Is Your Blog Mobile Friendly?

It's easy to find out…go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ and enter your site's URL.

MobileFriendlyTestURL

And you'll get your answer…..Sandi's site is mobile-friendly!  This site, Blogs By Heather is not! So we'll go thru that later….

MobileFriendly

Review of Terms

Let's review quickly two terms you probably keep hearing, Responsive and Mobile-Friendly. They are two separate things. Your site could be Responsive, but not Mobile Friendly.  

Responsive means that it auto-resizes to fit any screen…whether it's your desktop, laptop, iPad or smart phone. For example, you can see this site on your smart phone, it resizes beautifully…but can your read it?

That leads us to Mobile Friendly….Just because a website or blog is responsive and can be scaled proportionally, it's usability and readability is not so good.  

A site is mobile-friendly if it can be easily read and navigated from your smart phone without having to take out a magnifying glass or zooming in to read a blog post.

So, when a site is Mobile-Friendly is contains the same great information, but appears in a different layout.  Check out Sandi's site for a great test. http://stampinwithsandi.ca.  Look at it both on your ipad or desktop and then watch it change when you visit it from your smart phone!

Many mobile-friendly sites have the form of a logo at the type (in place of a banner), and a vertical layout of your navigation bar, followed by excerpts of your blog posts, and then your sidebar elements are normally towards the bottom of the page, again in a vertical layout.  Sandi's is beautiful :D 

So, how do you fix it? How do you make your site Mobile Friendly?

Let's review Blogger, TypePad and WordPress. 

Blogger Responsive,
Mobile-Friendly Design

Well, you have to figure this one would be 1-2-3 easy and it is! Google Blogger has a Mobile layout built-in. You just have to turn it on and viola!!! Done. In seconds!!!!!!

From your Dashboard, go to Layout and there is the Mobile layout!

 

BloggerMobileClick on the Settings icon, I chose the layout on the right and clicked Save! That's it.  This was available long before Google's April 21st announcement.

BloggerMobileSettings

Yea Blogger!!!!  Check out my old paper crafting site, http://handstampedbyheather.com, on your laptop, ipad, and then via your smart phone.

Again, this video will be a snap for us to create for you at Stamping and Blogging. Stay tuned 😀

WordPress Responsive,
Mobile-Friendly Design

Many WordPress themes are Responsive and Mobile-Friendly, such as Sandi MacIver's new Canadian blog: http://stampinwithsandi.ca.  Check it out on your desktop and iPad. Then go to that site via your smart phone and check out how easy it is to now navigate the site and be able to "read" everything.

When choosing a WordPress theme for your site, be sure to read the description and that it's at least Responsive.  Although a WordPress themes may be Responsive, it may not mobile-friendly yet, so you'll need to add a plugin. Most popular are:

In Stamping and Blogging, we'll experiment and create videos for WP Touch…I'll let you know when it's ready 😀  If you need help setting up a new WordPress blog or installing a new Mobile Friendly theme, contact me.

TypePad Responsive,
Mobile-Friendly Design

TypePad will be the more challenging change for many of us that have custom designs.  You can see here in my mini-tutorial on switching to a Responsive Design and using CSS code to load the custom banner. TypePad Everything support jumped in to share with us special code that would help the custom banner become "responsive".

However, TypePad also shared this tip in their article (on how to optimize your blog for mobile devices) for those using the Classic Theme Builder, which many of my clients do…so this may help get you started….(but it's only for BETA users at present).

At Design > Theme Builder, check the Create as Responsive box and click Save Changes to make an existing design responsive. To create a new theme, go to Design > Choose A Theme, select Theme Builder, and click Choose. Then, you'll have the option to Create as Responsive and apply the new design to your blog.

Lastly, TypePad shares this article in response to how to make your TypePad blog mobile-friendly.

So I will share with you my experience as I transform this site, Blogs By Heather from Advanced Templates to a Responsive Design.  The biggest challenge I'm thinking will be the dropdown menu….but we'll see 😀

(Updated May 11, 2015) I will use one of my customer's sites as an example. I'm actually preparing to move over to WordPress and can instead share with you how I do that!

Additionally, in Stamping and Blogging we're creating videos on how to convert to a Responsive Design using one of the three Responsive theme TypePad has available currently for all users.

 

What happens if your site is
NOT Mobile-Friendly? 

In closing, this new Google algorithm does not impact your desktop search results ranking. It only impacts your mobile-ranking and how Google identifies and lists those sites resulting from a search people are doing from their smart phones (mobile devices). 

So first, make sure your site is at least Responsive. And then follow the above tips to make it Mobile Friendly or join Stamping and Blogging for step-by-step videos!

Cool Tool: Ahrefs – Complete BackLinks Analysis

Here's a great new SEO tool for you! It's called AHrefs. Pretty cool name right? YES, since it's all about links…specifically what is known as "backlinks".  Backlinks are simply those sites (which contain links) that link to you!

Backlinks Analysis

I used to to find those that I have lost…. Lost Links. Which normally means the post or page has been removed from the source or is now a broken link in that I may have deleted the page or post they were linking to, etc.  

To help build your SEO ranking and overall online presence, you want high quality links to your site!

Ahrefs

Now, I have not been posting like I used to back in the day…but I used my site as an example anyway to show you the Dashbaord and all the great info you can gain from this type of tool.  I do have many links to my site, which is great 😀  But I have lost some links too.  Anyway…give this tool a try!  Visit https://ahrefs.com to get started.

 

Ahrefsdashboard

 

Stamping and BloggingWant to learn more on SEO and how to better build your blog…then join us at Stamping and Blogging for our complete How To Setup a Blog (over 70 videos), Better Business Blogging in 21 Days, Top Ten SEO Tools and tons of articles on blogging in general! Click to learn more about Stamping and Blogging!

My Site Auditor: An Amazing Tool You Can’t Live Without!

In searching for a topic to share with you…I came across this great, free tool, My Site Auditor.  I was first researching it about sharing a tutorial on how to install it on your site…but then if you're not in the Blog Developer, that would not be all that useful to you.

MySiteAuditor

BUT…this tool itself is amazing and you have to go run your audit today, and try different keywords…you may find you get a better SEO Audit Score with different keywords.

MySiteAuditTool

  1. Go to http://mySiteAuditor.com.
  2. Don't do the Free Trial or purchase anything (unless you are a blog developer, create/setup websites for a business and want to offer this tool and use it to gain leads on SEO services you offer).

    You do not need to embed this tool into your sidebar to use it.

  3. Instead, go to the left side.
  4. Enter Your website or specific pages to test, a post URL for example.
  5. Enter the Keywords you're targeting.
  6. Your Name and Email.
  7. Clck Scan Now.
  8. And within minutes or less, you'll have a full report on how you can better your site! 

When I did mine, I realized I don't use enough headings (H1, H2, H3 for example) and don't use my keywords enough in my headings. That I have to update my Meta Tag Description, and use more Alt tags on my images.  Oh..and something about not using underscores…so be sure to use Dashes….It was very informative!

You may also use these tools to help identify and use keywords in your site, for your niche and expertise:

Enjoy and I hope this tool helps you better optimize your site! 

101 Blogging Tips: Tip #92 – Work with Rich Snippets

Thumbtack-purpleI'm excited to share this series with you, called "101 Blogging Tips". In the series there will be 101 blogging tips that you can begin applying to your blog today! Don't wait, get started now!

Tip #92: Work with Rich Snippets (SEO Tip)

Although it has been around for years, have you ever used it?


Image Provided by Google

A rich snippet (by Google) is a summary of the data that is displayed under your search engine listing. Used to better highlight products – price, reviews, availability. For potential customers and those viewing your listing, a Rich Snippet provides insight about a particular product without having to search further for it.

Although it does require updating "code", it can boost traffic by 33%!  Rich Snippets, again is more prominent in websites that highligh products. Additionally, it compliments but separate from your Meta Tag and Descriptions. At Stamping and Blogging we have step-by-step instructional videos on how to update your Meta information for those using Blogger, TypePad or WordPress.

To learn more:

  1. Example of Rich Snippet.
  2. What is a Rich Snippet?
  3. Testing Tool

101 Blogging Tips: #74 (Keyword Spy Tool)

Thumbtack-purpleI'm excited to share this series with you, called "101 Blogging Tips". In the series there will be 101 blogging tips that you can begin applying to your blog today! Don't wait, get started now!

Tip #74: Keyword Optimization – Keyword Spy Tool

Keyword Spy Tool

By now you should be using the FREE Google AdWord Keyword Tool. It is really a great tool to add to your blogging SEO strategies and in developing keywords to work into your next post.

I recently came across this other tool called Keyword Spy and it's a keword "research" and "tracking" tool, but it is NOT free and starts at $89.95.  They do have a Free Trial and a Demo to watch on their home page: http://www.keywordspy.com/.

Here are a  list of features (snapshots from their site). Happy blogging!

KeywordSpy

KeywordSpyFeatures2

101 Blogging Tips: Tip #54 (Long URLs)

Thumbtack-purpleI'm excited to share this series with you, called "101 Blogging Tips". In the series there will be 101 blogging tips that you can begin applying to your blog today! Don't wait, get started now!

Tip #54: Why you should use the "long" URL.

When pasting links into our own posts or on other sites, commments, Facebook, etc., you may have used TinyURL or a similar service. TinyURL lets you copy in the possibly very long URL and make it "tiny".

However, sometimes, those "tiny" links will not get as many click throughs as a normal, long, original link because readers cannot tell what the source is, where the link will go. And with today's spam and spyware, many are hesitant to click on a link they don't know.

So for that reason, and to help improve SEO (as the long URL will contain your domain and possibly keyworkds in the title of the post or page you are linking to), copy and paste the entire, long URL.

——————————–

Want more blogging and social media tips? Come join us at Stamping and Blogging! Yes, the site is very focused on "stamping" but there are also blogging and social media tips and videos!  As well as image editing, like this free video and cheat-sheet on How to Resize Images using GIMP.

Heather 😀

Heather Wright-Porto
Blogs By Heather * WordPress Hosting * Buy a Domain * Stamping and Blogging