How to optimize your website for Mobilegeddon
In these days Internet is dominated by smartphones and tablets and there is no other way around it. Since their arrival and mass adoption of Android, iOS and other platforms, share of web traffic coming from mobile devices was constantly increasing, reaching 60% by the 2015.
If your business is dependent of web presence, and we will assume, considering that we live in highly digitalized age, that it is, it would be a sound decision to optimize your website for easier access from mobile devices and thus be safe while you are facing impending Mobilegeddon.
What is the Mobilegeddon?
Although it might sound rather ominous, conjuring up associations of the Judgment Day and the Horsemen of Apocalypse, Mobilegeddon is not “the end of the web as we know it” - a search engine’s natural evolution would be a better term - and this time it came from the Googleplex, California, instead of Megiddo. Since the April 21, 2015, Google started global rollout of the mobile-friendly search engine algorithm update that will effectively boost the ranking of mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results, an event that got the nickname Mobilegeddon.
What are the consequences?
They tend to be drastic, since Google is dominating mobile/tablet search engine market with the overwhelming share of 83.3%. Basically, 46% of 500 Fortune companies and 29% of top retailer sites who are not optimized for mobile access, including your very own, will be pushed aside in favor of mobile-friendly ones. It seems like very unorthodox decision but keep in mind that this way Google is forcing website owners to take steps that will ensure win-win situation, both for them and for users who will get an easier access to websites and thus spend more.
What can you do?
Simple answer would be to go with the flow and make your website mobile-friendly. Here are some advices of how to do that effectively:
- Change the way you write content: Something that works on the 19-inch monitor doesn’t necessarily work on 5-inch touch screen. That’s why you will need to create shorter headlines without actually sacrificing their potential impact. Your writing should be summarized and digestible in one sitting, considering the average user’s short attention span and aversion to long texts without paragraphs and internal headlines. Reconsider your methodology for creating content and in addition to making it interesting and usable try to make that content word efficient, blogs excluded.
- Design touch-friendly interface: Instead of going for mobile URLs and dynamic serving, you should go for the responsive web design, so start the work by figuring out what content is important to your visitors, because, you will obviously have to make some cuts and put less interesting things in the second plan. Statistic says that 50% of visitors will abandon your web site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load it on their phone or tablet, so try making it as data-efficient and simple as possible. Give enough space for the thumb to operate, provide feedback when screen is touched for users with slower connection and redesign drop-down menus to be activated with a tap.
- Don’t try to please everyone: Mobile device is a term that covers everything with the screen size of 3 and all the way up to 10 inches with various combinations of aspect ratios and resolutions, so you are forced to take many variables into equation while designing your mobile page layout. Instead of trying to make it look good on absolutely every device, find out, through Google Analytics, what is the common screen size people use on your site and commit to them.
- Improve mobile web optimization status: Even If you think your website is mobile-ready it’s important to do mobile SEO examination so Google can correctly identify your mobile content. You can do that by validating website with Google’s mobile-friendly test tool, for the start. Check the Crawl Error report (“Smartphone” tab to be more precise) to see if smartphone crawler stumbled on some problems, such as blocking of areas that should be indexed and your page not being found, during the crawl through your website. If needed, engage in some IT training programs that can help you understand the newest trends in web based technologies.
- Access mobile web search visibility and traffic behavior: Identify top queries and top pages with mobile search filter of the Search Query report in Google Webmaster Tools to determine are the queries and pages in mobile search same as those in desktop search, are your mobile users searching in the same manner as desktop users and which search queries and pages are trending in traffic and rankings. All these information will help you to establish firm mobile SEO strategy, continuously improve web presence and get an advantage over competition.
All of these methods will help you to face the Mobilegeddon on your feet and ready for fighting. While someone considers Google’s policy towards mobile-friendly pages a bad thing, you should think ahead of the curve and look at it as an opportunity you don’t want to miss.
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