Most of us have had to become familiar with the Penguin’s and Panda’s roaming Google, although very few will ever truly understand how they operate. The latest Google search update is a little different… and no it’s not called puma, puffin or peacock! It’s all about mobiles and tablets and more importantly how we search on them and the type of results generated. The move was to be expected with the ever increasing figures of mobile users. But how will Google’s mobile search update (coming April 21st) impact web users and designers?
As a web user the change is fantastic – many of us can admit to spending more and more time searching the web by our smart mobile devices. Now when you Google search from a mobile the search results will favour mobile web optimised sites.
So how about designers and owners? This change could be a game changer for a company or brand, as it will tip rankings upside down in some cases. Google’s message appears to be go Mobile and fast! So here are a few tips to make sure you’re ready for the big change coming on the 21st April 2015.
1. Test test and test again – every type of iPhone, android and iPad will behave slightly differently so be sure to check how the site looks on all devices. It’s no good looking great on aniPad but challenging to read on an iPhone.
2. Get straight to the point – mobiles are a great way to check opening hours, maps, contact details and gain a little information. I know I’m guilty of constantly needing to check what time local stores are open.
3. Be Careful with Images – Large images particularly can be very slow to load on mobile devices. They are great for displaying a point quickly though – solution, compress images or use smaller file size images meaning they’ll load quickly.
4. Try to design for touchscreen – no one likes having to battle with their mobile to click on a tiny link or icon and then catching the wrong link anyway, if you can use large icons with no links immediately surrounding.
5. Simplify site navigation – Too many menu options can prove a nightmare! Consolidate your menus, it might take a user longer to get to the information they need but the route will be more natural on small mobile devices.
Those pointers are great once you have a mobile optimised site, for owners worried about Google’s mobile search update and who are just dipping their toes into the online mobile world here’s some handy starting points.
Where are we at? Always the best place to start assess what you have already. Think SEO audit specifically for mobile, look at the information you want Google to identify and serve up to your mobile users. Google has a tool for this too! Google’s mobile friendly test (a site crawling tool) perfect for capturing any errors, blocked pages and detecting how people are referred to the site.
From this information you can start to consider visibility in searches and how traffic behaves whilst browsing the site on mobile. Once you’re ready for the big Google mobile search update you surely want to track your success there are apps and tools which can lend a hand here (including SEMrush, SearchMetrics, Sistrix and more). These have the capability to track keywords, competitors, market keywords. From this information you will be able to establish holes in your site and adapt to favour the mobile market as well as PC’s.
Google’s mobile search update has been on the cards for a while now! Web designers, analysts and site owners finally got the message they had predicted “we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results” as of 21st April. Overnight mobile sites have gone from nice to have to necessity with Google taking no prisoners as if a site is not mobile friendly organic traffic will not be encouraged there.
If you have any concerns and are looking for someone to take care of this, look no further than SEO CoPilot. Call us today and we can take care of all your mobile friendly needs 01246 540 869