Google makes changes and adjustments to the algorithm that ranks websites all the time. Many website owners grumble that the changes are designed to either make money for the designers or to drive the owners insane.
While both may feel true, Google makes the changes to create the best experience for the users. The goal for Google is to provide the most relevant search results that provide the best quality content for the one doing the searching.
The newest changes, that began launching on April 21st, are the attempt of Google to provide the same quality results but specific for mobile device users. Mobile devices became the leading way that people search the internet at the beginning of 2014 (a full two years before most experts predicted that shift would occur). The numbers are sure to continue to rise as mobile devices get smaller, more powerful, and easier to use.
Google sent out mass scale notifications to alert webmasters if a site was not considered mobile-friendly. You can also use the Google mobile-friendly test from the tools to see if your site makes the cut. If it fails, then you have several things that you can do to fix your site and bring it up to the Google mobile-friendly standards.
Top Fixes for Google Mobile Standard Fail
– Upgrade your theme. The skin of your website (the theme) dictates a great deal of what goes on within your website. This includes the mobile-friendly quality of your website. Check to see that your theme is the current release. A simple update of your theme could correct any mobile-friendly issues.
– Change your theme. Some themes will never make the cut. The designers have stopped upgrading and moved on to other projects or created a similar theme that will meet more up and coming needs of the changing internet world (including the Google mobile-friendly tests). Be certain that your current website is backed up before you begin making any changes to your theme. Also remember that a name of a theme does not mean it is mobile-friendly according to Google standards. You should review the theme before making the move and you still need to run the new website through the Google mobile-friendly test.
– Add a plugin. You may not be in a financial position to make a big change. You may not want to go through the hassle of a big change at the moment. No matter what your reason, there are plugins and software specifically designed to fix the mobile-friendly issues of a website. Again, be sure you back up your website before installing new plug-ins or other software that can affect the function of your website.
Google makes changes to make things better, even if it may not feel like it at the time. These recent adjustments to make websites more mobile-friendly have come in the wake of a shift to more mobile device usage. Making the changes necessary to pass the Google mobile-friendly test will be good for your website and your visitors in the end.
“Mobilegeddon” the masses cried when Google announced the mobile-friendly changes it would be making. Sites that passed the mobile-friendly test would be given a higher ranking than sites that were merely responsive or were not optimized in any way for mobile use.
Google did make mention of the fact that the changes were specifically designed for mobile results, but the masses had already cried and few heard the calming words offered up by Google.
Mobile-friendly is a GOOD THING. If your website is not currently mobile-friendly, then you are making it less likely that the largest percentage of users will ever visit your site. More people surf the internet through mobile devices than with any other method.
Mobile-friendly can also be an easy thing. Google has set up an explanation of what makes a website mobile-friendly. Google also offers a test to insure that your website meets the Google requirements.
Top Things to Include in Your Mobile-Friendly Website
1. Create a strong call to action what is displayed front and center of mobile devices. Know what you want visitors to do and ask them to do it when they land on your website.
2. Keep it simple. Clean and precise content that displays on the mobile device will make it more likely that mobile visitors will utilize your site.
3. Keep it short. Remember that answering questions or filling out forms on mobile devices can be more challenging than for laptops and desktops. Minimize the number of fields or offer autofill when possible.
4. Make “home” easy to find and use. Easy navigation is essential for mobile-friendly.
5. Keep it about that initial call to action. Your company may run specials or feature events, but ultimately your website needs to be about that call to action.
6. Make search easy. Keep the search button in an easy to find location.
7. Create a user friendly site. Although it is all about your call to action, it is also all about the visitor. Allow the visitor to use your site before she is forced to commit to the call to action.
8. Offer conversion buttons. Allow information to be easily accessed across platforms or sent to a second platform for use at another time.
9. One or the other. If you are not ready to commit to the mobile-friendly way of life, stick to the traditional website. Avoid mixing in elements of mobile-friendly until you are ready to optimize for mobile users.
10. Avoid making more work for the user. Create a site that will adjust the size of the screen appropriately so that users do not constantly have to adjust the size to get the information needed.
There are a number of things that you can add to your website that will continue to enhance the mobile experience without detracting from the desktop experience. Work with a website designer to discover which elements work best for your company. Embrace the Google mobile-friendly changes and elevate your website for the largest percentage of users today.
Mobile friendly means that your site really needs to be ‘device’ friendly – so be sure to check for tablet/ipad screen sizes too!
Marketing on mobile today is a lucrative way to get your products and/or services in the mind of your customers. But, there are some things that you can do to ensure that mobile marketing works even better for you and your business.
Ensure That Your Website Is Mobile Ready
Don’t just start a mobile marketing campaign without giving some serious thought to whether or not your website and purchasing procedure is ready for mobile. All your email marketing, your website, your blog pages, and shopping cart have to look just as good on a mobile device as they do on the PC. Plus, everything needs to work seamlessly, or people will not come back.
Find Out Whether or Not Your Audience Is On Mobile
While mobile technology is outselling personal computers today, there are some small niches that have an older population. This demographic is less likely to have, use, or even fully understand mobile technology. Therefore, do the research necessary to find out how much your audience is visiting your online real estate using mobile devices. You can see what browsers your audience is using by looking at your analytics.
Make Buying Simple
Fewer choices, bigger buy buttons, and easier check-out procedures that work with a finger on a small mobile screen will improve the chances that your audience members using mobile devices will complete their purchase. The easier and the cleaner the website design, the better. What’s great is this simple type of design works with larger personal computer browsers too.
Create Multi-Browser Websites
Do not bother with “mobile versions” of your website. Everything should be responsive and work well on any device regardless of device and regardless of browser. Building responsive sites is easy today if you use a good website builder like self-hosted WordPress and choose the right mobile ready themes.
Find a Reputable Advertising Service
Test out the different services to find out what will work best for your needs. There are many different services that conduct mobile advertising. You want to be sure you can track results as well as target the right demographic with your advertisements.
Create a Mobile App
Mobile apps are great ways to keep your audience interested. You can run “in app” ads too with a free mobile app. You can offer two versions, paid and free with ads. A lot of people will use the free one, and you can market to them (with permission) your own products and services when they are using the app.
Most mobile marketing applications and programs will offer you the ability to track a lot of things. Be sure that it has the ability to track the items that you want to be able to track. You should know what you want to track based on the goals of your mobile marketing. For example, if you want to track downloads of your free report, it should be able to do that.
Test, Revise, and Repeat
Like most marketing efforts, it’s imperative that you are willing to test, revise on the fly, and repeat as necessary until you get the results that you expect. You also need to be willing to throw out anything that you’re doing that simply is not working and head back to the drawing board.
Marketing to mobile devices is a skill that everyone who wants to have a business needs to learn. Mobile is becoming more popular by the day. The time is now and if you don’t catch up right now, you’re going to leave a lot of money on the table.
Mobile devices are outselling PCs by leaps and bounds. That is going to continue for the foreseeable future. As you make plans for your advertising dollars in 2017, it’s important to take into consideration the effect mobile marketing has on paid advertising. With over two billion consumers using mobile devices, it’s time to pay close attention.
How Is Your Audience Using Mobile?
It’s important to study your audience and find out how many of them are using mobile devices and how this affects the choices you make about where to spend your ad dollars. If your audience uses mobile for search and social media while on the go, or sitting on the couch while watching TV in the evenings, you need to know so that you can place your ad dollars where they need to be placed.
Does Your Audience Use Paid Apps?
Whether or not your audience will use paid apps, and will shop through their paid apps, is a question that should be on your mind. You can create two streams of income, or waste your ad dollars if you don’t answer the question accurately. Many mobile users love to use branded apps to do their shopping and searching. You should know if your audience is counted among them.
How Social Is Your Audience?
If your audience is super social, you may want to spend your ad dollars on social networks using PPC strategically where your audience lives. Mobile and social go hand-in-hand. Most marketers believe that social drives mobile and nothing can be truer than that statement. When you realize this, you’ll spend more ad money on social ads.
When you consider these questions, you quickly realize how much mobile affects paid advertising because without mobile, social might not be as popular. Without those things, mobile wouldn’t be as useful as it has become with increased ability to read and consume content, interact with others, and even make purchases directly from mobile devices.
Your Audience Matters Most
No matter how much mobile is affecting ad dollar expenditures overall, it’s more important to look at your own audience to determine how it affects your business and your ad dollars. If your audience is highly mobile then you best be highly mobile. If they’re not, keep an eye out because more than likely they will be in future. And as the younger audience ages, they’re going to stay mobile.
Keeping aware of the trends and the growth of technology is an important aspect of doing business today. If you want to be successful with your PPC campaigns, know who your audience is, what technology they use, and where they “hang out” and you’ll be that much more successful regardless of any trend.