Unless you've been living under a marketing rock, you've heard all about Google's latest update that rolled out yesterday, quickly dubbed “Mobilegeddon” by the blogosphere. From now on, mobile friendly design will be a key component of mobile search rankings. This means that if your site isn't easily accessible across all screens, you could see a decline in rankings and, ultimately, web traffic.
2015 is projected to be the year that mobile search takes the top spot from traditional desktop/laptop, so this is great news for mobile-savvy consumers. However, as marketers we are always working to optimize our web presence, so this news could cause many of us to worry. The good news is that there are some easy ways to minimize the impact and make sure your Drupal website stays ranked high.
Responsive vs Mobile Version
Whether you have a responsive website or a mobile version of your website, this blog will help you improve your mobile rankings. That said, if your website isn’t mobile friendly at all or if you are in a position to decide between responsive or mobile versions, we wholeheartedly recommend responsive. Not only will it be easier for your content editors, responsive design is Google’s recommended design pattern and is favored in search engine result pages.
Monitor your site
While it’s rumored that this update could affect up to 40% of websites, Google cautions that pages won't immediately lose rankings. Translation - don’t hit the panic button just yet. Instead, take a breath and take stock of your current performance across all screens and all devices. Use Google's Mobile Usability tool to test your site’s current mobile functionality and work with your developers to make sure you're using all resources available on your Drupal website. Combine this with your Google Analytics to establish a baseline for your page traffic, keyword rankings and your visitors’ behavior and typical traffic patterns. Like anything other test, let your data tell you the story. If you start to see dips or errors, take a critical look at your site across all screens and you'll likely find places that can be optimized.
Dive into Mobile SEO
We all know that traditional SEO works to optimize your pages for desired keywords and terms, so you’ll just need to take a few more steps to also optimize for mobile. Page speed is incredibly important for mobile SEO, so make sure all of your above the fold content loads in less than one second across all screens and that all of your content is playable on all devices. Google's PageSpeed Insights tool can help you gauge your current speed and offers tips for what you can do to improve it. For responsive designs, make sure you’re not using fixed size images. For mobile versions of your website, make sure your redirects are working properly.
One thing hasn’t changed: Content is still King
With any big algorithm change, we sometimes forget the basics. Remember that thought leadership is still the most important component of your website. If you're consistently producing relevant, useful content for your buyer personas, you’re still on the right path. Optimize your content for the small screen by using short, eye-catching headlines and clear calls to action throughout your copy.
These tips will help you keep your high mobile rankings that you’ve worked so hard for. If you do discover that you’re rankings are suffering - all hope is not lost! Google assures us that rankings will be updated frequently so if you make adjustments to improve mobile-friendliness, you’ll bounce back. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out our other resources to optimize your SEO rankings across the board.