Appropriately dubbed “Mobilegeddon” or “Mobilepocalypse,” Google’s mobile algorithm allows mobile-friendly sites to get a boost in search rankings, while sites with usability issues on mobile devices will significantly drop in ranking. Google’s algorithm will apply its mobile grading system to the websites of large brands and publishers alike, affecting mobile searches in all languages worldwide. Those that remember the launch of the Panda algorithm, will take heed and optimise rather than stay vulnerable. So here are 5 steps to get your website optimised for mobile:
Step 1: Do a quick search
If you manage a website we recommend that you check to see whether it is “mobile-friendly” by going on to Google on your mobile, and entering your URL in the search bar. If the “m” mobile tag does not appear beneath your URL in the search results, your site needs to be updated.
Step 2: Test your site
If you want to see if your site is mobile compliant use the Mobile-Friendly Test provided by Google Developers which allows a Googlebot to perform a quick background check on the functionality. If your site fails, it will need to be updated. If it passes, it may still need to be optimised before earning the “m” mobile tag mentioned above. We recommend using Google’s Page Speed Insights for further details on how to optimise your website to improve your page ranking.
Step 3: Follow the mobile user friendly rules
- Text which is too small and requires zooming in to read
- Pages which are unresponsive; content does not automatically fit the screen, users have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Small call-to-action buttons which are not large enough to be activated by the touch of a finger
- Software that might not be supported on mobile devices (such as Flash)
- Links placed too close together
Step 4: Configure your site in the right way
Choose the best method to configure your site to make it mobile ready such as responsive web design, dynamic serving or separate URLs. For further information take a look at Google’s Mobile-Friendly guide which goes into more detail about what to avoid.
Step 5: Make it a priority
Your mobile SEO strategy needs to be a priority as your site is being downgraded in Google’s search rankings right now if you haven’t optimised your website for mobile. Sites that do not optimise their pages for mobile searches will move down the search rankings, the good news is that desktop and tablet rankings will remain intact.
For customers it is all about added value and user experience. It is important that your site is mobile friendly, not only because Google says so, but because it is important to offer customers a site that meets their needs and expectations when they use their mobile. Research quoted by Search Engine Watch found that consumers are using mobile devices to complete tasks from start to finish more and more. When looking at the purchase journey, “50% of consumers are now using their mobile devices to start the search process”, and “46% used mobile exclusively when performing research online”. This means that if you are not optimising your website for mobile, you could potentially be losing 46% of your sales. So it’s simple, follow the 5 steps above, make your website mobile friendly, and brands and publishers will be on the right path for increasing sales and gaining brand advocates.