As we all know, Google will be adding a new change in their algorithm that comes into effect on April 21st, 2015. Among many other SEO ranking factors, they will now also look at how your site is displayed on mobile devices to determine where you will rank in mobile search results. This new feature will be very friendly to consumers, but not so friendly to those websites that are not mobile-friendly. With 48% of users starting their mobile searches on search engines, a company cannot afford to lose that traffic because of this update.
Throughout this post, I will talk about the ways you can determine whether or not your website is mobile-friendly and if it is not, how to fix it!
Essentials for Mobile-Friendly Websites
Before diving in any further, I want to talk about the 3 essentials for a mobile-friendly website:
- Fast Loading – Websites must load on a mobile device in 5 seconds or less.
- Mobile-Friendly Features – These include large buttons, easy search and limited scrolling and pinching to zoom.
- Quick Access to Information – Information should be displayed easily. This includes directions, contact numbers, product information and how to make purchases (if necessary).
Is it Mobile Friendly?
If your websites and blogs are optimized for all devices, you will rank higher in mobile search results, but how do you know if it is mobile-friendly?
- The easiest way to check if your website is mobile-friendly is to use the free Mobile Friendly testing tool from Google. All you need to do is enter your URL and it will immediately show you the results as well as a screenshot of how your site appears on a mobile device.
- Another way to check is to open up Google on your mobile device and search for your website. If your website is indeed mobile-friendly, there will now be a grey “mobile-friendly” notice underneath each URL. You can also do a site search (site:domain.com) and this will allow you to check that the pages on your site are mobile-friendly.
- You can also check the website yourself by opening the website up on any mobile device and testing different features and pages. It would be good if you would write down a list of things that are not working correctly, so it is easier to go through and correct everything.
- You can also use the responsinator that Revenue River uses. This responsinator will show you want your website looks like on every single device.
- You can also use the Mobile Usability section of Google Webmaster Tools. It will give you a list of things that can be improved on your website to help optimize for mobile search.
Not Mobile Friendly? What Now?
If you are not mobile-friendly, there are a couple of things you can do depending on the platform you are using and how much will need to be invested in a design that is mobile-friendly. I would suggest using an experienced developer for this part.
- Look for custom or pre-made themes on your platform that are either responsive or have mobile templates included.
- You can hire a developer to recode your website to make it mobile-friendly.
- Depending on the type of content management system you are using, it could have responsive already integrated, like HubSpot's COS, or it may have a particular plugin that will allow you to activate the mobile functionality, like Jetpack for WordPress. A good option is to hire someone who knows how to use these functionalities, so as not to mess anything up on the desktop view.
As with any new update, it is hard keeping up with things, but my advice to you is to make sure your site is mobile-friendly. If it is not, your website could be missing out on a lot of traffic from Google’s mobile search engine.