Get Ready for Google’s Newest Mobile Push

Being a hair designer or salon owner, you’re probably too busy running your business to keep up with every small change that Google makes to their algorithm. In truth, many of the things that Google does really don’t’ affect how you go about marketing your salon. However, if you’ve marketing system involves using Google to drive search traffic to your site, then a recent post on one of Google’s blogs will be of interest to you.

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

~ Google Webmaster Central Blog

Going Mobile With Your Salon’s Website

How Google’s new emphasis on mobile friendliness will affect your salon’s online marketing is anyone’s guess. Your local competition, your particular marketing strategy and of course how Google evaluates your website all play a part in whether this will be “a thing” for your salon or no big deal.

Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to get ahead of the game and reduce or eliminate any negative impact, this change could have.

Step 1: See Your Site the Way Google Sees It
Enter your website’s URL into Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Page for an analysis of what the Google-bots see when they scan your site. If your site is less than two years old then chances are it was built with a theme that uses Responsive Website Design. This allows the site to adjust its layout based on whether it’s being viewed on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone.

Even if your site looks fine on your mobile device, running it through the Mobile Friendly Test may show you that there’s still work to do. Remember, what we’re checking for here is how the Googlebots see your site.
There may be resources that the spiders can’t access or Google may think that the text on your page is too small or your links are too close together.

Step 2: Use a Mobile Plugin to enhance Your Site
One of the easiest ways to make sure your site is Mobile Friendly is to install a plugin specifically made for that purpose.

WPtouchMy personal favorite mobile plugin and the one I recommend most often is WPtouch-3. Like all plugins in this category there is a free and Pro version of this plugin. Unlike some of the other plugins, the free version of the plugin is full featured and in many cases is all you need.

One of my favorite parts of this plugin is its ease of use. Installing and setting it up happens right inside your WordPress dashboard with no need to link out to a third party site. What’s more, in the years since I’ve been using this plugin, it’s become more and more intuitive. However, even though there are fewer settings to worry about, it’s still a powerful plugin that gives you complete control of the mobile experience.

Google will continue to tweak their algorithm. That’s what they do. At least this time, adjusting to their most recent change is easy enough for the newest website owner.

Source for horse sounds used in the podcast:
photo credit: 09_2013_47 via photopin (license)

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