Five tips to prepare for April’s Google algorithm update
As promised in our March Radio Roundup, we’re going to delve a little deeper into this month’s Google algorithm update.
So what exactly is going on, and when?
On April 21st, Google has announced that they will be rolling out an algorithm change that favours sites which are mobile-friendly. This means that websites that are responsive or have a good mobile site will not be effected by the change.
A responsive website is a site that can be viewed on any size screen – from iPhone to laptop, 32″ desktop to tablet. Essentially, a responsive site knows what it’s being viewed on and changes accordingly, think of it as some sort of digital chameleon.
Sites that are not responsive or mobile friendly by the time the 21st rolls around, will likely see a drop in Google mobile SERPs, definitely not something you’ll want to see after all that hard work you’ve put in!
How do I know if I’m mobile-friendly?
That’s pretty simple – Google yourself! Use your phone to search for yourself in Google and see what happens – if there is a grey “mobile friendly” label next to your meta description, then job’s a good’n. If not, you’ve got quite a bit of work to do in these next few days!
But enough with the waffling, you guys want to know how to make your site the ultimate in mobile buddy, right? Here are our top five tips for doing just that.
1. Keep content short and sweet
With users now browsing and searching from their mobiles more than ever, attention spans are also shorter. I mean, who wants to read a 1000 word article on their smart phone? Nobody, is who. Make sure content is either straight to the point or so good that your reader will save it for later. Remember that a mobile friendly site should be made with thumbs in mind – if you can prevent some sort of RSI when your customers are browsing, you’re onto a winner.
2. Make sure content is playable
Some content is not available on a smart phone or tablet. From licensed restricted media or anything that requires Flash – they just ain’t gonna work. Be sure that any content on site is accessible from any device or operating system to make yourself available to everyone.
3. Fast mobile page-speeds
It’s the same deal as with your desktop site – make sure your page speed can keep up with Gonzales and Google will love you. You can check your page speed with Google PageSpeed Insights.
4. Redirects that work
If you’re not going responsive, it’s important that your redirects are not faulty and go where they need to. If you do have separate mobile URLs, be thorough with your checks that each desktop URL redirects to the mobile one with ease.
5. Go responsive
The most fool-proof tip of all – make that site responsive. As we’ve already said, doing this will make your site accessible on every platform and will mean that your content is available for everyone to see. Google themselves recommend responsive design, which makes us wonder whether or not these sites will be favoured in the update, but we won’t know until the end of the month.
Go any more questions about this month’s update? Send us your questions on our Facebook page!