Have you received this email?

Over the last week, many website owners have received emails from Google Webmaster Tools that read something like this:

Fix mobile usability issues found on…
Google systems have tested 415 pages from your site and found that 100% of them have critical mobile usability errors. The errors on these 415 pages severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website. These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.

What they didn’t tell you is that it’s likely that Google will start to devalue search rankings for websites with poor rankings starting on April 21.

That’s right. According to the official Webmaster’s blog, the algorithm is changing significantly on the 21st of April, 2015.

Example email from Webmaster Tools
Example email from Webmaster Tools

So it’s important? What do I do?

Most of the sites we manage have between 40-60% of their traffic coming from mobile and tablet devices. So that would be a huge loss of traffic for sites that don’t comply with these guidelines.

Luckily, there are a few high-value techniques that can help.

WordPress users, your theme is the problem

If you’re seeing a 100% fail rate in this test, your theme is the problem. You need to do one of three things:

1. Change your theme to a responsive theme,
2. Update your current theme to add responsive breakpoints, or
3. Use a stand-alone plugin like WP Touch to redirect mobile traffic to a specially configured mobile site.

That will get you 90-100% of the way to a successful test.

What on earth is responsive?

Responsive design (or development) is the most popular way to make websites mobile friendly. The content flows and shrinks, multiple columns become one long column (normally with the sidebar falling under the content) and navigation gets shrunk down into a button that displays the menu when clicked.

Source: Hubspot

One month to deadline

We have just over a month to the deadline that Google has set for search results cut-offs, and it’s closing in quick.

Our ‘Pass the Test’ Package

If you’d like professional help in optimising your site for the mobile web and passing Google’s webmaster test, we can help. We have put together a special “Pass the Test” package for WordPress site owners.

The package includes:

  • A phone consultation on the best way forward for your website
  • Coding and troubleshooting, based on the consultation’s recommendations
  • Benchmarking against the Webmaster’s test results
  • Improved speed and mobile performance, benchmarked on Google’s mobile performance test
  • Completed on or before April 20th, 2015 to beat the deadline

– This pricing is only for WordPress websites. We are happy to look at and quote for other CMS and website set-ups.

Submit your site

Submit your site for appraisal now. One of our technicians will evaluate what’s needed and get in touch with¬†options to move forward.

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