On April 21, 2015, Google changed their algorithm to affect mobile searches. In simple terms, if your site is mobile friendly, meaning responsive on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, it will show up higher in Google search results than sites that aren’t during a mobile search. So this begs the question for those who don’t have a mobile responsive site as to what to do. Surely you want your site to be optimized for search, so that it won’t show up on the second or third page of Google. No worries, because there are some pretty simple steps you can take to on the right track to having a mobile responsive, Google search optimized site.
For starters, if you’re not sure if your site is mobile friendly you can check it see if it is using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. According to Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, “…users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” Its nothing like going to a site from your mobile device and not being able to read anything on it, because its a shrunken down version of the desktop site. Most times when I land on a site like that, I close it out and don’t even bother with trying to access the content on it. You definitely don’t want people landing on your site and this happening. So if after you run the mobile-friendly test and find out that your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you have some options to consider.
What to do
1. Purchase a new theme that is mobile responsive.
2. Hire a web designer to make your site mobile responsive. – This can be very expensive!
3. Download a plugin to make your site mobile responsive, like WPTouch. – You may loose any customizations on the mobile view of your site with this option.
4. Leave things as is, if you’re in love with your design and don’t want to make any changes.
If you’re on Blogger, your site will automatically be loaded in a mobile friendly format. However, there is a caveat to this because, if you’ve had your Blogger site heavily customized by a designer then you will want to make sure they’ve included coding in it for responsiveness. You can read more about how Blogger renders sites on mobile here.
WordPress.com users’ sites will “…show special themes designed to work on small screens focusing on fast load times.”, according to their support site. Wordpress.com doesn’t allow as much customization of their themes as self-hosted WordPress.org ones, so you’re pretty much taken cared of if you have a site on there.
If you have a self-hosted site on WordPress.org and prefer to be on the safe side by purchasing a new mobile responsive theme, I highly recommend the Studiopress themes on the Genesis Framework. The themes come out of the box mobile responsive, with no additional work needing to be done by you. They can also be heavily customized to match your branding perfectly and are extremely robust in the capabilities of them. As you all know, I run the Genesis Framework for my very own site here on Bliss & Faith, and I couldn’t be happier. My site has all of the functionality that I need and best, its mobile responsive. I’m assured that when my site is viewed on mobile devices that it display so that my readers can easy read, search, and navigate it.
While there are some great plugins out there that will make your site responsive, like WP Touch that I mentioned previously, you risk your branding and customizations being lost when viewed on mobile devices. Your branding should be displayed on all devices, because that’s what helps to identify and distinguish you from others. Additionally, you want to run as few plugins on your site as possible, because they do affect load time. If your site is automatically mobile responsive that’s one less plugin you have to worry about affecting your site’s load time.
How I Can Help
If you’re going the route of purchasing a Studiopress theme, I’m available to customize and set it up for you with your branding. Right now we’re about a month out, so there’s still plenty of time to get your site up and going, and completely mobile responsive. Drop me a line here to find out more details on how I can help, because I’d love to!
Note: I’m not accepting custom design work at this time, so any set up Studiopress theme setup will be done so that they look like the demo sites with your branding, colors, fonts, etc. For custom design work, my earliest availability is May. 🙂 Contact me for inquiries.