Blog

How to Increase Conversions: 10 Tips to See Positive Results

As a marketer, many of your campaigns may be built around one primary objective: getting people to fill out a form.  Often, designing a compelling advertisement isn’t enough to encourage people into handing over their details. Many factors can deter someone from submitting a form, including the unwillingness to provide contact information.

Here are some content design strategies and tips that you can employ today to effectively nudge people toward conversion:

Just Say ‘No’ to Distractions

When driving people to a form, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to distract them with detours. Landing pages should be built as simple as possible. Here’s how:

1. Drive people to a landing page—not your website.

You want people to do one thing, and one thing only: fill out that form. You must drive them with a simple and engaging email to a landing page that is specifically built for your campaign. Sending someone to your website offers a plethora of distractions, including images and text that don’t apply to your campaign’s appeal, multiple links to other information, and in some cases, flashing beacons of light that are begging folks to take some other action. If you want people to drive directly to your destination, don’t drop them off in the middle of Las Vegas where sparkling lights from competing assets beg for their attention. Likewise, steer clear of cluttering your emails with the same distractions.

2. Remove ALL navigation from the landing page.

Don’t offer an exit ramp when you are trying to capture a person’s information on a form. Doing so can make your lead stray away from your primary call-to-action. Will they find their way back to your form?  Maybe.  Most of the time—no. At that point, you may have lost their impulse to decide. Instead, your landing page should be designed simply, and with only ONE action they can possibly take: fill out that form.

Be Consistent

Emails, advertisements (online and offline), and social campaigns should have a similar look and feel. Using too many different images, layouts and copy between assets can create a disconnect for people, and can even make a person feel like the content is not reliable.  Instead, try to use the following techniques in design:

Use the same (or reasonably similar) header image in the outbound email and on the landing page.
Repeat copy from the email on the landing page—especially the headline.
Use the same color scheme in emails, landing pages, and on the form.
Always provide a clear call-to-action:  don’t make people search for it!  One of my colleagues calls this the “BOB” (Big Orange Button). Top-converting emails and landing pages always contain some version of the BOB.

Do More with Less

All too often, I have seen emails and landing pages designed with too much text, and entirely too many images.  Asking people to read an entire magazine before filling out your form will certainly contribute to losing their interest.  Here are some tips on how to do more with less:

Create an impulse decision.

A compelling headline with a short summary of details in an email can create an impulse to react.

Don’t give up the farm!

Your email should be quick, to the point, and provide just enough information to drive them to the landing page—and don’t forget the BOB!
The juicy details should be found in the downloaded content after submitting the form, not in the email, and not all on the landing page either. Otherwise, what’s the point of filling out the form?

Keep all the important stuff above the fold.

Remember old-fashioned newspapers?  If you haven’t heard “above the fold” in the past, it refers to everything you see on the newspaper page before the paper folds. All the interesting, juicy, enticing, infomation and your call-to-action should be above the point where someone needs to scroll through the email or landing page in their browser.
Just remember “If a person must scroll, it takes a toll.”

Use a short form.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but I have seen a ton of long forms out there. On average, forms with five fields or less have higher conversions. Several factors can impact conversion on even short forms, however. For example, making the telephone field required is a typical detour. In some cases, simply moving the telephone field to the bottom of the form can help. Results can vary based on your content and your audience. To optimize your forms, try an A/B test and see which one is performing the best.

In this exciting new digital age, social media has impacted customer behavior in a way that creates multiple challenges for marketers. Today’s savvy internet surfers are accustomed to getting all the information they need in a short social media status message or in a brief article online. We can learn from this behavior. These micro status messages entice people to follow links to landing pages. Your content marketing strategy should do the same.

Creating short, simple, and actionable marketing messages using the techniques I described here can have a positive impact on conversion rates. While this is not an exhaustive list of conversion strategies, these basics can significantly impact your results.

Do you have any conversion strategies that you use? Please share them here!

The post How to Increase Conversions: 10 Tips to See Positive Results appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.


21 Jun 2017
/

Advanced testing: What 4,000 A/B tests can teach you

SMX Advanced has always featured the industry’s top talent discussing what they’re passionate about: search marketing. Last week’s conference in Seattle was no different.

Ayat Shukairy, co-founder and vice president of client solutions at Invesp, shared nine lessons from 11 years of A/B testing experience. The goal of the presentation was to present the many nuances which go into a successful A/B testing plan. After 4,000 successful conversion rate optimization (CRO) implementations, Shukairy has developed quite a knowledge base.

Ayat Shukairy

Below I have listed Shukairy’s nine key takeaways, along with some additional insights and commentary:

1. We often focus on the wrong thing

Shukairy advised us to stop focusing on the short term. We need to keep our long-term testing plans in mind when executing our strategies.

Additionally, Shukairy reminded the audience to be skeptical of giant lifts in performance; if you see a huge lift in conversion rates (CVR), then check to make sure that (a) you’ve run the test long enough to produce meaningful results, and (b) this test is not an outlier.

2. Create a compelling website narrative

There are three types of A/B testing: element-level testing, page-level testing (layout) and visitor flow testing. Shukairy notes that page-level testing can yield between 7-9 percent improvement in CVR, while visitor flow testing is something that’s going give you larger improvements (successful implementations can show 16-18 percent improvement).

However, even the best testers will reach a threshold without a compelling narrative. Define your narrative and “wow” your visitors.

3. Don’t assume you live in a vacuum

Your website experience is only a single touch point for customers, so it’s important to consider your website within the context of your entire brand. Consider your brand from the perspective of your potential customers — ask yourself, “How does my brand look to my audience?” Understand every touch point and its impact on the consumer, as each touch point can impact conversion rates.

4. Don’t assume you know everything about customers

Listen to customers through qualitative research. Polls and surveys to uncover motivations should be conducted prior to launching A/B tests on your web experience. Well thought-out market research is essential to development of a good hypothesis.  

5. Obtain buy-in from everyone

Make sure you can get buy-in from all client stakeholders regarding the philosophies of CRO. You need everyone in different departments to be vested in order to succeed. The more information, discussion and engagement you receive from different departments, the more successful your CRO efforts will be.

6. Embrace failure

Shukairy noted that only 13 percent of A/B tests report significant uplifts — which means that 87 percent do not. Let this fact change the way you think about CRO. More often than not, your tests will fail to drive meaningful growth. That means you must push through and innovate on your failure, using failed A/B tests to generate research opportunities.

7. Align your website objectives with overall business KPIs

A testing tool is only as useful as the actionable insights obtained from it. So, when measuring the results of your A/B tests, ask yourself, “What is the dollar impact?” If you can’t answer this question, you may need to update your reports to ensure that you are measuring KPIs (key performance indicators) that most closely align with business objectives.

Use data to uncover problems that are hindering growth, and make sure the problems you solve have a direct impact on the KPIs that matter most.  

8. Understand A/B testing statistics

There is a key statistic that most testers underutilize: statistical power. Statistical power is the probability that a statistical test will detect an effect when there is, in fact, an effect to be detected. A high statistical power reduces the likelihood of making a Type II error (concluding there is no effect when there actually is one).

Tests with a high statistical power and a high confidence threshold will reduce the likelihood of a false positive, so always collect a significant sample size before you determine results.

9. Be careful with pollution of your A/B testing results

Run tests longer, and don’t make changes while the test is running. Any change you make to the test environment during a test will pollute your results. This includes trimming off under-performing variations, changing the allocation percentage of traffic and so on.

If you absolutely need to make a change to the environment, you will need to restart your tests and begin with a clean sample.

Thinking differently about CRO

All in all, I thought Ayat Shukairy gave a wonderful presentation. After it was done, I asked her, “What overarching piece of advice would you give to A/B testers?”

She replied, “Change the way you think about conversion rate optimization.”

Advanced Testing: What 4,000 Successful A/B Tests Can Teach You By Ayat Shukairy from Search Marketing Expo – SMX

The post Advanced testing: What 4,000 A/B tests can teach you appeared first on Search Engine Land.

20 Jun 2017
/

How To Guarantee Success With Mobile Marketing!

entryimage-mobmarketing

Do you ever look at your phone, and a little voice in your head explodes with rage:

“Stop hijacking my digital space!”

Your thumb quickly navigates to BLOCK the ad, news feed, or whatever was occupying space on your screen.

That’s how a poor mobile sales process can lose customers.

Do you have a mobile optimized sales process?

Is your business ready?

Those are questions you need to answer if you want to prosper.

In today’s blog we’re going to take a look at mobile marketing/advertising and how you can amalgamate direct response copy principles to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and generate more sales.

FACT: Mobile advertising is a form of advertising via mobile (wireless) phones or other mobile devices. It is a subset of mobile marketing. It is estimated that mobile app install ads accounted for 30% of all mobile advertising revenue in 2014, and will top $4.6bn in 2015, and over $6.8bn by the end of 2019!

Mobile marketing is no different to writing direct response sales letters. The delivery of your message is what separates them.

Knowing your customer is using a mobile device you need to be smarter with your message to market.

Why?

Two reasons.

Space is limited. You’ve got less than 6 inches to get their attention!
Time. You’re entering a competition to win attention (you’ve less than a second) with every social media platform hustling for a piece of the action.

Not to mention texts, Whatsapp and more!

What can you do? You need to approach your marketing slightly different to sending a 20-page direct response sales letter in the mail… or a long email.

Here are some samples:

Text MSG Marketing

sms-marketing

When was the last time you didn’t open a text message?

Tips for creating the perfect call to action using text messages.

Tip 1 – Use Bullets – dig through some old sales letters and look for the bullets; these are a great starting point for grabbing attention and getting a call to action.

For example,

How to Run Ads on social media platforms – (The best mobile solutions for you!)

Could be changed to: How To Dominate Social Media (Including Facebook) Using This Secret Data Hack!

Followed by your call to action. Click a link, visit a web page, and call this number.

Tip 2 – Think about how you would text a friend. That way you keep the message personal.

For example, you wouldn’t start your message saying: FLASH SALE on food at Billy’s, jump on this special offer right now!

You would probably say: Hungry? Try the Hunger Buster tonight? – Show this MSG and get an extra 20% off!

Tip 3 – Headline copy can make great texts. Check out last week’s blog: sage info-marketing advice from a marketing legend ahead of his time! You can learn the secrets of writing headlines that sell from his vault of blockbuster ads.

Let’s move on to Mobile Aps…

You should also consider getting a mobile app created for your business so you can be visible to customers at all times.

Research has proved the average American spends more than two hours a day on his or her mobile device.

By having an app downloaded by a prospect or customer you’re creating a direct marketing channel with them.

Which means you can communicate more effectively and make sure they don’t miss out on your promotions!

Also it can be a great way to deliver specific content and can promote better engagement.

Finally, we’re going to look at Image Marketing

The old saying: “A Picture is worth a thousand words” is definitely true for your customer!

You see, strong imagery can resonate with your prospect often better than words!

Especially when your customers haven’t got much time.

Even celebs are riding the wave.

Take Beyoncé for example, her Instagram posts are worth $1 million each! According to a new report from D’Marie Analytics, which tracks social media reach…  Beyoncé is now the most valuable personality on social media, a feat that’s even more impressive when you consider that she’s only the 22nd most followed person online!

If you want to stay ahead of the curve, and be SEEN by your prospects… and have your customers engage with you… then you need to amalgamate mobile marketing in your business.  

Which brings me to an important question:

Have you registered for the most anticipated event of the year?

If you want to learn the best ways for mobile marketing… and know what your customer wants without harming conversions or hijacking their digital space then you need to be at 2017 INFO-SUMMIT – The place for fighting poor conversions, protecting your wealth, meeting business growth allies, and battling profit-sucking villains!

20 Jun 2017
/

Google adds a fidget spinner to its basket of Easter eggs

Not that anyone needed another distraction online, Google has now added an interactive fidget spinner to its basket of Easter eggs.

Reported today on Search Engine Journal, Google mobile and desktop searches for “spinner” will result in a digital spinner atop search results. (A search for “fidget spinner” doesn’t work — as that search term is dominated by Google Shopping campaigns, of course.)

The interactive screen has a toggle in the top right corner to switch between the latest pop culture fidget toy phenomena and a number spinner, which was spotted by a reader back in January.

Much like my kid’s constant begging to buy him one, Google’s fidget spinner doesn’t stop once you click the “spin” button. More clicks only change its pace and direction.

The post Google adds a fidget spinner to its basket of Easter eggs appeared first on Search Engine Land.

20 Jun 2017
/

How To Guarantee Success With Mobile Marketing!

entryimage-mobmarketing

Do you ever look at your phone, and a little voice in your head explodes with rage:

“Stop hijacking my digital space!”

Your thumb quickly navigates to BLOCK the ad, news feed, or whatever was occupying space on your screen.

That’s how a poor mobile sales process can lose customers.

Do you have a mobile optimized sales process?

Is your business ready?

Those are questions you need to answer if you want to prosper.

In today’s blog we’re going to take a look at mobile marketing/advertising and how you can amalgamate direct response copy principles to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and generate more sales.

FACT: Mobile advertising is a form of advertising via mobile (wireless) phones or other mobile devices. It is a subset of mobile marketing. It is estimated that mobile app install ads accounted for 30% of all mobile advertising revenue in 2014, and will top $4.6bn in 2015, and over $6.8bn by the end of 2019!

Mobile marketing is no different to writing direct response sales letters. The delivery of your message is what separates them.

Knowing your customer is using a mobile device you need to be smarter with your message to market.

Why?

Two reasons.

Space is limited. You’ve got less than 6 inches to get their attention!
Time. You’re entering a competition to win attention (you’ve less than a second) with every social media platform hustling for a piece of the action.

Not to mention texts, Whatsapp and more!

What can you do? You need to approach your marketing slightly different to sending a 20-page direct response sales letter in the mail… or a long email.

Here are some samples:

Text MSG Marketing

sms-marketing

When was the last time you didn’t open a text message?

Tips for creating the perfect call to action using text messages.

Tip 1 – Use Bullets – dig through some old sales letters and look for the bullets; these are a great starting point for grabbing attention and getting a call to action.

For example,

How to Run Ads on social media platforms – (The best mobile solutions for you!)

Could be changed to: How To Dominate Social Media (Including Facebook) Using This Secret Data Hack!

Followed by your call to action. Click a link, visit a web page, and call this number.

Tip 2 – Think about how you would text a friend. That way you keep the message personal.

For example, you wouldn’t start your message saying: FLASH SALE on food at Billy’s, jump on this special offer right now!

You would probably say: Hungry? Try the Hunger Buster tonight? – Show this MSG and get an extra 20% off!

Tip 3 – Headline copy can make great texts. Check out last week’s blog: sage info-marketing advice from a marketing legend ahead of his time! You can learn the secrets of writing headlines that sell from his vault of blockbuster ads.

Let’s move on to Mobile Aps…

You should also consider getting a mobile app created for your business so you can be visible to customers at all times.

Research has proved the average American spends more than two hours a day on his or her mobile device.

By having an app downloaded by a prospect or customer you’re creating a direct marketing channel with them.

Which means you can communicate more effectively and make sure they don’t miss out on your promotions!

Also it can be a great way to deliver specific content and can promote better engagement.

Finally, we’re going to look at Image Marketing

The old saying: “A Picture is worth a thousand words” is definitely true for your customer!

You see, strong imagery can resonate with your prospect often better than words!

Especially when your customers haven’t got much time.

Even celebs are riding the wave.

Take Beyoncé for example, her Instagram posts are worth $1 million each! According to a new report from D’Marie Analytics, which tracks social media reach…  Beyoncé is now the most valuable personality on social media, a feat that’s even more impressive when you consider that she’s only the 22nd most followed person online!

If you want to stay ahead of the curve, and be SEEN by your prospects… and have your customers engage with you… then you need to amalgamate mobile marketing in your business.  

Which brings me to an important question:

Have you registered for the most anticipated event of the year?

If you want to learn the best ways for mobile marketing… and know what your customer wants without harming conversions or hijacking their digital space then you need to be at 2017 INFO-SUMMIT – The place for fighting poor conversions, protecting your wealth, meeting business growth allies, and battling profit-sucking villains!

20 Jun 2017
/

SearchCap: Google job schema, Google mobile first & the SEO movie

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

Google’s job listings search is now open to all job search sites & developers
Jun 20, 2017 by Barry Schwartz

Do you have job listings you want to surface higher in Google? Google now has new structured data support of job listings.

Google adds a fidget spinner to its basket of Easter eggs
Jun 20, 2017 by Amy Gesenhues

As if the internet wasn’t already a big enough distraction, Google queries for “spinner” now return an interactive fidget spinner at the top of results.

‘SEO: The Movie’ aims to trace the rise of internet marketing
Jun 20, 2017 by Matt McGee

Documentary features stories from the early days of SEO, as told by some of the industry’s well-known pioneers.

Advanced testing: What 4,000 A/B tests can teach you
Jun 20, 2017 by Jason Puckett

Contributor Jason Puckett summarizes a presentation from SMX Advanced 2017 on lessons learned from 11 years of conversion optimization. In it, speaker Ayat Shukairy explains what’s critical for the success of any A/B testing program.

Google advice: Switch your m-dot domain to responsive before the mobile-first index rollout
Jun 20, 2017 by Barry Schwartz

Google also says the mobile-first index may not have a single launch day, but could rollout piecemeal as sites are ready for the change.

What link builders really want you to know
Jun 20, 2017 by Julie Joyce

Wondering why link building seems to be so much work? Columnist Julie Joyce gives us a glimpse into issues link builders face with clients and webmasters.

Watch the SMX Advanced keynote: Google’s Jerry Dischler talks current, future SEM trends
Jun 20, 2017 by Ginny Marvin

We discussed audience, AMP, attribution and much more with Google’s head of search ads.

Searching for a call analytics platform?
Jun 19, 2017 by Digital Marketing Depot

Enterprise Call Analytics Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide from Martech Today is your source for the latest call analytics information as seen by industry leaders, vendors and their customers. Included in this 39-page report are profiles of 12 leading call analytics vendors, pricing charts, capabilities comparisons and recommended steps for evaluating and purchasing. In this report you will learn: […]

Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:

Questions are the center of great websites
Instagram Stories daily audience hits 250M, adds live Story replays
SEO: The missing piece in brand protection
PPC strategy: Planning beyond the click
How to set up a successful revenue-generating demand gen system

Search News From Around The Web:

Local & Maps

Google Maps stumbles upon Millennium Falcon structure, delights fans, Fox News

Link Building

Link Building for E-commerce: Effective Strategies and Examples, Search Engine Journal

SEO

Google Patents Extracting Facts from the Web, SEO By The Sea
10 Google Sheets Formulas Every SEO Should Know, ahrefs.com
Check Your Server Logs To See If Google Is Attempting To Access Your Sitemap File, Search Engine Roundtable
Expert Interview: Lee Wilson on the Power of Automation in SEO, vertical-leap.uk
Google Likely Won’t Launch The Mobile First Index All At Once, Search Engine Roundtable
Google Says Make Your Mobile & Desktop Pages Equivalent, Search Engine Roundtable
How to Optimize For Mobile in 2017: Expert SEO Tips, SEM Rush
JavaScript & SEO: Making Your Bot Experience As Good As Your User Experience, Moz
Leveraging SERP Features in SEO, Merkle
Migrating From M-Dot To Responsive Site? Do It Before Google’s Mobile First Index., Search Engine Roundtable

SEM / Paid Search

4 New Features for AdWords Ecommerce Advertisers, Practical Ecommerce
How to Perform an AdWords Audit, Search Engine Journal

The post SearchCap: Google job schema, Google mobile first & the SEO movie appeared first on Search Engine Land.

20 Jun 2017
/

[Podcast] Email Marketing for Podcasters Preview

Check out a preview of our next podcast season on Ask Me About Email Marketing!

Join us as we kick off a series of in-depth interviews with podcasters to learn how they grow and engage their audiences with email marketing and more.
Episode synopsis
This episode provides a quick look at all of the podcasters we’ve interviewed in the past and a sneak preview of the interviews we’ve lined up for this series.

Here are a few links mentioned in this episode:

What To Write Course and 30+ Email Templates
Episode 16 – Matthew Rodela
Episode 23 – Nick Westergaard
Episode 24 – Noah Kagan
Episode 27 – Jerod Morris
Episode 28 – Douglas Burdett
Episode 33 – J. Thorn
Episode 36 – Live from Podcast Movement 2016, Pt. 1
Episode 37 – Live from Podcast Movement 2016, Pt. 2
Bonus – Getting Unstuck with Ernest Barbaric

Click here to download this episode directly. (MP3)
Ask us anything!
Have a question about email marketing that you want answered in a future podcast episode? Leave us a message at aweber.com/podcast.

The post [Podcast] Email Marketing for Podcasters Preview appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

20 Jun 2017
/

[Quiz] What’s Your Email Writing Style?

.s.u.m.o.me.listbuilder-popup-embedded {z-index:1;}

Did you know subscribers spend 15-20 seconds reading each email they open?

Fifteen to twenty seconds – that’s all the time you have to make an impression and get readers to take action. Thankfully, there are ways to optimize your email content to make it powerful and effective.

The best way to start is by identifying your writing style. Once you’re aware of the way you write, it becomes a lot easier to understand how to improve your skills!

Write better emails based on your writing style
To help you figure out your writing strengths and how you can start improving upon your existing skills, we created this short quiz! Based on your answers, you’ll get tips and a resource that will help you write better emails that pack more punch.

Share your writing style on social media! For more email writing tips, download our free What to Write in Your Emails guide and course! You’ll get access to 30+ fill-in-the-blank email templates to make your writing easier and quicker.

 What is your email writing style? Let us know in the comments!

The post [Quiz] What’s Your Email Writing Style? appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

20 Jun 2017
/

‘SEO: The Movie’ aims to trace the rise of internet marketing

Grab your popcorn. There’s a new movie that looks back on the history of SEO from the mid-1990s to today.

Wait. A movie about SEO?

Yep. It may seem odd at first glance, but as anyone who’s been around the industry for the past 20 or so years could tell you, there are definitely some interesting stories to tell.

So that’s what John Lincoln, CEO of Ignite Visibility, set out to do. He began working on “SEO: The Movie” last October, interviewing a half-dozen industry veterans (including Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan and Barry Schwartz) about topics like

the early days of SEO and the impact that affiliate marketers, in particular, had on the industry.
the impact that the Google Toolbar had on SEO thanks to the visible display of the PageRank meter, and how that quickly created a marketplace for buying and selling links.
the monthly “Google dance,” when SEOs would suddenly find out if Google’s latest rankings update impacted them for better or worse.

Lincoln also narrates the movie, which covers topics up to and including recent developments like Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates.

A couple of stories really stood out to me: Rae Hoffman (aka Sugarrae) talking about how her first affiliate marketing commission check was worth more than what her then-husband was making in an entire year, and Rand Fishkin of Moz talking about the company’s early financial troubles and how attending two conferences set a course toward profitability. There’s also a section that very appropriately discusses the huge impact that former Googler Matt Cutts had across the SEO industry, from his days as “GoogleGuy” at WebmasterWorld and other forums up until his recent switch to a career at the US Digital Service.

I’m the farthest thing from a movie critic, but others who want to pick apart the film will rightly point out that it’s US-centric and that a lot of industry pioneers weren’t interviewed. (Link building pioneer Eric Ward even supplied Lincoln with a tongue-in-cheek rant about not being interviewed; it’s included during the end credits.)

The bottom line is that it’s impossible to tell the entire history of SEO in about 40 minutes. As Lincoln told me via email, his movie purposely focuses just on some of the key events from the early days of SEO up to recent times.

Still, I think industry veterans and newcomers will enjoy it. I did, and it left me hoping to someday see a longer version with more SEO luminaries — young and old — telling stories about how the industry began and evolved.

If you want to check out “SEO: The Movie,” the full-length movie is embedded below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtFlAicK3xw?feature=oembed&w=500&h=281]

The post ‘SEO: The Movie’ aims to trace the rise of internet marketing appeared first on Search Engine Land.

20 Jun 2017
/

Google advice: Switch your m-dot domain to responsive before the mobile-first index rollout

In November 2016, Google announced their mobile-first index initiative. We shared a comprehensive FAQ, but since then, Google has been working out issues with launching the new mobile-first index. In fact, we don’t expect to see it until sometime in 2018, well over a year since they announced this initiative.

Google’s webmaster trends analysts, including John Mueller and Gary Illyes, have been very active answering webmaster questions around this update. Outside of timing, which the two don’t control, they have recently been sharing some tips and advice for webmasters.

Migrate your m-dot site to responsive before the launch

Google said in a recent “webmaster office hours” video (at the 25:16 mark) that if you are planning at some point to migrate your m-dot domain to a fully responsive website, then you should do it before this mobile-first index goes live.

The rationale is that right now, Google has a desktop-first index. So Google doesn’t really index your m-dot; they just annotate the m-dot URLs, but there is no true indexing of your m-dot content. So if you did a migration from m-dot to your main www now, Google doesn’t have to index anything, it just updates those mobile annotations to say the main website is mobile-friendly because it is responsive.

If you wait to do this after the mobile-friendly index rollout, then Google will fully index your m-dot content and URLs. Then the migration will take longer, because Google is not just updating URLs but also the content and signals within your pages. In short, it might make sense for you to push up your m-dot migration plans now versus waiting.

Mobile content should be equivalent to your desktop content

Many user experience experts say it is okay to show less content and fewer features on your mobile version of your website. But as we discussed, having less content on your mobile site than you have on your desktop site may result in ranking changes when the mobile-first index goes live.

Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter that “mobile pages should be fully equivalent in content & functionality regardless of indexing.” “Why wait to fix that?,” he added. Mueller’s logic is that your users want the same level of experience, so figure out a way to have it in a user-friendly way without removing any content or functionality. It will not just help with giving users what they want, but also with indexing when the new mobile-first index rolls out, he said.

How will the mobile-first index roll out?

So we know the mobile-first index might likely won’t launch until sometime in 2018, but how will that rollout happen?

Mueller said this morning on Twitter that they will roll it out on a site-by-site basis. He said something similar a few months ago, saying Google might roll this index out in batches.

“We’re planning on switching sites over as we see they’re ready,” Mueller said. So Google might move sites over in batches to this new index. He added that it is “unlikely that we’ll have a single ‘launch date.’” But all of this information that he just shared is “still in the works,” and all of this might change.

For one thing, Google will communicate well in advance how webmasters and SEOs should prepare for the mobile-first index.

The post Google advice: Switch your m-dot domain to responsive before the mobile-first index rollout appeared first on Search Engine Land.

20 Jun 2017
/