There are very high chances that you would be seeing this post on a mobile phone and if not it’s okay, you still are valuable to me. A lot of buzzes is going around on mobile friendliness and I myself have started focusing on this factor. This post will cover all major factor(s) directly or indirectly affecting the mobile friendliness of a blog/site, tools to upscale & manage the mobile friendliness of your blog/site.
So let’s get started with the topic.
Reason to have a mobile friendly site(s)
As google has confirmed that more than 60% of searches are made through a mobile device in 10 countries including US & Japan. Hence it becomes really important to focus on the mobile version of your blog/site more than the web version. However, the web version is also equally important but mobile version has the upper hand this time.
Google published a note mentioning starting from 21st April 2015, mobile friendliness became one of the factors affecting the ranking of the website. Even google is directly emphasizing on mobile friendliness, hence it’s of utter importance to maintain the guidelines strictly. The business is mobile now, where ever you go and whenever you want.
Google itself gave a really well in advance notice to get your pages go mobile-friendly. This has never happened. This is what makes this update the biggest (bigger than panda & penguin) affecting more than 15% of search queries. Websites that are not mobile-friendly end up being ignored by readers as they have to pinch zoom to read the content which is really frustrating for them.
What’s in the mobile-friendly update from google?
Real-time search algorithms: This means that your blog will be crawled automatically. And the changes that are necessary for declaring a page “mobile friendly” are recorded and that page is instantly labeled as “mobile-friendly” eliminating the need of getting the pages crawled to index the updates. Once you implement the changes across all the pages all you have to do it wait for the (re)crawl to happen and if it meets the guidelines laid by google then your blog/site will be labeled as “mobile-friendly”
Run page-by-page benefits: This means that if your blog/site has 20 pages and out of those only 15 are mobile-friendly then in that case only those 15 will be benefitted. By this, what I mean is that the algorithm is at the page level and not the website as a whole. It’s highly recommended that going 100% mobile-friendly is of at most importance. One important thing here to note is that the mobile-friendly update in the algorithm has nothing to do with the web version of your blog i.e. your traffic through PC/tablets will stay intact and only the mobile traffic will see a drop.
Tips for compliance
- Run the check: With the update rolling out and affecting in full fledge manner. The check for mobile-friendliness is promoted too. There are various tools to test the factor.
- Google test tools: There are two major test tools (both from google) Think with google & Search Console
- Bing test tool: One cannot ignore the fact that even bing holds certain percentage of users for their searches. Bing is powerful enough and has ample number of reasons to use it over google. So here is the Bing testing tool and webmaster to track your website on their search engine.
- Responsive web design: A responsive design is highly needed to take care of most of the factors affecting the friendliness of your blog/site. As the responsive design automatically reshapes it depending upon the screen size. A reponsive design also adheres to dynamic URL which means that there exists no seperate URLs for mobile and web version (this is one major scale determining the friedliness). Hence be very choosy in selecting the theme for your blog/site, test it really well after publishing.
- Manage your site elements: How & what needs to be updated/edited on your blog to get the most of the update and reach maximum audience on mobile. Following are the tweeks that needs your immediate attention.
- Apart from blocking JS, CSS & image files, avoid common mistakes
- Videos should play without flash player, strictly without flash player.
- Let users read the contnet without forcing them to perform certains tasks for your benefits. Check here google help page
- Page load time should be increased. Check the load time of your site here
- Tools for AMP-fying your blog/site: AMP is new ecosystem created by google for mobile users. Which instantly loads the piece of information (on average users quits the site if the page doesn’t load within 3 seconds) and this ecosystem is solely dedicated to bring power to reader on mobile. There are two tools for instantly implementing AMP on wordpress blog/site.
- Enable Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) on your WordPress site: This plugin is official from wordpress team. Once downloaded and activated you have nothing to do and just to check the effectiveness by adding a suffix “/amp/” in any of your post and that’s it. Your blog/site is AMP-fied.
- AMP for WP – Accelerated Mobile Pages: This plugin is from top rated theme developer on wordpress and is really really powerful. The only difference between the defualt plugin and this add on plugin is that with only default plugin active your site has very dull and dry layout and has no header image, no footer, no branding. Once you install this add on plugin (it activates automatically) your header, footer, sharing buttons and branding starts appearing just like web version, but this time its AMP-fied and mobile friendly.
To end the topic here are some FAQs that would be of great help. Mobile SEO is taking a lot of attention now & mobile frindly websites are more focussed on. However focusing only on mobile-friendliness is not at all advisable and neglecting web version will result in serious drop in bounce rate, session time, visitors, page views and all such factors.
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