On April 21, Google will update its algorithm. Non-mobile-ready sites will be penalized; some will be removed entirely from Google’s mobile search index.
To make sure your site stays put or advances on April 21st:
- Avoid using Flash and other uncommon-to-mobile-devices software
- Use text that your visitors can read without zooming
- Size your content so visitors don’t have to scroll left-to-right to read what’s there
- Carefully separate any links that you include on your site so each one can be selected without accidentally tapping an adjacent one
In a nutshell, if a smartphone user can’t easily read and tap links on your website, Google will penalize it.
So if you’ve been enjoying lofty, enviable page rankings, you may well find your site plummeting significantly and your competitors sitting in the catbird seat. Make sure your site is responsive (that it automatically re-sizes itself to present on any mobile device without the user having to scroll back and forth to read it, see complete images, or tap a link).
Whoever adapts first to the new mobile-conscious algorithm change is most likely to smile on April 21st and thereafter.
Recommendation: I recommend Lisa Twining Taylor (DancingGoatWebDesign.com) if you need a responsive website built.
And just a word to the wise: In a vast majority of cases, it will cost a lot less to have a new, responsive website built than it will be to try to adapt a non-responsive site. You should be able to keep a lot of jingle in your jeans as a result of this tip.
A responsive website will automatically adjust to any-size screen. This means the visitors to your site won’t have to scroll back and forth to get the information they need whether they’re on a desktop, laptop, cellphone or other mobile devices.
Whenever you hire a webmaster, be sure he or she is creating a responsive website for you. If the answer is yes, ask them what that means. Specifically, ask them if visitors to your site will have to scroll back and forth to read the lines or if they can read the copy consecutively from top to bottom by scrolling only downward. IF this isn’t the case, find a web developer who creates responsive websites.
If you don’t insist on a responsive website, your competitors who do will eat your lunch. The world is going digital and hand-held at warp speed. Don’t be left in the tar beds like the doomed creatures at La Brea Tar Pits.
One responsive website builder that I can recommend without reservation is Lisa Twining Taylor. She owns Dancing Goat Web Design. You can see some of her sites at DancingGoatWebDesign.com.
Word Whisperer, the site you’re on right now, is one of hers. I write the copy; she does everything else! She’s a whiz!
If you still have a non-responsive website–that is, a website that doesn’t re-adjust automatically for easy viewing on mobile and all other devices–I’ll make a bold prediction here: you are leaving wads of Ben Franklins on the table.
The world is going mobile at warp speed seven. Webmasters who don’t honor the change and get aboard are fast becoming dinosaurs in the industry.
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS INSIST THAT YOUR WEB DEVELOPER CREATE A RESPONSIVE WEBSITE FOR YOU.
If they can’t explain to you what that is, they don’t know.
If they try to talking you into accepting a non-responsive site, saying, “All a mobile user has to do it scroll back and forth to get the information from your site,” run! Run far away, fast!
Because chances are good (no, great!) that your competitors all have responsive sites, or will soon, and visitors to your site will quickly lose patience after they’ve scrolled themselves silly trying to get the information they need off yours.
Make your visitors comfortable and happy or they will find someone else doing pretty much the same thing as you are who will.