“Mobilegeddon.” The biggest Google update since Panda and Penguin.
There is a new Google update arriving on April 21, and this time around it is a large one that’s pretty important for every website owner to know about. This particular update focuses on mobile content and mobile access for searchers, and if your website is not mobile-friendly, it is likely to suffer some serious consequences.
In this blog, I’m going to look at the top ways you can prepare your content for this mobile update, helping you stay on the good side of Google so your site doesn’t get de-ranked in this big major update.
11 Ways to Make Your Content Ready for Mobile Users
Here are the top ways to make your mobile content phenomenal for your readers AND satisfy Google’s new update.
1. You MUST have a mobile friendly site. This is also called “responsive” or “adaptive design.” If your designer or developer hasn’t done it yet, I’m serious: pick up the phone and dial them right now. You, my friend, need a mobile site.
First, because Google is claiming to de-rank ALL sites that are not mobile with their update. I don’t want that to happen to you.
Next, let’s actually think of the viewer’s experience. When people view content on their mobile devices, they don’t want to have to squint when reading it. You don’t want to make your font overly large from the beginning, but you do want it to be a decent size to be viewed on a mobile screen. However, you should also make your content easy to make larger. If you have a smartphone or tablet, think about a time you needed to see the page clearer – you use your fingers and zoom in to make the font and content larger. This is what you want your content to be able to do, and it needs to be able to be easily zoomed in without distortion of images, videos, or text. Your webmaster should be able to make your site mobile-friendly.
2. Responsive Vs. Adaptive: Two Options For Your Website. A great way to prepare your content is to make sure you already have a conversion plan in mind and use one that will benefit your site. There are two different ones, adaptive and responsive design. Adaptive can help figure out which device a client is using, and adapt to that format, and responsive can help adapt to all sizes of mobile screens. Doing my research, it looks like responsive seems to be the better method. It is cheaper, and Google also prefers it, according to Search Engine Land. Responsive design allows for you to use proper SEO for your mobile site, and gives you the opportunity to reach a wide range of people no matter their device or screen size. While adaptive seems like it would be preferable, HubSpot does point out that responsive will immediately adapt to future devices. You can find responsive design plugins on some hosting sites or you can find mobile site professionals that can help you make the switch.
3. Always Monitor that Your Website’s Navigation is Easy and Stress-free. This is important whether it is on your desktop site or mobile. Navigation is a big part of user experience (UX), and you want to make sure UX is top notch. Google has already implemented UX into its algorithms, and it will be even more important once the mobile update is live. UX incorporates many facets from the usability of your site to the content you’ve written, and navigation is a big part of usability. Make sure it is easy for your customers to navigate on your mobile site to help make a better UX for all involved. This will help rank with Google and help you keep bringing clients back to your site from their smartphones or tablets.
4. Create a Mobile App for Your Business and Website. An excellent way to get your content to adapt to mobile and have an excellent mobile presence is to not only update your site, but also to create a mobile app. Mobile apps are a great way to get your company out there and make it more visible to your clients. Once they download it, it will be there on their phone, being a constant reminder of your business and services. It can also help you stand out from the competition, especially in industries that don’t focus too much on mobile marketing. There is an excellent article on All Business Experts that details how you can create your own mobile app from scratch to help leverage your company and get more results from your mobile campaign! Don’t get too overwhelmed about a mobile app, take a bit to sit down and think it over because you don’t want to miss out on this awesome opportunity.
5. Consider Using QR Codes for Products. You know those funny looking square, pixelated boxes you see on products and coupons? Those are QR codes and are great ways to link offline content to a mobile device. It can allow people to access deals on products or share information about a product after they’ve received it. QR codes are excellent for marketing, and you can do many things with them from engaging your clients to giving more product information, and many other awesome marketing ideas.
Now, let’s look at actual mobile content improvements you can make:
6. Create Different Lengths of Content. When it comes to the content length wars, longer content is always the best idea for your long-form blogs and resource pages. Research shows that people prefer longer content because they love getting in-depth information and often feel a longer piece is more trustworthy.
However, when it comes to mobile content, you want to have varying lengths especially on your main pages to let people choose the length they want to read. Short content is easier to consume on mobile because many people are reading while on the subway or bus for their work commute or while they are on lunch.
You don’t want to make all content short, though because readers might still read a longer piece on their mobile device, and you will still have desktop traffic.
7. Repurpose Longer Content into Mobile-size Bites. Obviously, you will want to keep writing your lengthier content, so what can you do to make it easier to consume for mobile users? A great way is to repurpose larger content into smaller pieces. This can be in a series of shorter blog posts, breaking the larger piece down point-by-point, creating infographics, podcasts, or making video content based off of it. If you want to go the blog route, you can always start a blog series that aims to focus on shorter content. This can help direct your mobile users to those blog posts and your desktop readers to the lengthier piece if they prefer. Giving people options is a great way to help broaden your reach, engaging more people than ever.
8. Focus On Using Images and Videos for Mobile Users. Images are a big part of web content , whether on social media or your website, and they are just as important for mobile users. They can help provide a connection for the reader, and, if you use infographics, can help create excellent content. Videos are much the same and provide people with the ability to watch a story or idea while on break instead of reading. Make images and videos available to your clients, giving them a better chance at consuming your content while on smartphones and tablets.
9. Make it Easy to Share Your Content on Social Media. The one thing about having mobile content is that it is much easier for a person to share on social media. This is simply because they are already on their mobile phone and just a finger-tap away from accessing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social channels. Because of this, you need to make sure you have social sharing buttons clearly defined for your readers. This will make it significantly easier to share your content as soon as they’ve read, listened, or watched it.
10. Use Social Media. If you weren’t sold on whether or not social media was important for your business, now is the time to realize it is. When people are on their mobile devices, chances are their browsing through their social media timelines be it Twitter, Facebook, or another social channel. This means that you have a prime chance to reach out to them while they are browsing and share relevant articles, as well as your web pages and blogs. This can increase your site engagement, as well as help your articles get shared more. Yes, people can share your content directly from browsing your site, but they might be more willing to do so if they were already on the specific social channel.
Finally, one last tip I thought I’d throw in (although everyone probably knows this by now):
11. Don’t Use Flash (Ever). Flash can be okay on desktop sites because computers are able to process and download Flash data quickly. Flash data on mobile is tricky, however. First of all, many mobile devices don’t use or support Flash for various reasons. Secondly, if the device does support it, it will still take a while for it to download on the phone. You don’t want your page to take too long to load when people access it, but especially when it comes to your mobile site. Just think about when you use your smartphone to access web pages – you probably get a little fidgety the longer it takes to download, even if it is only a few seconds longer than normal. Your clients will feel the same way. Avoid using anything that requires flash to have a better mobile site and give your clients a better experience.
Prepare Yourself: Google Wants You Mobile, 4/21
Call your developer or designer and pay them whatever they want so Google doesn’t de-rank you on 4/21: I’m serious! We only create content, so we can’t make your site mobile friendly. But once you have that done, if you are looking for excellent content to improve your rankings such as blog pieces, social media content, or infographics, then you’re reading the right blog. We offer services that can help you as you prepare your content for the mobile update, helping you get great results.
Photo credit: Prykhodov / iStock