Was Your Business Prepared for Google’s Mobilegeddon? It’s Not Too Late.
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / file404 If you just read the title of this article and wondered what that was referring to, your business website might be in trouble. Last week Google enacted what it had been threatening to do for weeks – start penalizing websites that were not mobile-friendly. What was Mobilegeddon? April 21st marked that day for mobile. Google drew a line in the sand and told the world after that day businesses who didn’t share the love with mobile users would be penalized. It was supposed to be cataclysmic. A week in and here’s what Moz saw. It appears Google’s threats were not quite as large as expected. But here’s the thing about Google. Google makes good on its promises. If it says it will penalize sites, it will. Google likes to do things on Google time, not ours, or even the one they communicated to us. How to Ensure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly First, check your site using Google’s tool. Enter your URL and it will let you know within a few seconds whether your site is in compliance. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly If your site was not labeled mobile-friendly, you have some work to do. Some of the solutions are easy to do on your own while others may be best done by a designer. Only you know your limitations. For sites that missed the original deadline, Google seems to be processing latecomers quickly, some in as little as 24 hours post change. Select a Mobile-Friendly Theme If you have a very basic website built on a WordPress theme, you could opt to switch it out to a mobile-friendly design. Do not do this if you have spent a lot of time building out your theme or having customized design work performed. Do this only if you have a simple layout and had been looking for a reason to change it up a bit. Ditch the Links Links are very difficult to click on a phone, especially if there are several close together. Opt for buttons instead. If you have to use links, space them out from one another. A list of links in a column is a mobile-user’s nightmare. Increase the Font Size Screens are smaller on phones. Don’t make your audience do a lot of pinching and stretching to read your content. Fonts should be at least 16 point and content should be abbreviated to the essential information. Most people don’t want to read War and Peace on a mobile screen. Avoid Flash You may have a hotshot designer who was all about the Flash but software like that is not common on mobile phones. It won’t operate properly, or load, so don’t use it no matter what the cool factor is. This directive from Google is larger than wanting to improve the mobile-user’s experience. This is a big push towards mobile-first design, which speaks to the possibility of mobile sites having an advantage over time. This makes sense because of the growing popularity of mobile devices and the sharp increase in use for accessing information. Google will do everything within its power to get businesses to comply to its mobile directive. If you know anything about Google, you know its power is substantial. Comply today or comply after it affects your page ranking. Your choice. Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and Memberclicks. She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.