Get Mobile Ready with Responsive Design for SEO

Are You Mobile Ready with Responsive Design?

Do you know that starting April 21st, 2015 Google will start to rank websites based on being mobile friendly? Have you been reading up to see what this means for your website or blog?

responsive design

It may cause you to lose ranking in the search engines and cause you fewer visits! They will not actually penalize your website but you could get lost in searches!

It all can be quite confusing. Google does not make it mandatory for websites to have a responsive design but they do recommend it. If you making a new website I would highly recommend you go with a responsive design. If you are not sure about your website or blog – check out this site that will tell you and if it’s not mobile friendly it will tell you what is wrong – https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/. You may be able to do a few fixes vs. a new design as I’m doing here.

Google Webmaster Tools for Mobile

You can also check your own Google Webmaster Tools. There is a new section: Under Search Traffic you will find Mobile Usability.  If you have any errors they will show which pages. (I had 5). You can even download them into s spreadsheet to work on. Some issues I had were: Too small text, touch elements too close and viewport not configured. You’ll always find more to learn, right?

What’s a Website Owner/ Blogger To Do?

  1. Check to see if your website is mobile ready via the link above.mobile usability
  2. Check your mobile usability on your Google webmaster tools for errors. See image on the right.
  3. If you do not have many errors – fix them.
  4. If you have a lot of errors – consider changing your website/blog to a responsive design.
  5. Don’t forget to recheck #1 and #2. Repeat 1-5 again.

Mobile Usability Is Part of SEO Now

Google uses over 200 ranking factors when ranking websites – we can now add mobile usability to the list. Check out the other latest SEO ranking factors from December.  If you haven’t kept on SEO over the past year you should really check out these factors.

So much of SEO has really changed over the past few years. At the same time mobile usage has skyrocketed and thus changing the way users view websites and search on the web.

See Why Mobile Today Is So Important via This Infographic

Mobile usage continues to rise especially as more children are using smartphones and growing up with them in their pockets. This trend will only continue to rise in time.

Smartphone Usage: Americans spend almost 3 hours a day on their phone

by pybusa21.

Is your website mobile ready? Do you use a responsive design? If not will you redo your website or blog soon?

Top Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Lisa loves helping others to thrive online through Social Media, Blogging, and SEO. What good is knowledge if you cannot share it with others? She has 30+ years of experience in marketing/advertising with 9 years of experience in content marketing, social media, blogging, and SEO. Check out her latest eBook "How to Tweet and Thrive on Twitter" now on Amazon.

  • Thanks for sharing, I admit this is one of the unique information that I learnt about SEO.

    Actually, I think that mobile responsive is related to internet marketing because I care about users who access to my blog article through mobile device.

    You know..? I got around 25 percent of my blog’s readers are accessing to my blog through mobile. Thus, I want to make friendly look, and help those users to make more convenience with reading my blog post.

    I have completely made my response to mobile accessing. Thanks, I also done well with SEO optimization.

    I have check my blog responsive, and I found that it is awesome..!

    Thanks for sharing..!

    • You are welcome Kimsea and welcome to Inspire to Thrive. That is a decent amount of traffic via mobile and it will only increase probably in a short amount of time. I’m glad your blog passed the tests. I also saw on mobile if you Google your own site it will show up with mobile-friendly (the words) right on your device, pretty neat. Thanks for coming by and taking the time to comment as well. Have a great day.

  • Hi Lisa,

    I’ve been so busy this past month I missed this about Google and mobile app info. Glad I took a minute tonight to learn about it. I think I am ok. I am going to do some testing this next week though to confirm it. Thanks for teaching me. Hope you have a great week. Keep getting better.

    Irish

    • Hi Irish, I hope you were able to check your site with the test. Today is the day! Also your Google Webmaster tools have more info on mobile usability as well. Good luck with it and have a great day. Appreicate you coming by and taking the time to comment.

  • Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for sharing the info, I have checked my site and change theme genesis to mobile friendly.

    Have a good day.

    • Hi Robert, welcome to Inspire to Thrive. I’m glad to hear your site passed. Did you also check your Google Webmaster tools for more insights? Thanks for coming by and have a great day.

  • Hello Lisa,

    Insightful article. From my perspective bloggers must use plugins like WPTouch to make blogs mobile friendly. One of my friend strongly believe that the plugin itself takes care of the errors. Is it true?

    • Hi Suresh, thank you. Yes I am using that one and upgraded to WPTouch Pro – works much better to be mobile friendly. You have to be sure to check your cache settings as well with it – most need cache cleared and get rid of WPTouch the free version…Thanks for coming by Suresh and have a great week ahead.

  • Since having a mobile friendly website is going to have a major influence on how our website ranks with Google, your article is very timely and very useful. I did the WMT scan to see if Google could crawl my site and show the mobile friendly ok sign. What I learned was that my WordPress site was using w# cache plugin which prevented Google from crawling my site, so I got that nasty RED error message. I removed the w# cache plugin and now my site passes the mobile friendly test. FYI only.

    • Neil, I am so glad this post was useful and timely for you. It will really make a difference come April 21st. Did you also check your Google Webmaster tools? Thanks for coming by and taking the time to leave a comment with your experiences for us. Have a great rest of the day.

  • Hi LIsa,

    I have read about the changes at Google, but I didn’t know how to check if my site was ok in Google’s eyes when it comes to responsive design. I used your links and checked and it’s all ok. Thank you.

    I think it’s a good thing that Google is doing something about this. I do most of my searches on my iPhone at the moment, and if I end on a site without a responsive design, I more or less always go away immediately.

    • Hi Jens, I agree. Did you also check the mobile usability section of your Google Webmaster tools too? It offers a little more info too. I found only page actually passed, I upgrades my WP touch to Pro and that should take care of that in the nick of time 🙂
      Thanks for coming by Jens and taking the time to comment. Have a great rest of the week!

      • Yes, 51 of my posts didn’t pass, so I need to do something about it.

        I had no idea I could check Google Webmaster Tools for this.

        Thanks.

        • Hi Jens, yes, I found more myself the other day and upgrade my WP Touch to Pro – I still have some re-checking to do. I am so glad you checked yours as well. We still have 5 days to complete 🙂

  • Hi Lisa,

    A very timely post. Today when the world is going mobile, it is important for us bloggers to go mobile too.

    Great tips for checking the mobile compatibility. And I just loved the inforgraphic.

    Thanks for the great share. Have a nice weekend!

    • Hi Nisha, welcome to Inspire to Thrive. It sure is time for everyone to get on board with mobile. You are welcome and I hope you are enjoying the weekend there.

  • Hi Lisa,

    This is one thing I have not done which is see if my website is mobile responsive. It is something that I definitely need to check because I’ve not looked at it at all from a mobile device and that is the wave of the future nowadays – mobile that is. I’ve not checked specifically on Google Analytics either. Didn’t even give it a second thought. You’ve given me much to look up this week. Thanks for this valuable information. Mobile is definitely the design of the future so I better get with the program. Thanks for the reminder.

    Great post.
    Barbara

    • Hi Barbara, this is something timely for you then 🙂 I hope you find it passes with flying colors. You are very welcome. So many more people today are viewing most things online via their mobile devices. People are on the go and their mobile devices are always with them. I know I use mine even in the house, much easier than starting up the laptop. I hope you are having a nice weekend Barabara. Thanks for coming by!

  • Hi Lisa,

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’m excited about this update from Google. I tested my new site which I just launched yesterday and it passes with flying colors according to the analyzer.

    I personally don’t use my phone much online, but I have noticed my mobile views going up more and more in my analytics.

    As people adjust their viewing habits, so must we adjust how we give them our content.

    I hope you have a great week Lisa!

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Hi Don, that is awesome. Mine finallydid after making some tweaks.
      I use mine a lot – more than desktop – it’s so easy from anywhere and anytime. Takes too long to fire up the laptop unless I’m working on a post.
      Thanks for coming by Don and adding your input to this one – you too – enjoy the rest of the week!

  • The actual mission of Google is to rearrange web pages according to usefulness.

    Now, as the world has started using the internet through smart phones so, web pages also must be small screen friendly to provide a good user experience.

    If somebody has a mobile version website then responsive designing is not mandatory to rank well in Google search.

    • Hi Majharul, That’s a great point, usefulness is key to keep getting users back. That is true too as long as it pasts the mobile usability test. Not every response site has past that test either. Thanks for coming by and contributing to this post Majharul. Have a great rest of the week!!

  • Hi, Lisa!

    It’s my first comment on your blog! My sites have been mobile responsive since last month. That is one good thing about using Studiopress Genesis themes because they are mobile responsive, I checked out my site and it’s mobile ready.
    Thanks for sharing this great news. 🙂

    • Hi Ashin, welcome to Inspire to Thrive. That’s great that you are using that theme. I made a few tweaks to mine and it is now approved as well. I use the WP Touch plugin which needed some tweaks to pass it. Thank you for coming by and taking the time to comment on this post. Have a great rest of your weekend!

    • Hi Ashin, welcome to Inspire to Thrive. That’s great that you are using that theme. I made a few tweaks to mine and it is now approved as well. I use the WP Touch plugin which needed some tweaks to pass it. Thank you for coming by and taking the time to comment on this post. Have a great rest of your weekend!

  • Hi Lisa

    Very valid point you mentioned that just getting an ok report on responsiveness is not sufficient because a blog may be overall good for mobile visibility but a few pages may be not good. So one needs to thoroughly examine it with GWT and address the issue on priority.

    The data showing the rising popularity of mobile usage is quite impressive and those who yet to get a responsive theme should act now to avoid any decline after Google review.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this very useful post for maintaining the ranking.

    • Hi Muba, Nice to see you back here. Yes – using the Google Webmaster Tools is key to checking on your site for mobile too now. It surely is – so many do everything via their mobile devices. You are welcome and I hope you are enjoying your weekend there.

  • Hi Carol, oh nice to know…I try to keep it simple here as I need that myself and think figure many of my readers as well. Interesting on the text size – thanks for adding that one here Carol.
    That is for sure – I did a few tweaks on mine with that and WP Touch plug in and mine all passed now.
    I saw your headline today, can’t f wait to read it! Have a great rest of the week!

  • Hi Lisa, I’ve read a lot of articles on this topic but yours is the only one I’ve read that discussed Google Webmaster Tools. Thank you for that. I checked and found that GWT recommends at least 16px typeface for websites to pass the mobile-friendly test.

    So that could be why some sites don’t pass the test even though they have mobile-friendly themes. Changing font size is an easier fix than getting whole new theme!

  • Hi Lisa,

    We need to be on the ball with this.

    Google will beat us down, otherwise, lol.

    So many folks feast on mobile. Google knows this and wants to make search work for their customers.

    I had my developer design a new, mobile friendly, bespoke theme…just in time 😉

    Thanks Lisa for the reminder.

    Tweeting from Bali.

    Ryan

    • Hi Ryan, yes, that is for sure. I know I prefer mobile most of the time. Easy and can be done anywhere. It was more vital to me when laid up from my accident.
      That’s great you just had it done in time 🙂 You are welcome and enjoy the rest of the week there in Bali!!

  • Hi Lisa,
    I think it is great to be reminded of the importance of mobile responsive designs. Mobile friendly websites/blogs are the in thing now. They help to improve SEO and increase the propensity of conversion.

    Hopefully, this post will inspire many readers to do a rethink and get their designs responsive!
    I shared this comment in kingged.com where this post was found.

    • Hi Sunday, nice to see you back here 🙂 I hope it sure does remind them to check their mobile usability out and do what is needed so they don’t get lost in search.
      Thanks for sharing in Kingged. Have a great rest of the week!

  • Hi, Lisa!

    I thought I had commented here, but I guess that was on the FB post. :mrgreen: I love this post not just because it’s great content but because both of my sites passed with flying colors! 😆 My sites have been mobile responsive since last year. That is one good thing about using Studiopress Genesis themes because they are mobile responsive. The only problem you may run into is if you have a custom header, then it’s up to you to make that responsive. Easy to do though!

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s great to know I’m on the right path. Also great to see you blogging again, my friend. Been missing your posts. 🙂

    • Hi Bren, I know the days fly by and after a while of commenting, who remembers right? Glad your sites all passed. Mine finally did after a few tweaks. You have become the WordPress Design Queen with all the different themes you have used over the years Bren, you do have that talent….Hint, hint!
      You are welcome and thanks, I’m sure trying to continue. Have a great Friday coming up soon!

  • Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for sharing all this with us! I would have never had known what Google was up to had you not informed us about what’s coming up with them.

    I checked out my site and it’s mobile ready :). I have to admit though I had never paid attention to that part of the analytics. I was surprised to see most of my visitors are on their mobile devices. It was cool to see how GA broke it down by which device they’re using.

    You remain the social media Queen! Thanks for putting this together for us Lisa. I hope everyday you’re getting better and stronger!

    Have a great Tuesday and I will see you in the socialverse :).

    • Hi Corina, you are welcome. I had read a little about it and decided to research more. Mine finally passed completely after a few tweaks. Yes, so many now use their mobile phones….
      I am getting better after some rought PT and much more to go. Able to move the arm some but still can’t fit in my own tops with the swelling there, between the shoulder blade and arm that broke. Wrist is delaying my typing as it was broken too.
      Enjoy the rest of your week and have a Happy Easter too.

  • Hey Lisa,

    So far with the last few tests I’ve run for my blog they are passing as far as Google is concerned. The funny thing is though that I haven’t changed anything and have been using a mobile ready plugin for years and sometimes this particular link that you shared shows that I’m not passing. I think it’s like everything else that happens to me where Google is concerned. One day they love me and the next day they hate me.

    I intend to change themes anyway here soon but have also heard from some people who do have responsive themes and they aren’t even passing. Now that really makes me nervous because I would hate to buy a theme that says it is yet Google says it’s not.

    I can understand though why we would need to have our blogs set up to be mobile friendly since that’s how a heck of a lot of people are accessing them today. I know that my stats are still showing I don’t have as many mobile users than desktop but for a lot of people that’s not the case.

    Thanks for sharing this with us though, I’m aware of the upcoming change and will be curious to see how it will affect others. For those that weren’t aware of it I’m sure they’re very happy you shared this with them.

    Enjoy your week and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you’ll get some warmer weather soon.

    ~Adrienne

    • Hi Adrienne, I’m glad yours is passing – mine did after making a few tweaks – thankfully! I’m still using the WP Touch plugin and just had to make more adjustmentsthere too. I have read the same thing that some responsive designs are not passing yet either, odd.
      We did hit the low 50s today so it is s finally getting warm and snow free!
      Thanks for coming by Adrienne, I hope you have a great weekend ahead and that your mom is getting better!

  • ACK! One more thing to worry about? I use the WP Touch plug-in, so, hopefully that’s good enough. Probably not though, since there are many “bells and whistles” on my home page, plus I know I have plenty of errors. This is something I’ll have to look at more thoroughly. Thanks for the info, Lisa.

    • Well, this is a pleasant surprise! I just ran my URL through the tester and this was the result:
      “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.” That’s a relief! 😎

    • Hi Debby, of course right? Me too and I’ve been making a few adjustments as well. You are welcome and I’m so amazed at your A-Z challenge, even without any injury I can’t imagine keeping up with it. Thanks for coming by!

  • Hi Lisa,

    Yes indeed, the day is just coming up! 🙂

    I think everyone would be working on their blogs to make it mobile friendly, especially those who have yet to get it all done. We switched to a responsive theme long back, so are good to go, but we are tweaking a little to make it all better. I guess it makes sense to do so, when you know things are going to change in the coming times.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    • Hi Harleena, it sure is coming quick. Same here but some wait until the final days and many may not know if they are not reading SEO or mobile type blogs, etc. I use the WPTouch plugin and keep checking on my errors and stats. I may go with their premium version as well. Thanks for coming by and I hope you have a wonderful week Harleena.

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