For as long as I can remember, I’ve been advising clients to make sure their websites look good on iphones, ipads, Androids, and other mobile devices.
The reason: It has now become the primary platform that people consume their information.
Yes, desktops and laptops are still being used by many, but in today’s world, the smartphone and tablet are quickly becoming the #1 place for people to consume content.
Well, here’s a heads up – if your sites aren’t already mobile friendly you’ll definitely want to get a move on, because as of April 21, 2015 Google is officially rolling out the ‘mobile friendly’ algorithm.
Here’s what Google says about the upcoming change. Bolding is mine:
“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. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
What Google is basically saying is that if a user does a search using their mobile device, then Google will primarily display pages which are optimized for mobile devices.
So if you’ve not yet implemented some sort of mobile optimization for your website, then now is the time to start.
You might have the best sales copy or informative article or helpful blog post on your site, but if you haven’t optimized the site, then you could find that your competition will start ranking ahead of you if they’ve taken the time to optimize their pages. Be sure to check internal pages not just the home page.
The good news is that Google has released a free tool so you can check if they see your site as ‘mobile friendly’.
To use the tool head on over to this link:
Enter your URL for one of your web pages into the box and click on the ‘Analyze’ button:
Google will then look at the page and let you know if it’s mobile ready, and also give you a preview of how they see that page on mobile.
This should be the very first place you check for all your sites, to see if your pages are already ‘mobile friendly.”
If they’re not then Google has already got some great advice on how to get your pages and website mobile friendly, but as most of you will be using WordPress then getting mobile ready can be as easy as installing a new theme which has a responsive design that includes mobile, or using a plugin like WP Touch, which will automatically detect if the user is on a mobile device and serve a mobile ready page for them.
Make no mistake, this is something you need to be doing today so you don’t get left behind. Use the free tool to check then make changes to make sure that you’re fully ready for the mobile friendly algorithm.
Be sure to check Google’s Mobile Guide for some additional advice:
Also keep in mind, Google is always changing and perfecting its algorithms. Most sites I’ve checked, even the ugly, ones are passing. My guess is by the end of the year, if your site isn’t truly responsive or you have to pull from side to side to read basic info, or heaven forbid you have key information (like menus) in a pdf format only, your site will get penalized.
Contact us if you need help with any of this or with implementing an upgrade to your site.