Don’t panic – but do pay attention to this post.
Unless you are kind of geeky or, like me, have others depending on you to be “in the know” about the online marketing world – this may be big news to you. And to be clear, this is news you need to pay attention to: Google is making a gigantic change and you may suffer if you don’t act soon. By soon, I mean… soon.
April 21, 2015 was the start of Mobilegeddon.
Google is changing the way that search results work and will now return mobile-friendly pages ahead of others. They have been watching the stats and they know for a fact that mobile devices are heavily used to access websites. They predict it will take about a week for all the algorithms to sync into place (or sink into place), but it’s a done deal. You officially need to have a mobile friendly website – a site that is coded to work on desktops, laptops, tablets and phones in any screen size. Having one page – say just your home page – pass the test is not optimal.
And just because your site shows up when YOU do a search, that is not the test. The test is someone in a fresh browsing session who has never looked for your business or your industry before. If someone puts “Wood Fired Pizza” in a search engine, they might get several hits returned in most large metropolitan districts. But if your competition is mobile friendly, your business may not be on the first page of results. And as we all know, it’s rare for anyone to go beyond page one or scroll for too many results.
Google is not doing this to be mean. They want to avoid returning results that lead the public to a page that requires pinching and zooming. They want a search to highlight websites that are simple and easy to navigate. Frankly, you should want that too.
First Thing to Do:
I have included the link to Google’s page checker search box so you don’t need to guess. You can even find out what is not working and what needs fixing. It takes about 10 seconds for results and I must say – I have put a lot of my client’s sites into this checker and am dismayed at how many of you are about to lose ranking in searches. Some were simple fixes, others are really beyond repair.
I have provided a link for you to quickly check your site. Check your important pages or learn how each page of your site stands instantly. If any pages fail the test, you might need to get busy.
Be sure to return for a few tips on how to survive temporarily!
So you failed. There are things you can do:
- Call your webmaster – and get in line. Or get a new webmaster – one who wouldn’t have let you get in this position in the first place!
- No Webmaster? Create a new home page that has the essentials in a single column and big fonts and put all the rest of your site on the big TO DO list. Fix the rest of your site, but don’t panic. With that one page you will be seen and the basics like address, phone number, hours of operation and a few pics of your products can be shown. You can link to facebook or other social media to take up some of the loss. (No, you cannot just abandon your site. Facebook, Ebay, Etsy, etc. is where you “rent” and those landlords are in control and Facebook keeps upping the rent. You own your domain name and you own your content on your website. That’s essential to your future.)
- Optimize places where you might be seen, like yelp or other review sites. When someone googles your business, they might at least find you included in another site. Make sure that site is mobile-friendly, too! (Artists often rely on their co-op or group site for all their online presence. Don’t assume your guild or co-op’s site is mobile-friendly)
- There are some quick fixes available via Go Daddy if they are hosting your site. They have many tools to transition your site, but you will be charged a monthly fee and need to dig into your site with their tools. If you use their competitor Bluehost, they too have solutions and seem to offer a less time consuming system for the fix and potentially cheaper, too. It’s a one-time fee of $25 and it builds a smaller, mobile verson of your site with it’s “goMobi” tool.
- Take advantage of all the “yellow pages” sites on line. It’s time to fill in all the details everywhere.
If you are not mobile and you have your work for sale on your site, you have double trouble.
Some of you may have put up items for sale with links to PayPal. And now with this new issue, you realize that the shopping experience is really a struggle for your clients and potential clients. IF they do find you, they may not stick around to zoom and pinch and roam pages on your site that are not mobile-friendly. Over time, now that Google is pushing mobile friendly, we are all going to expect an easier experience and you will stand out like a sore thumb.
I have a temporary (free) way for you you still sell on-line. Move your “cart” to SquareUp and use their free Marketplace. As many of you reading this already know, I have a service to help with establishing that shopping cart. You may need a little guidance from me, but probably not. It is so easy, it can be set up in a matter of hours once your banking links are completed. I repeat: it is free.
I am not a webmaster, but I am ready to help in many ways.
Contact me if you are thinking that a new site is in your future. I have skills in place to make that transition a little easier. I created every single square inch of this site and have built over two dozen sites for myself over the past 20 years. I won’t build your site, but I will help you organize, prioritize, and maximize the experience so that visitors to your site have the experience that best leads to sales for you. A properly created website is a valuable marketing vehicle and I am a superior driver. Let me help you take advantage of every opportunity that “lands” on your doorstep.
Testimonials are available!