How to prepare
If your site is already mobile-friendly, you won’t have much to worry about. However, if you’ve not yet implemented a mobile strategy for your online presence, now is the critical time to get it done. Follow the steps:
- Ensure the mobile version of your site is active and functional. Responsive designs are the most popular, but you can also have a separate hosted mobile version of your site. Google doesn’t have a preference, as long as mobile users’ experience isn’t interrupted.
- Ensure Google’s mobile bots can crawl your site. If Google can’t see it, it may as well not even be there.
- Check each individual page of your site on a mobile device to ensure navigability. Just because your home page is mobile friendly doesn’t mean the rest of your site is.
You may find the following resources helpful:
- The Definitive Guide to Mobile SEO
- 5 WordPress Plugins to Help Create a Mobile-Friendly Website
- The Key Ingredients to a Winning Mobile Content Marketing Strategy
Google additionally offers two tools you can use to check whether your site is mobile-friendly. First, you can use the appropriately namedMobile-Friendly Test to see whether your site meets initial qualifications. It’s not entirely clear whether this checklist will cover all the factors the April 21 update will introduce, but since it’s coming straight from Google, it’s safe to assume it’s fairly reliable. Google Webmaster Tools also contains a convenient Mobile Usability Report you can run to examine your website as Google sees it. If you find any errors or discrepancies, you have roughly one month to get them all fixed.
This April 21 Google update looks to be the biggest mobile-related algorithm change we’ve ever seen, but I’d bet money that it isn’t the last. If you don’t have a mobile version of your site in place by April 21, your search visibility could be seriously hindered.