It is no secret that Google has been piloting what has become known as the Mobile First update that will see a website’s mobile version taken into consideration above its desktop version when calculating rankings. Even though the rise of mobile browsing is far from new, its prominence continues to grow and, even now, many websites are not ready.
With the search engine actually admitting that it has begun to slowly roll out the update, it appears that the way that Google’s algorithm determines its rankings will be changing sooner rather than later. Luckily, for those that operate on a WordPress platform, websites should already be mobile-friendly, thus reducing the effect that the new update will have.
How Can I Tell if my Website is Ready?
There is a simple test that any webmaster can/should do to see whether their website is ready for Mobile First. Simply input your domain name in Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and it will provide a simple yes or no answer.
On top of this, the tool also gives an overview of changes that could be made to improve user experience on the mobile, as well as identifying key areas of development. What better place to turn to find out how you can comply with the new Google update than Google themselves?
What is Mobile-Friendly?
We have all heard the term ‘mobile-friendly’, but what exactly does it mean? What does make a website mobile-friendly? Just some of the feature that improves mobile experience is:
- Small-sized images – larger images take longer to download, which can hamper loading time on a mobile device.
- Limited adverts – have you ever used a website that has been littered with advertisement banners that block the content? This is a big no-no and can result in penalization from Google. While adverts may not be something for anyone that designs a website for a secondary school, other banners can still cause an issue for users.
- Fits on one page – test your website on a mobile device to ensure that all content fits on one page with having to scroll from side-to-side. If your website has this problem, it is likely that the browser is opening a desktop version of your site instead of a mobile version.
- Fits to touch – make sure that your navigation tabs are well-spaced out. Remember that mobile users will be browsing with their fingertips, which could mean that the user could accidentally press the incorrect button through no fault of their own.
- YouTube videos – going back to the point that downloading rich content can take a little longer on mobile devices, embedding YouTube videos is an ideal solution. As far as mobile usability, YouTube’s player is very sleek and easy to use, whereas other players may not be as welcoming on mobile devices.
- Font size – 14px is the optimum font size for a mobile website. Not too big that little text can fit on the screen, but not so small that the user will have to zoom in to read.
The Time Has (Almost) Come:
If you are satisfied that your website chalks off each of the above points, you are ready for the impending Google update, but that doesn’t mean that you should stop testing. Keep in mind that although the Mobile First update is the biggest of its kind, Google does make between 500 and 600 changes to its algorithm every year.
Keep testing and monitoring your website’s performance in terms of rankings, user experience and offsite and you should find yourself surviving Google’s major update.