Thanks to Google’s new SEO rules that index mobile sites first, a lot of companies are investing time and resources into making responsive mobile sites for their customers. But Google is putting even those responsive mobile sites to the test. Using what Google has nicknamed “Speed Tests”, load speed will now be a key factor in determining which mobile sites appear first on Google’s search list. And with 96 percent of last year’s online searches happening on Google, it’s a non-negotiable that your site is up to speed.
Ok, let’s get real. You might be thinking: Our mobile site is fast enough. It might not be at the top of Google’s search list, but it’s definitely on the first few pages, so isn’t that good enough? And the short answer to that question is no. Ninety-one percent of searchers don’t go past page one of the search results, and more than 50 percent don’t go past the first three results on page one, making the need to be at the top of Google’s search result a key priority for your responsive mobile site.
Here’s Where Progressive Web Apps Come In
If you’re creating a responsive mobile site that you want to rank high with Google’s new SEO rules, allow me to introduce you to the answer to all of your mobile problems: Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). Through they operate very well on all form factors, they work exceptionally well on mobile by creating a seamless UX while still providing the speedy service we all expect. Here are a few reasons that make PWAs the ultimate choice to achieve optimal mobile SEO:
With Google’s Speed Tests taking effect in less than a month, possibly the biggest advantage of PWAs are their greater speed when compared to other mobile platforms and native apps. And it’s not just Google that’s demanding faster sites–it’s your users! Most users will abandon a mobile site if it takes more than three seconds to load. (Do yourself a favor and check your site speed here!) And if your site isn’t up to speed, they’re gone. Forbes saw a massive speed improvement once they switched to PWAs, reducing their mobile load speed from 3-12 seconds, all the way down to 0.8 seconds! So to ensure that your brand is as close to the top of Google’s search list as possible, it’s time to make PWAs your brands first pick for mobile strategy.
Think of PWAs as having the accessibility of the web with the rich functionality of a native app. With a PWA, you’ll still have the option to save it to your homescreen, where it will appear as an icon on your device just like an app, but you won’t have to go through the app store download process. And because there’s no download, PWAs require significantly less storage than native mobile apps. Starbucks created a PWA that was .4 percent the size of its own native app! And, content updates happen automatically upon refresh allowing users to gain access to the latest features, functionality, and security updates without ever lifting a finger (or tapping that annoying “Install Update” button).
PWAs make re-engaging with the consumer easier than ever before by allowing for push notifications to increase your user engagement and conversion. Whether they save the PWA to their home screen or not, the icon already installed on the device, you’ll be able to stay in touch with your users every time they use their device.
So PWAs are the ultimate choice if you’re looking to rank well on SEO. They’re built for speed, provide an incredible mobile-first experience without the friction of an app store download, and they’re perfect for re-engagement when your user opts-in for push notifications.