How to survive “Mobilegeddon”

Understanding Google’s mobile algorithms updates

In recent times Google has made considerable changes to their algorithms, all of which aim to improve their users experience. The latest algorithm update which was released on the 21st April 2015 and has been coined as ‘Mobilegeddon’, focuses on a websites ‘mobile-friendliness’.

As most of us are aware, mobile device usage and engagement with websites has surpassed desktop visits which is the catalyst for the algorithm change and cements Googles focus on keeping their users happy.

In basic terms, your websites degree of mobile responsiveness will impact where you’re ranked on search results. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, Google will penalise you by ranking your website lower, making it harder for your customers and potential customers to find you. Some reports are indicating that there is potential to lose up to 1/3 of your website’s mobile traffic. However if you endeavour to improve your websites mobile responsive, you will reap the rewards, namely improved SEO rankings.

How’s it going to work?

Google have provided some preliminary outlines with regards to what they are looking for and will be testing for. Essentially, they will be scanning the pages of your website to test load times, responsive design elements and your adherence to mobile best practice.

There are some keys elements that Google will be looking at:

  1. Text Size: Google will be checking to make sure that the text on your website can be easily read without requiring the user to zoom
  2. Content size: You will be required to ensure that all content fits within the boundaries of the device and that it won’t be necessary to scroll or zoom
  3. Links: the space between your links and the ease of which users can click on the link will be a focus
  4. Flash: From Googles perspective, Flash is a big no, no as it isn’t supported on most mobile devices

What can you do?

The first step is to find out how your website ranks from Googles standpoint. There is a Google Mobile Friendly Test that you can undergo that will give you an indication of your degree of mobile friendliness.

Once you know where you stand, focus on the most visited pages and/or your home page to make them mobile friendly, so you are at least maintaining your ranking on those pages and not losing all your traffic.

Ideally, we recommend that you speak to your website developer and ask them to provide you with a quote for ‘responsive conversion’. It will be much faster than building a new site, and in most cases will be much cheaper.

Key message

Our advice is not to leave it too late. Don’t wait until you start to notice dramatic drops in traffic, reduction in new enquiries or negative impacts to your profit margin. Being the first to embrace this change will be seen favourably by Google and should result in better rankings.

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Rolling Tips

  • Half of Older Mobile Users Now Own Smartphones
  • Content is KING!
  • Responsive design ensures your website's works for all visitors and their devices
  • Don’t make web users think. The web page should be obvious and self-explanatory.
  • Place your keywords early in your content and make them prominent, bold, in header tags, linked, title, and bulleted.