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What Do High-Ranking Mobile Websites Have in Common?

With mobile search becoming more and more common, are there things that you need to do differently on your business website to make it rank high in mobile search results vs. desktop search results? A new study offers some useful insights.

Load speed: Web pages that rank high in mobile search results generally load very fast — the top-ranking pages averaged 1.10 seconds to load. They are also less likely to use Flash technology — just 5% of the top-ranking mobile pages did, compared to 14% of high-ranking desktop sites.

Graphics and images: In general, webpages that rank high in mobile search results have fewer images/graphics than top-ranking desktop webpages — four elements vs. nine. They also have fewer icons, hyperlinks, buttons and other interactive elements.

Font/readability: The top-ranking webpages in mobile search results generally have larger font sizes than desktop sites “above the fold” (the area you can see on your phone without scrolling down) and smaller font sizes thereafter.

Content length: Overall, high-ranking content on both mobile and desktop has been gradually getting longer in the past 12 months. That said, text-based content that ranks high in mobile search is generally shorter than top-ranking content on desktop search results.

In addition, the study’s authors highlighted some common mistakes that can keep your small business website from being ranked as mobile-friendly by Google. These include:

  • Blocked JavaScript
  • Unplayable content
  • Mobile-only 404 errors
  • Slow website load time
  • Faulty redirect
  • Too many links

The number of mobile online searches is increasing, reaching 29% of all searches in 2015 (more than double the figure for 2013), while desktop searches are on the downtrend, falling from 79% of all searches in 2013 to 61% this year. That makes it more important than ever that your small business website is mobile-friendly.


Photo by Brandon Jacoby on Unsplash