What You Need to Know About the Mobile Update
What was the mobile update?
The mobile update was launched on April 21, 2015 by Google and targeted sites that were not mobile-friendly. Unlike most other updates, marketers and site owners had a warning several weeks in advance that the update was going to take place, giving them the opportunity to make sure their site was compliant before the update went live.
Under the new mobile update, sites that are not mobile-friendly will have their rankings penalized. This ensures that mobile users receive results that will work well with their devices, improving the user experience.
Why was the mobile update valuable?
The mobile update was in response to the growing prevalence of mobile in the lives of users. The year 2015 actually also saw the number of searches on mobile pass the number of searches on desktop. Customers are also increasingly using mobile for everything from searches to shopping-- mobile is now an estimated 30 percent of all U.S. e-commerce.
How to avoid a mobile-update penalty
The key to avoiding a mobile-update penalty is ensuring that your site complies with Google’s guidelines for mobile sites. You can test how mobile-friendly your site is by using Google’s mobile-friendly test, which will tell you if you have a compliant design.
In general, these are the points you need to cover in a mobile website:
- Have a mobile-friendly layout. This can be achieved with either a responsive design website, which will automatically configure itself to fit the size of the device it is on, or it can be done with designated mobile website.
- Make sure that all of the videos on your site are compatible with mobile devices.
- If you are using a designated mobile site, make sure that you do not have any faulty redirects and that every page on your desktop site corresponds with a mobile page.
- Make sure your pages do not appear as 404s for users on mobile
- Do not use interstitials or overlays that cover portions of the intended content, as they can be very challenging to get rid of on mobile devices.
- If you use a mobile version of your website, make sure that links on the pages link to other pages of the mobile site
- Make sure the content is readable and usable for mobile users. This means not using a small font size and making sure any touch buttons are spaced far apart and easy to use with fingers.
- Think about the purpose of your visitor on mobile and design the page for their use. If your visitors often use mobile to look up your phone number or address, make this information easy for people to find on the front page.
Creating a mobile-friendly website is critical in the age of the mobile update, but it is a valuable part of any marketing strategy. It improves your ability to engage with users on-the-go. With an increasing number of visitors using mobile devices for search and shopping, sites that are hard to use on mobile can lose you customers regardless of the update. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly today.