Is Your Blog Ready for Google’s Mobile Mandate?

April 20, 2015
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Written by Erika Sevigny 

On April 21st, 2015, Google will roll out one of their largest, most impactful algorithm updates targeting mobile search results.

The update is designed to favor sites that have taken the time, money and effort to create an impeccable mobile experience for users and reward them with preferential organic search rankings on mobile devices.

This update has been a long time coming and Google has been notifying webmasters well in advance of the planned update for months through Google Webmaster Tools and significant publicity.

Will Your Blog Be Affected?

Luckily, determining whether your site is ready to weather the update (or even potentially see an improvement in search traffic as a result!) is simple and straightforward: visit https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ and type in your URL.

If your site passes the test, you can sit back, relax and hope that you jump up a few places in organic search when sites that are outranking you are penalized for not being mobile-friendly.

If your site doesn’t pass the test, the first thing a blogger should consider doing is evaluating what the potential risk of lost traffic will be when the algorithm update hits by seeking to understand how much of their overall traffic is from organic search on mobile devices.

To do this, log in to Google Analytics and take a look at the past 30 days. Navigate to the Audience tab, then Mobile and Overview. This will show you what percentage of your traffic is accessing your blog from each type of device. Next, put the “Organic Search” segment on the data.

What remains is the traffic that may be lost in the event that your site is not mobile-friendly by April 21st.  If this traffic represents a large portion of your blog’s readership, take the steps today to find a mobile solution.

Why Is Google Making This Update?

The most important thing bloggers need to keep in mind when thinking about Google and Search Engine Optimization is the fact that every move Google makes is to maintain their market share and cater to their ultimate end users.

Their ultimate end users are not the publishers that create content online. And they’re not the businesses that buy search and display ads.

Their end users are the people conducting searches on a day-to-day basis, helping Google remain the go-to site for finding valuable information online.

Google’s goal is to provide the best, most accurate answers to the people searching, as quickly and as enjoyably as possible.

If you keep this in mind while creating content for your blog and making decisions about site usability, you’ll reap the rewards of improved organic search rankings and consistent traffic to your site.

4 Simple SEO Best Practices to Remember

When dealing with SEO for your blog, be sure to think like Google does and keep the end user (your readers!) at the top of your priority list for each post.

To do so, remember to follow these four basic SEO best practices:

  • >>Use everyday language throughout your posts. When people search, they do so in the simplest, most basic way so as to get the best quality results. If you talk about your topic in simple, everyday language, you’ll automatically cater to this desire.
  • >>Use headings and sub-headings to break up text in your posts. Your articles will format in a more easily digestible way for mobile users and your readers won’t be intimidated by giant blocks of text on your page.
  • >>Create a mixture of long and short-form content. While a 2000+ post may not be an option everyday, studies hae shown that longer, more in-depth content content performs better in organic search because there is a wider variety of long-tail keyword phrases and Google views the content as thorough and well-done.
  • >>Keep mobile users in mind. Mobile users will be seeing less of your blog when they hit a post – consider using more calls to action throughout and encouraging social sharing at the beginning and end of the post, linking to posts in your archive throughout, and including images to help tell the story in a visually engaging way. All of these things will contribute to user satisfaction, which signals to Google that your content is high-quality, yielding higher rankings and increased traffic.

Is your blog ready for a more mobile web? Take the steps today to make sure it is!

About the Author: Erika Sevigny is a lifestyle blogger and Digital Marketing Specialist from St. Louis, Missouri. She’s a passionate believer in the power of connecting people through compelling storytelling and has been helping brands and small businesses leverage online media to do just that for the past four years. When she’s not working, you’ll find her tasting every craft beer in city of St. Louis, attempting to figure out her DSLR, or sharing her own story through her lifestyle blog, All Things E.

 

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