Mobilegeddon is upon us. Are you prepared?
In a study recently released by TechCrunch, the Fortune 500's websites were crawled to see if they would pass the sniff test with Google's mobile-friendly algorithm update - A shocking 44% flat out failed.
If you are new to this conversation, you should know that you basically have a week before Google releases this update, to rival the likes of Penguin and the formidable Panda. Still lost? I can give you a link to the timeline of Google algorithms and the impact they've had on SEO rankings everywhere, but to summarize, Google is closing the loopholes that allowed certain websites and agencies to reign supreme during the internet's infancy, and they're raising the bar for quality standards.
To give you a little perspective, between Panda and Penguin, more than 20% of all websites have been negatively impacted by their updates - and they ROCKED the SEO industry to the core.
If the TechCrunch study is any indicator - this new update is going to change EVERYTHING.
So, batten down the hatches, roll up your sleeves and let me help you make the transition to total mobile responsive design - or watch your rank disintegrate.
In a study recently conducted by both Google and Bing, nearly half of all search queries are coming from mobile devices, and the numbers are growing. No wonder they care so much.
Number 1: Your Website
Google has committed itself to supporting the mobile revolution by declaring your site more favorable if you have mobile style sheets - meaning, your website reconfigures itself based on the dimensions of your mobile device. Hold your phone vertically, horizontally, or view it on a tablet - the website responds and adjusts to fit into one screen while keeping your text large enough to read.
Not sure? Check your site out on your phone. Not sure how to fix it? You may need a complete website redesign. There are tools out there that will short-cut the process for you and help you keep what you already have in existence. WordPress has mobile style sheets, and the Hubspot COS (which is what I use) automatically includes these. I actually didn't have to do anything for this particular aspect.
Number 2: Your Emails
Have you ever looked at an email on your cell phone that was clearly only meant for your desktop or vice versa? It's really annoying. You have to zoom out to use the page features and menu, but then it's impossible to read or accurately push any buttons. 80% of your readers will delete a difficult-to-read email that they access from their mobile device, and that covers about half of those who read your emails.
If you're using an email software service like Mail Chimp, it IS possible to create responsive emails, but from what I understand, you have to do some coding. But there are others out there...
If you're like me though, I'd rather spend a little extra on software than a programmer to do the work for me, because I like the creative side to be able to manipulate the technology, not the other way around. Hubspot actually has this option as part of their email template options. I personally didn't discover it until somewhat recently, and have since gone back and revised ALL of my automated emails, including blog notifications, to include the responsive option. It's super easy, and my readers have already started clicking more of my emails.
1) This is what it looks like as a "basic" non-responsive email:
Notice how the logo is cut off, as is everything else? If you have to scroll to the right when looking at it from your phone, it's not responsive.
Landscape doesn't look much better.
2) Taking corrective action:
3) Hit publish, and you're home free!
It SHOULD be that easy!
Having the right tools to get the job done should be a top priority. Google isn't trying to make life difficult for you, but rather, they're trying to make surfing the internet a better experience. You probably delete non-responsive emails all the time, and bounce from non-responsive websites just as often.
On April 21st, 2015, things are going to change, and you're going to be on one side of the fence or the other. Being mobile-optimized is going to be just about the most important SEO strategy you execute this year - which will be the difference between those who achieve high organic search query rankings and those who continue to spam their way into obscurity.
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