In this episode of Actionable Marketing In Minutes we talk about Google’s recent mobile friendly update and what it means for you!
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Did you know that Google has been increasingly focused on the mobile experience of its users, specifically on the elements of a website that cause it to be more or less mobile user friendly, and increasingly, the page load speed of mobile sites. This emphasis has increased over the last few years. Specific dates:
* April 2015 – Mobilegeddon, which the date of a change in Google’s algorithm that would cause sites that were not mobile friendly to cease showing in mobile search results.
* May 2016 – An update to Google’s algorithm was confirmed as implemented, the purpose of which was to give a greater emphasis to mobile ‘friendliness’ in the search algorithm. This is a page-by-page factor, which means you should look at each of your website pages separately to evaluate if you are doing a good job.
* June 2016 – A Google Webmaster Trends Analyst confirmed that page speed would be added a factor in the next mobile algorithm update. Interestingly, Google points to a reference article that specifies mobile pages should render in less than one second. Of course, it has always been a factor for the general search algorithm.
Tying all of this together, you will remember that mid-year 2015, Google officially confirmed that there were more searches from mobile devices than from desktop devices. So they have a huge interest in giving a great emphasis on the mobile experience of its users. They care and you should care too.
Google and the other search engines do provide webmaster guidance on what they are looking for. These are the things you should think about when you are working on making your website mobile friendly:
1. Don’t use Flash since most mobile browsers cannot render this type of content.
2. If you have a responsive site that responds to different types of devices, make sure you have your Viewport configured to tell browsers how to adjust your site for the various devices.
3. Make sure there is no need for horizontal scrolling on any of your pages (this is true for desktop sites too).
4. Make sure the font size you use is large enough to be legible at standard settings. Minimum 16 pixels, please.
5. Make sure you have enough distance between ‘touch elements’ such as links and buttons.
6. Do not use interstitials! Promote your web apps and other goodies in another way such as banners or app indexing so your app install button shows right on Google results pages.
Google has provided a couple tools to enable you to see if your website is mobile friendly and to specify fixes you should make. Just search for “Google Mobile Friendly Test” to link through to that page. The second is the PageSpeed Insights, which you may locate in the same way.
Google has also provided some information about common mistakes webmasters make when designing for mobile. This information is available in the Google Webmasters developers area, and includes additional guidelines such as how to
allow Google to best crawl the site, how to identify and present content that is better viewed on a PC, how to avoid faulty redirects from desktop pages to mobile pages, how to develop proper mobile 404 pages. And a lot more.
Now is the time to make sure your mobile website performs at its best. Take the time to run your site through both the PageSpeed Insights tool and the Mobile Friendly tool. And then have your developer – or us here at DirectiveGroup – take the corrective actions necessary to make sure you are in good shape for the anticipated Google mobile algorithm updates.
We hope you’ve found this information helpful. Please connect with us on Twitter @DirectiveGroup or on LinkedIn. Let us know what you think and what you’d like to hear about next. And if you like our podcasts, please share with your networks using hashtag #actionablemarketing. Join us next time for more actionable marketing in minutes, when we will be discussing Content for SEO.