Google updates come and go often in the dark of night. Unless you are an SEO wizz, most website owners go on with their day unaware of a recent Google update or algorithm change. April 21st’s algorithm update however, has marketers, bloggers, and website owners scrambling to stay ahead. Why should you be concerned? Because this update could severely affect traffic sent to your website via search.
With 80% of Internet users using smartphones to search online, Google is putting the steps in place to make searches made from mobile devices more functional, friendly and relevant. Starting April 21st Google will begin calling out websites that are “mobile-friendly” in search results. But it doesn’t stop there. Google will now take mobile responsiveness into consideration when ranking your site.
Here’s what Google had to say about the upcoming algorithm changes:
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.
So while you might be sitting pretty at the top of the first page today, if your website isn’t mobile friendly by April 21st, you could come crashing down!
So what can you do to stay on top? The first step is to ensure your site is mobile friendly. If you are unsure whether or not your website is mobile friendly, you can use Google’s Mobile Test Tool. Simply type in your website URL and click analyze. If the results say “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly” you are going to be a-ok! If not, you may want to consider investing in a mobile-friendly (or responsive) website upgrade.
I understand how overwhelming this information might be, and you’re probably thinking “how and where do I start!?” I’ve pulled together some frequently asked questions that will help guide you through this update.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why should I make my website mobile friendly?
A mobile friendly site is just that: mobile friendly. This means any visitor who lands on your site while on a mobile device, such as a phone or tablet, will be able to easily navigate your site without pinching, zooming or squinting. The focus is providing the visitor with a seamless and positive experience.
How do I know if my site is mobile friendly?
You can try visiting your own site on a mobile device to see if it is responsive, or you can use Google’s new Mobile Test Tool.
Is this something I can do myself?
It really depends on how web-savvy and confident you are. While some content management systems and blogging platforms (such as Blogger and WordPress) make it easy to implement a mobile-friendly site, some websites that don’t use a CMS may require help from a developer.
How much does this type of upgrade cost?
I wish I had a more concrete answer for this, but it all depends on your website.
Where can I find a mobile friendly theme for WordPress?
If you were considering a website refresh, then now would be a great time to do it! There are hundreds of thousands of new WordPress themes created every day that have responsiveness built in (bonus!), it’s just a matter of picking one that works for you. I like to use ThemeForest to source my WordPress themes.
Where can I find a mobile friendly theme for Blogger?
If you are using the Blogger platform (which I know a lot of my blogger friends are!), you are in luck! Blogger has a simple “on-click” mobile template built right in, you just need to activate it. To turn your mobile template on, log into your Blogger account, navigate to “Template,” and click the “Gear” icon under “Mobile.” In the pop-up select “Yes. Show mobile template on mobile devices,” choose a mobile template from the dropdown, and click “Save.” Done!
Need more guidance and advice? Please feel free to shoot me an email!