Google gave insight into the importance of mobile-friendliness in 2015 by stating, “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” Previously, there was little known about upcoming algorithm updates, let alone an exact date, but with this announcement comes a clear focus on optimizing your site for mobile to rank in Google search.
With more time spent on the internet using smartphones rather than computers, it is no shock that mobile-friendliness needs to be top-of-mind for any website. Now, Google is rewarding those that achieve this by April 21, 2015 and leaving the rest in the dust (or buried on the 18th SERP). The update was humorously nicknamed “Mobilegeddon” and has taken on a theme of fear and scrambling, but this doesn’t have to be the case if you utilize these tools and tips.
Mobilegeddon Survival Kit
The thought of revamping your entire website to cater to the mobile audience can be overwhelming and, for most, uncharted territory. You don’t have to be a programmer to take the first steps towards improving your site. To get you started on your journey towards mobile-friendliness, check out these free tools and best practices.
Free Tools from Google
- Mobile-Friendly Test: get a quick report on if your site is mobile-friendly or not
- Webmaster Tools: helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence on Google search
- Googlebot: make sure Google can crawl and index your site’s content here
- Page Speed: evaluate your page load speeds, don’t get abandoned due to lazy load times
- Mobile SEO: configure your site for multiple devices, help search engines understand your configuration, and avoid common mistakes along the way
- Configure the Viewport: determine a page’s width and scaling on different devices
- Third Party Guides: if your website uses a common third party, get the step-by-step guide on how to optimize it for mobile
- Install Webmaster Tools: Google has been sending out warning messages to websites that need to fix mobility issues, but only to those who are signed up.
- Utilize a responsive design: using a separate mobile site or plugin will most likely negatively affect your ranking with the new algorithm update, a responsive design is preferred that automatically adapts to any screen size.
- Speed up your load time: use legible fonts, don’t rely on plugins, and configure the screen width. Keep in mind 60% of users will abandon a site if it takes three or more seconds to load.
- Avoid common mistakes: make sure you don’t have unplayable content, irrelevant cross-links, and faulty redirects
- Tool: Mobile SEO
It’s not too late to start prepping today! By utilizing the free tools Google offers and following these best practices for mobile-friendly websites, you are on your way to surviving Mobilegeddon. Interested in more? Check out our blog post “Don’t Get Left Behind Due to your Web Design”.