Google’s Mobile Friendly Update – Are You Ready?
I’ve received a bunch of emails from people asking me about Google’s newest update coming on April 21st.
The most popular questions I’ve been asked is:
- How is this going to affect my website?
- Will this affect my rankings?
- What do I need to do?
So let’s get into this and let me answer these questions for you, plus I’ll provide you will some great resources to get your site ready for this new update.
Ok So What’s Happening On April 21st?
Here’s what was announced on Google’s central blog
Starting April 21, 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. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
In a nutshell this means that Google is going to be using the mobile friendliness of a website as a ranking signal. As well as using more indexed content from apps in the search results.
So How Does This Affect Your Online Business?
It can’t be a huge surprise to you that more and more people are using mobile devices within the search market. In fact the mobile search market is now at 80%. And growing.
This graphic form Smart Insights shows the most popular devices used to search the internet as well as the emerging devices used to search the internet.
So looking at this information this tells you that more and more people will find your website through a mobile device.
And if your site is NOT mobile friendly people will simply find another site. And that means you could be losing sales. And you want to avoid that from happening.
How Much Mobile Traffic Are You Getting?
If you’re receiving a large amount of mobile traffic and your site is not mobile friendly you need to get your house in order before this update.
If not this update can have a significant impact on your business.
Now with that said if your site is getting very little mobile traffic having your site ready for this update is not as urgent. Simply because it will not have a huge affect on your business.
Yes make sure you still update your site as soon as possible, but don’t panic if your not ready by April 21st.
Here’s How To Find Your Mobile Traffic
I know a lot of people have no idea how much mobile traffic their site(s) are getting. But it’s something you can easily check within Google analytics.
Log into your Google Analytics account.
In the sidebar under Audience click on Mobile and then Overview. There you will see the percentages for mobile.
I took a screenshot of a newer site of mine and 48% of my traffic comes from mobile.
I didn’t take a screenshot but I also clicked on Devices just for curiosity. You’ll see Devices in the sidebar under Overview.
And it shows me that 33.48% of my mobile users are on iPhones. The next closest was the Apple iPad at 9.98%. Just some fun facts that you can check out for your site..
How Much Will Your Sites Ranking Be Affected?
Google’s Zineb Ait Bahajji who is working as the Webmaster Trends Analyst for Google in Zurich said at SMX Munich that there will be NO impact on your sites desktop rankings.
However when it comes to mobile search Zineb was quoted saying:
That the upcoming mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that will launch on April 21st will have more of an impact on Google’s search results than the Google Panda update and the Google Penguin update did
So this update will ONLY impact mobile results – but it will have a bigger impact than Panda or Penguin.
So What Do You Need To Do?
There are a few very simple steps you can take to make sure your site is ready for the update on April 21st.
First thing to do is check and see if your site is mobile to begin with.
And to do that all you have to do is go to Google’s Mobile Friendly Testing Tool.
Just enter your site URL and then click Analyze and if your site is mobile friendly you’re good to go. If not then you need to change your websites theme to a mobile responsive theme.
There a tons of responsive themes available. Simply do a seach in Google for Responsive WordPress Themes. Personally I use themes from Studio Press and the Thesis theme.
Ok maybe the thought of changing your theme is more then overwhelming. Hey I get that. There is a workaround.
You can use a mobile plugin for your wordpress website. There are many mobile plugins that you can use most are free and most come with an upgrade option. You’ll find that most free versions do the job very nicely.
Now I’m not a big fan of using too many plugins on any website simply because they can slow your site down big time and the load time of your site will affect your sites ranking.
On a side note when it comes to plugins on of the more popular plugins call Jetpack is one of the worst plugins you can use on your site.
In a second I share a resource for you to check your sites speed.
Ok back to our regular scheduled posting.
And the other issues with plugins is they can cause conflicts within your site. Simply because some plugin don’t play well with others.
So it’s best to get in the habit of testing plugins before using them. And you can do this using a test site.
To find a mobile plugin simply do a search in Google for WordPress Mobile Plugins.
Two of the most popular mobile plugins are:
If you want to see how your site looks on mobile devices well of course you can simply go onto your mobile device or smartphone and type in your sites URL.
Or you can use what’s called a Mobile Emulator on your desktop. Just choose the device you want see what your site looks like on, and then type in your websites URL. Easy peezy.
Remember I mention that teh speed of your site is also a ranking indicator for Google?
So now you want to head over to Google’s Page Speed Insights Tool
This tool will give you a sense of how fast your site is on mobile devices and it will also provide you with recommendations for any fixes your site may need.
Next Go To Your Webmaster Tool
Log into your webmaster tools area and head to the Mobile Usability Report area.
Here you can check your website for any specific issues that webmaster tools is showing for specific pages and then make the appropriate fixes if needed.
Also check your messages while you’re there. Google is sending out notification through WMT for sites that do not meet the mobile friendliness requirements.
Stay Up To Date
There’s so much to do when building your business, you’re motoring along and then bam there’s an update and you’re like “What update!!? No one told me about an update”
Hey you’re not alone most people find out about most updates that can seriously affect their business after the update has happened. And now they’re playing catch up.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll know my best recommendation to be ahead of the curve as an online marketer is within the Wealthy Affiliate community.
Not only do have the exact steps for building a thriving online business at your finger tips. Because of the size of our community and the depth of experts within all aspects on being online.
We usually know about any major updates within days if not hours of these updates being announced. Including the resources to be ready for that update.
And because of that, all of my websites are very successful because they comply with everything google wants a site to comply with.
Believe me having that pressure and stress taken out of being an online marketer is worth the price of my membership ten fold.
I hope you found this post helpful. If so, feel free to share it with your audience, and if you have any questions or comments please leave them below.
I believe in you!!