As writers we like to think we are always writing for someone, but can that person actually read what you are writing? Internet Search is changing and you need to be aware of how this impacts your blog.
You see in the years gone by, people would sit at their desk, turn on their desktop PC’s and then commence browsing the Internet. It was a very formal process and your biggest problem back then was trying to guess what computer screen size they had. Then all you needed to do was make sure you filled up their entire screen with words. This was made easier with themes that could expand and contract for these different screen resolutions. Your life as a blogger was simple back then.
Now lets fast forward to today where people are no longer reading your blog sitting at their desk. They are reading your blog on the way to work, using their 4 or 5 inch smartphones or perhaps they own a 6 inch phablet specifically for Internet browsing. Whilst at work they shrink the browser window into what resembles a sidebar so their boss doesn’t see them surfing the net. Then more smartphone reading on the commute home and finally when sitting in front of their 50 inch Smart TV, they might be surfing the Internet or watching TV whilst browsing your blog on a tablet. Life for the reader is now much more flexible.
So how does this relate to your blog?
Well as the readers life gets easier you need to be more responsive to their needs.
Responsive web design is an approach to web design that aims to provide an optimal viewing experience for the user regardless of their screen size; In layman’s terms, the content just resizes to fit your screen, however small.
Go ahead and open your blog on a smartphone. Can you read it without having to ‘zoom’ in? Can you accurately press a button, despite the size of your fingers? If not, then you aren’t providing the best viewing experience for your readers, and most likely they’ll go and find somewhere that makes it easier for them. But it’s not too late, because you just need to upgrade your theme.
Fortunately, WordPress uses a simple theme or template that once installed, propagates throughout your whole site. If you find your site doesn’t look so good on mobile with your current theme, then you need to search through the thousands of available themes to find one that’s responsive. Or alternatively, do your readers a favour and just buy one.
My favourite place to buy themes is a website called Themify. They make good quality WordPress themes that just work. And they utilise responsive design, which keeps the Search Engines happy. To check to see if you need a new WordPress Theme you can use this Mobile-Friendly Testing tool from Google. After checking my website, I was please to know I got the Mobile Friendly thumbs up, but I was always confident because I do use a Themify Theme for this website.
Recently Google announced that your website or blog will be penalized in the search rankings if a reader searches on a mobile device for your blog search term and your blog doesn’t have a responsive web design. This simply means your readers will struggle to find you if they aren’t using a desktop PC to consume your content. Now that’s bad news for you.
Here is some mobile usage data compiled by comScore which shows the growing trend towards Mobile Devices and the shrinking of the desktop sector. It means less people are searching for your blog whilst at their desk, so it’s time to act, now.
I can’t stress enough how important being mobile responsive is to your blog. But if you’ve read this far, then hopefully you got the message loud and clear and will at the very least give that Mobile Friendly Test a try. I’ve also placed the link in my resources page, for easy reference.
Now, I didn’t want to scare you with the smartwatch concept yet, but you’ve probably heard they are selling like hot cakes. Perhaps your next new reader will find you, whilst browsing the Internet on their watch. Are you Ready?
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