recommend clearing your cache every time you update your blog. The purpose is to save browsers from loading the old version of the blog before rendering the latest version of the blog.
When it’s time to cache old versions, make sure your developer has coded in how the site should handle its resources. Most major web hosts make the process pretty easy. For example, WordPress has a built-in tool (and many plugins) that’ll handle this for you.
- Reduce Server Response Time
The response time from your server plays an important role in site speed, making up about 10% of the overall delay time. In a nutshell, your server response time is how long it takes to hear back from your server when your site is trying to load a page. Common servers include: GoDaddy, HostGator and SiteGround.
If your host takes over 2 seconds to load, you’re putting extra pressure on your blog to load quickly (under 1 second on average). Call up your host and demand they pick up the pace. Otherwise, there are plenty of great options for web hosts out there to call.
Enjoy Your Swift-Loading Site & Happy Readers
Mobile-first SEO might sound overwhelming, but all of these things are under your control. Page speed is a critical SEO factor that benefits your business and your users. Your web traffic numbers will thank you after making an improvement, and your readers will too.