The 21st of April is now upon us and I think it’s fair to say that we’ve done our best to stress the importance of ensuring your website is ready for the launch of Google’s new mobile-friendly algorithm, dubbed ‘Mobilegeddon’! Google Mobile-friendly Algorithm Bomb!
In case you are still not sure as to why or how this will affect you and your website, we have put together a list of questions that some of our clients have asked us and we hope it will give you a clearer understanding of the importance of this algorithm update and why it is now vital that your site is mobile-friendly.
If you’re still confused after reading through our Q&A below, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and we’ll do our very best to answer all of your questions and hopefully alleviate your fears! You can get in touch.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at what Google are up to and how it’s going to affect your website over the coming weeks…
How do I find out if my website is mobile friendly?
You can test if your website is mobile-friendly using Google’s official test tool here.
Google Webmaster Tools have also introduced new features that allow you to test your website for mobile optimisation. This will highlight and warn you of any pages that aren’t optimised for mobile and can even send you full reports on the mobile-usability of your site.
The results are binary and your site will either pass or fail, there is no grey area.
Another quick way to test your site’s mobile-friendliness is to look for the mobile-friendly label (which is displayed under the URL) on mobile search results.
This label was introduced a few months ago to help users identify which sites are mobile-friendly and which aren’t (pictured).
Ok, so what exactly is this all about?
As you probably know, there has been an exponential growth in the use of mobile devices over the last few years and more and more people are visiting websites using their smartphones. Google, being Google, simply wish to ensure that all mobile users who click through their search results receive both a fully functional and user-friendly experience, whatever device they visit your site from.
So when we ask if your site is mobile-friendly, we’re not referring to whether your site is visible on a mobile screen or not – virtually any website will display on a phone screen.
However, to be mobile-friendly your website must offer the key functionality that you’d offer to your desktop visitors but optimised to be viewed on a smaller screen; ensuring users don’t have to zoom in or out and ensuring that they don’t struggle to navigate around your site.
In essence, you’re providing your visitors with solid browsing experience whether they visit your site via their desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.
I get lots of mobile traffic, what will happen to my site?
Although the algorithm begins rolling out on the 21st of April, it will probably take around a week or so before it’s analysed and re-evaluated your website, so you probably won’t notice any drastic changes immediately.
It’s key to note that your site will still appear on mobile searches as of Tuesday the 21st and for the foreseeable future, but if you choose not to optimise your site for mobile you’ll likely to start noticing a drop in your site’s rankings and subsequently a significant decrease in your traffic as the algorithm kicks in.
Whether or not the majority of your traffic is mobile-based or not, it would still be prudent to consider how you’re going to approach mobile optimisation.
Our advice would be the responsive route, as Google likes responsive websites. It is less work for their crawlers, as they don’t have to crawl multiple sites for you. By using responsive, you’ll increase your crawling efficiency and help Google to index more of your content and hopefully drive more organic traffic to your website.
How will this affect my website on desktop Google search?
Optimising your website for mobile will have absolutely no effect on how your website displays on a desktop. Here at 22PointSix our website uses responsive technology so the pages you’re viewing at the moment will respond to the size screen you are viewing them on.
In regards to your website’s Google search rankings on desktop searches, this algorithm update will have absolutely no effect on where you appear. However, in the future this could very well change, so be sure to keep that in mind!
Do I need a new website?
Your website may already be suitable for mobile adjustments to simply be made to it, or you may want to take the opportunity to re-evaluate your current content marketing strategy, your page content navigational structure and content management platform to ensure your website maximises your online presence in the current marketplace. In other words, you may want to take this opportunity to build and introduce a new website and go mobile-friendly at the same time.
How quickly can you fix my website?
Your website’s existing build, structure and platform will determine the complexity and thus length of time it will take to make the necessary changes to introduce a mobile-friendly version.
It may be a case of applying some mobile-friendly fixes and adjusting what is already in place with a refreshed design, or it may be more cost-effective (and quicker) to just rebuild the website with a newer, more up to date content management system like our WordPress.
How do I find out how if my traffic comes from mobile devices?
This depends if you currently have website tracking and analytical software (i.e. Google Analytics) set up for your website. If you do have Google Analytics tracking your web traffic, you can learn how to compare desktop and mobile traffic here.
If you don’t, or you’re still not sure how to, we would be happy to assist you and have a look at your current site and evaluate it over a short period to help determine the percentage of mobile visits versus desktop traffic.
These analytical reports give you a great insight to your website and can indicate site visits, demographics and user behaviour too.
We use Google Analytics, which you may already have, if so, you’ll need access to the account to be able to view the statistics it’s accruing. Alternatively, we would be more than happy to have a look at your data and help you analyse it. Or help you implement the tracking codes required if you don’t use it yet.
Is there anything I can do myself to help fix it?
We would suggest making use of the Google’s testing tools mentioned earlier in the article as a matter of urgency. This way you will have more of an idea of where your site may be failing in regards to mobile-friendliness.
If you are not sure how or where to begin with evaluating your site, our team are more than happy to give you a free evaluation of your site to help you understand if your site is going to be affected by the dreaded mobilegeddon algo update.
However, don’t worry if it’s bad news, here at 22PointSix we’re specialists at building professional, mobile-friendly websites at prices that may just surprise you. Take a look at our web packages here or get in touch with the team today on 0330 332 3022.