Even if you don’t plan to make a living from your photography, you should take 1 minute to investigate how mobile friendly your WordPress.com blog is. Google is currently rolling out a search algorithm change, which does not only label mobile-friendly websites as such, but may soon use mobile-friendliness as additional ranking signal. The mobile-friendlier your blog, the higher your chances you won’t feel any consequences for your search index position.
As a travel or pastime photographer you might not be worried about a drop in leads or sales, but you still want to make sure that people searching for your blog’s keywords can see at a glance that they don’t need to fear an unfriendly mobile design or (heaven forbid) a bad user experience on smartphones or tablets. The gray text label below is what you’re after!
These are the criteria of a mobile-friendly website according to Google:
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
- Uses text that is readable without zooming
- Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
Let’s start with the good news!
Your blog is hosted on WordPress.com and probably already displays — depending on your theme — a layout that is optimized to your visitor’s mobile device. Go ahead and test your blog in only 1 minute with Google’s mobile-friendly test tool. Don’t rely on your webmaster or on your own judgement when reading your blog on your smartphone or tablet. Only the 4 points listed above count for Google, and they can be quickly tested for free.
Here is my test result. W00t!
Don’t panic with the rest of the SEO world!
Google told you that your WordPress.com blog isn’t mobile friendly? Now what? Stay calm and keep optimizing. For now, no one can tell for sure how severe the consequences for non-mobile-friendly websites will be. Google just started to roll out changes; crawling and indexing the web takes a while. Besides, they never threatened to let non-optimized websites plummet like a brick into Google’s basement; to quote the original company announcement: “We are also experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal.” It remains to be seen what exactly that means.
In the meantime, browse available WordPress.com themes to check out mobile-friendly alternatives. Maybe it’s anyway time for a new look for your blog? If so, make sure to apply a theme with a “responsive layout”. If you are wondering about my blog design: I picked Able by Automattic.
So what’s the fuss all about if no one knows the consequences yet?
Let’s face it, mobile searches currently account for between 40-60% of the total — trend upwards. We are using mobile devices more than ever before, to search for grandma’s delicious pancake recipe, the nearest book store, the best deal for local wedding photographers…
The mobile revolution is something you simply can’t ignore. Google’s algorithm change is “a first step in helping mobile users to have a better mobile web experience.” You can expect more changes in the future. So you better start now to be prepared before you’re going to regret anything in the future.
It goes without saying, that optimizing your WordPress.com blog as professional photographer is a must!
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