On April 21, Google will release the newest in a growing list of major search algorithm updates. This one is focused on the mobile-friendliness of your website and according to industry experts, has the potential to have a greater impact on your site’s visibility than Panda and Penguin.
For us veteran webmasters of the past updates to Google’s search algorithm, we will sleep very little the night of April 20, followed by a coffee/tea-fueled day of checking metrics, site statistics, and watching for news of the first set of victims and victors to the new rules of engagement.
But we can’t always blame Google, despite our basic instincts. Google has not been shy to admit and direct webmasters alike to the importance of mobile browsing and the mobile search experience for the past few years, at times indirectly and others much more directly. We see the February post on the Webmaster Central Blog, Finding more mobile friendly search results, referencing the April 21 update as a very direct and intentional move towards an improved mobile search and browsing experience.
Get ready, set, MOBILE-friendliness check!
Now that you’re hopefully motivated to improve the mobility of your website and are not satisfied to ‘wait and see’ how your website traffic is affected on April 21, there are a few ways to get started and prepare for the worst. We recommend checking Google’s own Mobile-Friendly Test. Enter your website’s URL and Google will check its mobile-friendliness. If you pass, congratulations! If not, follow the recommendations from Google along with our suggestions below.
Our team has been researching information on the Google algorithm update over the past few weeks, and there do seem to be a few key areas that you can focus on to fix any problems over the course of the next week and help you prepare:
- Text Size – If you just checked your mobile site and each time you loaded each page you had to slide those two fingers apart to read… time to update your site.
- Fat-Finger Syndrome – The same above applies to CSS elements and links. From the banana hands of Tony Robbins to the delicate fingers of a pianist, all should be able to navigate your website on their preferred mobile device.
- Page Load Speed – Are flash or other images slowing down your page load speed times? Then it may be time to resize images or remove Flash elements to improve page load speeds.
- Responsive Design – Sure your follow up is great, but are you still stuck on a static site? Time to update to a responsive design to accommodate the growing variety of mobile screen ratios and sizes.
Mobile, Local and the Future is Now!
Bottom line – ensure your site’s mobile-friendliness or see a potentially significant drop in your search visibility across the board, not just on mobile SERP’s, but on desktop as well.
Not to worry, if you’re looking for assistance, Proceed Innovative is here to help. Give us a call or fill out our contact us form and we can get started today on ensuring your website’s mobile-friendliness and helping you prepare for any future updates, as well.
A full-service Chicago interactive marketing firm, Proceed Innovative LLC helps companies extend brand awareness and drive sales through interactive marketing strategies, search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC) training, PPC management, creative SEO web design,website promotion and web analytics consulting.