If you have a blog, website or online shop, we take it for granted that when someone searches for your online that your work will appear. That's not necessarily the case, and if you stay uninformed your site could be in big trouble, but if you take two simple actions that I'll share today, you'll be ready for the changes.
So what's with all the changes?
Search engines use complex formulas to decide what information is relevant and what isn't. These are called algorithms, and they are how search engines are able to show helpful content written by real, knowledgeable people (yay! humans!) in first pages of search results, while sites full of keywords and questionable links get less exposure.
The changes are happening because Google has announced that on April 21st it will adjust the algorithm to put more emphasis on sites that are mobile friendly.
Google's past changes have resulted in significant traffic decreases for some sites, leading to developers giving the coming changes the nickname “mobilegeddon”.
This makes perfect sense – and since by some estimates 50% of google's searches are mobile, if your site isn't ready by April 21st you could lose a significant amount of potential readers, clients and customers.
The good news is that times of change are the best time to show up and shine.
This is the perfect time to set yourself apart, and if you're someone who writes high quality, helpful content online, you're already ahead of the game. With all of these changes Google is working to help make sure content like yours is easy to find.
Even better? You don't have to be tech savvy to make your site is ready for mobile users. I'm going to show you exactly how to be ready, step by step.
First, Take the free test to see if your site is mobile friendly enough for Google:
- Visit the Google mobile friendly test site
- Enter your domain name, and click Analyze.
- If your site is not mobile friendly, don't panic! Most won't pass, but there are easy steps to follow below.
Next for WordPress Users: Install a Plugin
You can go mobile with the help of a plugin. It's an easy process, and I've made a quick video tutorial that takes you from testing your site to passing google's test with flying colours in under 10 minutes.
Next for Typepad Users:
Typepad hasn't publicly addressed the upcoming Google changes yet, but their social media team has confirmed that their solution is in the works. And that's a good thing, because the algorithm changes stand to put their entire network at a significant disadvantage.
Their answer is the Typepad Nimble Design Lab is a one and two-column responsive theme that lets Typepad users create themes that should pass the mobile friendly test. To gain access, Typepad users can opt into the beta team and start making changes.
Next for Blogger Users:
You're already ready! Your sites should automatically convert to a mobile theme when a mobile reader visits.
What To Keep in Mind for Your Next Design
Responsive design is the most comprehensive way to approach website design that works everywhere, but its price can put it out of reach for many users who would like a completely custom design.
If you're considering a redesign, make sure that you either ask your potential web designer about their responsive design options, or that you plan to put a mobile theme in place so you're ready for anyone who comes your way.
Looking for friendly people to help you with mobile friendly designs?
Amanda Weber has been my lead developer for four years, and can help you get plugins installed or create a new responsive theme.
Oh! And of course, the new blog and website design service I'm launching this spring offers customizable themes – and they're all responsive.
Are you going to be ready for April 21st?
Pin this post now or share it to your social media so you don't forget! I'll be responding to comments below, so if you get stuck just let me know.