April 21st is the big day, the day Google will start the process of rolling out a new Algorithm change that will change the way your site will show up in the mobile search results. Google is going to make it easier for mobile users to have access to the websites that will perform best for those types of devices.
Here is what you should know about being Mobile Friendly
Currently there 1.5 billion mobile Internet users worldwide and about 80 percent of internet users are own a smartphone. Now I know some are not looking for the global audience but try to think of the area that your business is in, how often do you see people buried in their phone? Yes some are texting or playing music, but a good chunk are looking things up on their phone. Wouldn’t be cool to know that your site just popped up on their search?
Now when you grab your phone and open Google search and you Google your site should show up in roughly the same spot as if you where Googleing your site on your lap top. On April 22nd it might not, the mobile search engine results pages or SERPs will be showing only sites that will perform best on your smart device.
So Google has made a tool available to the public to test your site with the Google Bot. You need to check your site here. It will plainly tell you if you pass or fail and if you fail you are running out of time to get it fixed. If you have failed the test there are two fixes possible one you can create a mobile only site or have a responsive site design. Now the mobile only site is a quick fix but if you have a responsive design done on your site and would be the best option and most recommended option. If you have a WordPress site this would be the easiest option. And if you need assistance with that you can contact me here. Plus I have a framework that is pre-built that we can migrate to your site’s specs relatively quickly.
What is the Google Bot looking for?
There are some elements of your site that it will be looking at and they are:
- Whether or not the fonts scale for easy reading on smaller screens, this means your fonts can size by which device they are on based on the screen size.
- If the touch elements, such as buttons, are easy to use and spaced away from other touch elements, basically if your navigation links, form buttons, image links if they are close together you’re going to fail because there might be a high chance of “fat fingering” your pick. So they need to be away from each other to be read correctly.
- If the website relies on Flash, which does not work so well on most mobile browsers.
- Proper URL redirects between mobile and desktop URLs.
- Proper cross-links. This is when users are linked to desktop-optimized pages from the mobile version of the site, and vice versa
- Then the big one page load time. If your pages are busy loading images and slideshows that will bog down the site.
- The Google Bot will be looking at every page of your site and if your mobile visitors have to zoom and scroll to see the content of your site then more than likely you fail the test.
How to stay Mobile Friendly
Now not only will they be rolling out the new mobile search you can bet that they will be doing some tweaks to other ranking changes. So if you are up on your SEO then you might be getting a boost. So here are some things to keep in mind to implement like yesterday.
Audit – You need to audit your site for mobile friendliness with the Google Bot test here and to make sure your page speed is up to par and you can do that here.
Analyze – You need to know about your current mobile user numbers so you can see if you are being affected on April 21st plus you need to know what they are doing to do a proper audit of your site.
Optimize – If you have been following our blog recently you should be in the know of the best practices that Google is grading your site on.
Track – You need to be in the know of your keyword trends, how people are finding you and what devices they are using to acquire your site.
Measure – You need to know how your pages are ranking in the mobile search rank and desktop level.
Report – You need to be keyword trends and rankings per device compared to local and global results.
Refine – This is not a onetime fix and should not be only limited to the mobile side, you need to be doing this for all devices and for every user to make sure you are at the top of you niche in any search.
How we can help you be Mobile Friendly
If you have signed up for your monthly visibility audit then we have been sending you reports and how to fix different aspects of your rankings. With our reports we cover a wide variety of stats for you site and we can custom create it for you to show the results of any aspect you are looking for. Also with this audit we ensure that your pages are being ranked correctly in Google and if not we will help you get them to where they need to be.
So remember test your site for mobile friendliness here and check your site speed here. If you fail any of them you can contact us here. If you have any questions feel free to contact Eric and he can answer any question for you.
Keep coming back to our blog for more tips to help your site and blogging experience and follow Eric on Twitter @eric_amb and like our Facebook page to keep track of more Google News and other goodies. And always let me know your thoughts in the comments below.