Is Google’s mobile-friendly search ranking update due to land on the end of the world, April 21?
Probably not, but with people talking about Mobilegeddon and Mopocalypse, you might think that it is. Step back from the hyperbole for one minute.
Why we should expect mobile friendly updates
First of all, the update should not be a big surprise. Google is trying to ensure that mobile device users have a good experience for years.
Formerly Google has issued guidelines on everything from optimum page load time (under one second) to design (responsive) from the best viewpoint. In other words, we have been warned.
The difference is that what used to be “good” is now a “must have.”
To put it another way, after the carrot stick came out: whatever Google is telling us about mobile will affect search rankings in all languages worldwide.
The goal is for mobile device users to “get relevant, high-quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” The update is not just about websites. Mobile searchers who have signatures will also see the content of their indexed apps.
With more people using mobile devices, optimizing for mobile search is a must, as is ensuring that all of your key pages pass a mobile-friendly test (more later).
Here’s something else to think about: On a landing page that you’ve adapted to spend a lot of time on, it may not be where people can actually land after Google has indexed the application content. Therefore it will be more important than ever to optimize a wide range of possible entry points to maximize conversions.
This update gives users more control and, as HubSpot points out, prevents people from wasting their time on a poor mobile user experience.So what do you do? The first step is to find out if the Google crawler sees your site as mobile friendly.
Since November 2014 Google has been highlighting mobile-friendly sites for mobile users.
Now there is a mobile-friendly checker so that you can cut your web pages, you can see yourself. Put in your URL, wait a while and get results. This is a pass / fail result and if your page fails, there are recommendations on how to fix it.
If you want to test the entire site, Google’s Page Speed Insights tool is a better option.
It gives a snapshot of both desktop and mobile performance, using traffic light colors to show where the main issues are. Fix anything that has been marked by you and you will be on the way to a site that works well for everyone.
Google guide to optimize for mobile
Really want nails to be mobile friendly? Then follow your guide from Google. It has links to testing tools, guidelines for creating mobile friendly websites and advice on SEO best practices. Here are some highlights from the guide:
For a start, it includes a guide to optimizing WordPress sites for mobile. As millions of sites use this content management system, it is extremely useful. Suggestions for the WordPress section include:
See how your site will look on specific devices using the mobile device emulation tool built into Google Chrome.
Run a quick check to see if your site is responsive to resize browser windows to see if the content runs to fit the available space.
SEO and Mobile Conversion
The section on mobile SEO can be the one where you can make the biggest changes, which will have an impact on conversions.
It is worth noting here that when Google talks about mobile optimization, it mainly focuses on smart phones (tablets are seen as a different type of device).
This is probably because smartphones are so prevalent and are now an important part of the conversion funnel. People use them for browsing, product research, and may decide to buy because of the information found on their phones, even if they complete a purchase elsewhere.
So if your site is not mobile friendly, you can lose those customers to a competitor with a customized site. However, if you go mobile first, your site will work well on all devices, which can cause another hurdle in conversions.
Dig into the Mobile SEO section: