Google recently announced it will be changing its algorithm on April 21st to include more mobile-friendly websites in search results. What does this mean for marketers? What can you do to prepare? Our suggestions:
Adopt a mobile-friendly platform
Don’t have a mobile website? Do website visitors have to zoom in and out on their mobile device to read your website content? If so, your website is not mobile friendly. It’s time to update your website before you start to lose visibility on Google.
A couple of options:
- Move your current website to a framework that is responsive
- Redesign your website on top of a framework that is responsive
Confirm the usability of your mobile-friendly website
Anyone who is familiar with Google Analytics or Google Webmaster tools probably saw this algorithm update coming. Google recently released tools to help users identify issues with their mobile usability. Here is some information on those tools to help you confirm you’re in good standing with Google:
- Google Webmaster tools Mobile Usability report – quickly see what issues Google sees with websites that you have indexed with Google. Here's a link to the report and a link to the help article explaining what the results mean, which you can share with your developer or designer.
- PageSpeed Insights will help you identify how fast your website loads, and what components need optimizing. Speed is important, especially for mobile. Here's link to the tool.
Optimize the content on important pages for mobile
After you’ve confirmed you have a basic, functional mobile experience, it’s time to plan for optimizing your content for mobile. Google analytics can help you identify pages that are lacking when it comes to the mobile experience. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- If you have conversion goals set up in Google Analytics, simply compare your top performing pages from desktop vs. mobile traffic. If there are significant drop-offs on mobile, there’s your low hanging fruit to adjust
- Consider working backwards when re-thinking your content – what does a MOBILE user need/want on this page? How much detail is really needed? Do they need large images, or is a video a better experience for this content? Can I link off related blog posts or advanced content, instead of adding to the length of this page? Thinking this way may benefit your desktop experience as well. Release updates and watch for conversion rate changes, positive or negative.
What are you doing to prepare for the new Google algorithm update? What are your concerns about the latest update?