On April 21, 2015, Google shook up the online world by changing its algorithm to favor mobile-friendly websites. Although the change currently affects only mobile searches, it’s expected to become a universal standard regardless of your device. The new changes could be devastating for website owners and could reflect a loss of up to one-third of your traffic, explains Chris Jadatz, writing for SumAll Blog. But there are simple ways to combat the change and get your site mobile-ready and search-friendly.
Create mobile-friendly content
Unless you’re a news site or a prolific blogger, there’s no need to clutter your website with lengthy copy. Keep your content useful but succinct and easy to absorb without stretching out a mobile screen to read through it. For example, Hubspot’s design is clean, user-friendly and intuitive whether you view it on your laptop or smartphone. Don’t rely strictly on copy to nail your branding message. Think about the whole mobile-friendly experience from website design to where you place your contact information.
Run Google’s mobile-friendly test
Google offers a mobile-friendly test to analyze a URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design. Plug in your URL and Googlebot gets to work checking your site while you hope for the response: “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.” The whole process takes about a minute.
Want to know what your mobile site actually looks like to Google? Complete the test scroll down to see a screenshot of your site framed in the image of a smartphone. Even if you passed the test and got the thumbs up on your site, you may find it looks dated and clunky. This type of visual feedback is invaluable and helps you see your site through your consumers’ eyes. If you don’t like what you see after Google’s test, take it as an opportunity to re-evaluate your mobile friendliness.
Choose an optimized website template
You don’t need to be incredibly tech- and design-savvy to get your site mobile-ready. Business owners using WordPress can search for responsive and mobile-friendly templates to install and start using immediately. Choose a responsive design if you want every version of your website to look the same regardless of the device you’re using. Otherwise, pick a mobile-friendly template that optimizes your page for visitors on the go.
What if you already have a template and aren’t sure you want to make a permanent switch? Install the Mobile Smart plugin for your WordPress site. When your visitors browse your page on their smartphone, the plugin switches your theme to a more mobile-friendly version.
Make your design mobile-friendly
Heavy graphics and slow-loading videos are out, and simple, clean and responsive design is in. Think about how a smartphone user scrolls with a finger or thumb through your site. What buttons and features do you need in place to make that an intuitive and easy process? And remember to make important information, such as your phone number, address and other contact information, easy to find and within reach.