Tag Archive | "Responsive"

SearchCap: Google hack removal, Allo goes goodbye & responsive search ads

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.



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Google responsive display ads roll out as new default display format

Advertisers upload their assets and leave the ad creation to Google’s algorithms.



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SearchCap: Responsive display ads roll out on Google, Bing Ads update, register for SMX East & more

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.



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Google extends added character benefits of Responsive Search Ads to text ads

The new text ad format will continue to roll out this fall. In the meantime, standard text ads can get longer, too.



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Is responsive web design enough? (Hint: No)

Contributor Kris Jones explains why having a responsive web design is a great first step but combining AMP with a PWA design is better.

The post Is responsive web design enough? (Hint: No) appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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SearchCap: Google AdWords customer match, responsive ads & Apple indoor maps

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Google AdWords customer match, responsive ads & Apple indoor maps appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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New features may be coming to AdWords Responsive Ads

Some accounts are now requiring a square image.

The post New features may be coming to AdWords Responsive Ads appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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Beyond Responsive: Design and Development Trends for Adaptable Marketers

Posted by Carson-Ward

A friend of mine recently asked me to review and explain a series of site recommendations sent over by a well-known digital marketing agency with roots in SEO. We talked through the (generally good) recommendations for content and search optimization, and then we got to this:

“* Mobile accounts for 53% of your traffic. We recommend building a mobile-friendly responsive website. Google recommends using responsive design so that your site looks good on all devices, and it may help increase mobile rankings.”

And that was it. A bullet point that says “build a responsive site” is like getting a home inspection back with a bunch of minor repairs and a bullet point that says, “Also, build a new house with modern specs.”

We, as professional marketers, need to realize that this advice is not good enough. We’re not helping anyone with broad statements that give no guidance on where to start or what to think about. Google might recommend responsive, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only option or that it’s always the right option. Even if it is the right option, we need to have some idea on how to do responsive right.

If we’re going to tell people to redesign their websites, we’d better have something more profound than a single bullet point on a 20-page document. Implying that “Google will reward you for responsive” and leaving it at that could do more harm than good. It also misses a tremendous opportunity to help clients build a great website with an awesome user experience.

It’s fine if you’re not well-versed in site architecture, design, user experience, and/or user intent. Just don’t mention a gargantuan project like a site redesign if all you have to say is “build a responsive site, because Google.”

This post is a look at how companies are handling the future of the web, for better or worse. My goal is to help SEOs, content marketers, and all other digital marketers to speak more intelligently about responsive, mobile, and other design and development trends.

Don’t follow the crowd: you risk going full Windows 8.

We learned some important lessons about cross-platform design from the disaster that was Windows 8. It was a mess for lots of reasons – and yet I see the same people who mocked Windows 8 beginning to make some of the same mistakes on their websites. For those who never used Windows 8 in its early days, let me explain why it was so bad.

  • “Metro” (or “Modern” or whatever) shunned navigation for modern simplicity. It featured big icons – and no clear way to do more than click icons. Desktop users hated it.
  • There were a bunch of useful features and options most people never knew about hidden in sub-navigation. Windows 8 could actually do some cool new stuff – but few people knew it could, because it wasn’t visible.
  • Users didn’t know how to do what they wanted. Menus and buttons were shunned in favor of bloated pictures of app icons. Common features like the start menu, control panel, and file search were suddenly moved to non-standard places. Thousands of people turned to Google every month to figure out how to do simple things like turn their computer off and run a search. That’s RIDICULOUS.

A small sample of people asking Google to help them navigate a Microsoft product. Also interesting: Windows 7 has always had lower searches for these terms despite 4-5x the number of active users.

Now here we are, three years later, watching the web go full Windows 8 on their users. Menus are scaled down into little hamburgers on desktop. Don’t do that! You’re alienating your desktop users just like Windows 8 did. Users have to click two or three times instead of just once to find what they need in your menu. And don’t kid yourself: You’re not Windows. No one’s going to ask Google how to use your site’s nav. They’re just going to look at result number two.

Let’s look at an example of making the Windows 8 mistake on the web. Let’s go big. Let’s go Honda.

This is what happens when you take a design trend and try to force it on your corporate site without thinking about users or why they’re coming to your site. What does this site sell? Dreams? Clouds? Stock images? The text on the page could be placed on almost any corporate site in the world. Honda has gone full Windows 8 on their corporate site.

Aside: I’m picking on Honda because I know they can take a beating here and keep running – just like my CR-V (which I love).

I’m obviously not a fan of the expanding mobile-style navigational menu on desktop, but Honda blew me away with an overly-complicated mess of a menu.

I understand the company makes major engines, boats, and aircraft parts. Having lots of parts to your business doesn’t mean that each part deserves equal emphasis. Honda needs to step back and ask what users want when they get to the site, and realize that it’s unfeasible to serve every intent – especially if it wants to maintain its simplistic design.

What about the competition?

Toyota and other competitors know most users visiting the site want to look at automobile options or find a dealer. Both Honda and Toyota have sites for racing, and both companies sell industrial engines. But Toyota understands that most users landing on Toyota.com want the consumer brand, and that racing enthusiasts will Google “Toyota racing” instead. There’s also a link way down in the footer.

The exception to the rule of avoiding what I’m calling mobile-only design might be a design firm. Here’s Big Spaceship’s site. They’re a design agency that knows more about web design than I ever will. It’s a great site, and it’s probably going to get them sales. Do not copy them. Don’t imitate a design agency’s website unless you are a design agency. I’m talking to you, Honda.

When a user visits a design firm’s site, they want to see the company’s skills. Design agencies like Big Spaceship are wise to immediately showcase and sell users on their design capabilities. In essence, the home page acts as a full-page product shot and sales page.

I’ve seen SEO/Design/Marketing agencies create what are essentially design-only websites, and then wonder why no one is interested in their SEO services. I’ve seen product companies use a logo + hamburger menu + massive product image layout and have problems selling anything but the product featured in the first image. That’s what you get for copying the cool kids.

It only makes sense to show one thing if you only do one thing. Good design in Amazon’s case is very different. Amazon has millions of products, and they don’t want people clicking through categories, choosing the wrong ones, and getting lost or frustrated. The search function is key with a mega-site: thus the not-so-pretty search bar on every Amazon page.

Align your users’ intents with nav items and landing page content. Show them how to browse or search your goods and services without making them click unnecessarily. Keep browse-able items to a manageable level, and make sure you have a simple click path to things people want to do on your site. Look at how Medium aligns intent with design.

Simplicity works for Medium posts: the user wants to read the post they’ve landed on, and the focus of the site’s design is on reading the post. Medium will hold off on getting you to read or share more until you’re done reading. Most of those calls to action are at the bottom of the article. Now look at the home page.

Smart. When someone lands on a post, they want to read the post. So show them the post! When someone lands on the home page, their intents vary. Give them options that aren’t hidden behind a hamburger menu. Show them what they can do.

Figure out what your users want to know or see, and build those elements prominently into the site. Don’t blindly copy web design, or you risk following Windows 8 in alienating your core users, especially on desktop.

So how do you know what your users want to see?

1. Run on-page surveys

One of the best ways to figure out what people are looking for is to ask them. Don’t continually annoy people with popups, but if you’re just starting out it’s worth gathering the information up-front. Ask people what they’re looking for when they visit your site. We use Qualaroo, but there are lots of simple tools that can be implemented quickly.

If you already know what people are looking for, you should make sure you know what their primary considerations are for buying. Does price matter to them more than power or quality? If price matters most to your buyers, price should be featured prominently in the design.

2. Use split tests to understand intent

There are lots of reasons to run split tests, and the focus should usually be on conversion. The problem is that sometimes we focus exclusively on which version converted better, and forget to ask why.

We use Optimizely, and it’s awesome. We also keep a log of test results with our pre-test hypothesis, pages tested, a link to results, and why we think it won. Then we try to think about the implications if we’re right about our conclusion.

  • Where else might we be making the mistake of the losing version?
  • What other pages are impacted if we’re right about what our users want?
  • Is there content we can create to solve the users’ problems? Are there key pages or explanations that are missing?

It’s a little bit dangerous to over-apply a single test’s conclusions on the whole site, so this usually leads to more testing. After three or four tests you might be ready to make moderate changes without running a split test, allowing you to move on to the next big test.

3. Look at in-market segments

Try to figure out where your users are mentally by looking at in-market segments. Don’t mistake in-market segments for what users are trying to buy. Instead, use it to understand what else the user has been looking at. Here’s a site we work on, for example:

So what is this telling me on our home services site? What do real estate, employment, hotels, new cars, and home furniture have in common? These are all things people need if they’re moving. If we’re smart about it, our site should have messaging and navigation options clearly intended for people who are moving. Maybe moving guides would be a good content idea. These are all opportunities that go unnoticed if we’re only focused on what people want to buy.

Some sites are going back to mobile sites, and that’s okay

It’s been said that Google “likes” responsive design and will reward responsive sites with higher search rankings. I disagree on that second point. Google likes sites that give the user what they want, regardless of the technology used.

Yes, Google has recommended responsive design. So do I, but I do so because it’s by far the easiest multi-device approach to maintain and the hardest to completely mess up. That doesn’t mean it’s the only way, and that does not mean that Google will penalize a site for providing a superior mobile experience in a different way.

There are lots of benefits to mobile sites. On some sites the intent and behavior of mobile users is different enough from desktop users that it justifies creating a mobile-specific experience. It’s also compatible with the goal of a fast-loading site.

Responsive sites are generally much slower to load, according to a report from The Search Agency.

You can and should make your site fast with responsive, but there are a host of reasons most responsive sites end up slower on mobile. Both dynamically-served sites and mobile sites naturally lend themselves to building with speed in mind. A mobile-specific site can also offer an experience that is ideal for the user intent at that time.

This past July, Cindy Krum talked about “mobile intent” during her Mozcon presentation. It might sound like a buzzword, but it’s true that mobile users are in a different spot. They’re not looking to compare as much. They want to either buy quickly or get some quick details on the product.

If you’re thinking about doing a mobile site, make sure you have lots of people ready to build it out correctly and maintain it. Don’t underestimate the dev time it will take to make the entire site work. You’ll need SEOs who know how to set up rel tags and ideally make sure the mobile site has an identical URL structure. You’ll need lots of QA to make sure all your page types are being served correctly.

Some SEOs will say that a mobile sub-domain or sub-folder is worse for SEO because links to one won’t count as links to the other. Nonsense! That’s what the rel=”canonical” and rel=”alternate” tags are for. Just like fretting over non-www 301 redirecting to the www version, these are things that made a big difference at one point, but are no longer as essentially important as they were. Google is smart enough to understand what’s happening – unless you don’t implement them correctly.

Responsive design is still a better option for most companies, but there’s no reason to be dogmatic about it. There’s a reason Google gives you three options. A mobile site can work for larger companies, and is often the best option for mega e-commerce sites.

Web development continues to evolve – including JavaScript libraries

JavaScript usage is place where the SEOs are often guilty of giving dated advice. SEO should enable great content to appear to more people in more searches. SEO should not be used to restrict useful content creating tools unless absolutely necessary.

Traditional SEO wisdom has always been to avoid putting any content into JavaScript that we want the crawlers to see. This is outdated advice for websites in 2015. Libraries like React and Angular can be amazing tools. They’re full of features, fun to use, and can make your website feel faster and more responsive.

If Google wants to reward a positive user experience, and if JavaScript can help site owners provide a stellar user experience, then SEOs should embrace JavaScript. Rather than lobbying against any JavaScript on the site it’s time to get a little more sophisticated in our approach to help the team use their tools correctly.

React and Angular can definitely make your dynamic content more fun to use, but they also make heavy use of AJAX-like client-side execution, which Google doesn’t really understand (yet). Developers and SEOs should be aware of how to make it work.

Making AJAX Google-friendly could be its own post. In fact, there are already several great posts. Google also has some great guides – make sure to check the linked resources, too. One small warning: there’s a lot of outdated info out there on the topic.

You can get around a lot of the nitty-gritty technical SEO using things like Prerender or V8. Try to find a tool that will automatically generate a crawlable version while using AJAX. Communicate with your developers to find a solution that works with your setup.

A humbling example

As I said, it’s important to make sure that you communicate with developers before construction begins. I’ll use a painful recent experience as an example. We just built a react-based tool that helps beginners estimate how much internet speed they need. It immediately redirected all visitors to a URL with a hashtag and the rest of the survey is behind a hashtag. And none of the text could be crawled without client-side execution.

Oops.

We built an awesome tool, and then hid it from Google. Someone fire the guy who missed that… just don’t tell anyone it was me. We used React.js here, and it was a blast. We’ve also received great feedback from users. The lesson here is not to avoid React and AJAX. The lesson here is to communicate SEO requirements to the developers early. The fix will be done soon, but it took a lot longer than if I’d done my due diligence beforehand.

Understanding Google-friendly JavaScript implementation is the job of every SEO. Other digital marketers should at least be aware that there’s a potential problem and a technical solution.

I love interactive tools that are fast and useful. SEOs should be facilitating the building of things that are awesome. That means helping find solutions rather than lobbying against an entire toolset that’s widely used on the modern web.

Don’t forget About indexable apps

Google can now index and rank apps, and they have some decent guidelines on how to do it. It’s possible that app-based companies with an exclusively mobile client base don’t even need a traditional website.

Most companies will still want to build and maintain websites, but be open to the idea that a responsive site might not be the best option for a small mobile game developer. The right option might instead be to add links to content and discussion and then support deep linking within the app.

Even if app-only isn’t the right option, consider that content within apps could be a more engaging medium for people who have already installed the app. For example, a discussion board for players of the game might work better within the game app itself. It could definitely feel more engaging and immersive if users never have to leave the app to ask a fellow user a question or rant about the latest update.

Final thoughts

A site might look awesome when you shrink and expand the window while presenting the design to the c-suite, but if the real decision makers, the users, don’t know what a cheeseburger menu is, you’re not going to sell very many stock photos of earth. Responsive design is a great option – often the right option – but it isn’t the only option. Hopefully this post can help get some thoughts started how to do responsive right.

I’m absolutely not saying that responsive is dead. My point is that if our advice drifts into design and development we should be able to give more concrete advice. Don’t just build websites that respond to screen size. Build websites that respond immediately to your customer’s needs.

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Responsive Design for Mobile SEO

Why Is Mobile So Important?

If you look just at your revenue numbers as a publisher, it is easy to believe mobile is of limited importance. In our last post I mentioned an AdAge article highlighting how the New York Times was generating over half their traffic from mobile with it accounting for about 10% of their online ad revenues.

Large ad networks (Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo!, etc.) can monetize mobile *much* better than other publishers can because they aggressively blend the ads right into the social stream or search results, causing them to have a much higher CTR than ads on the desktop. Bing recently confirmed the same trend RKG has highlighted about Google’s mobile ad clicks:

While mobile continues to be an area of rapid and steady growth, we are pleased to report that the Yahoo Bing Network’s search and click volumes from smart phone users have more than doubled year-over-year. Click volumes have generally outpaced growth in search volume

Those ad networks want other publishers to make their sites mobile friendly for a couple reasons…

  • If the downstream sites are mobile friendly, then users are more likely to go back to the central ad / search / social networks more often & be more willing to click out on the ads from them.
  • If mobile is emphasized in importance, then those who are critical of the value of the channel may eat some of the blame for relative poor performance, particularly if they haven’t spent resources optimizing user experience on the channel.

Further Elevating the Importance of Mobile

Google has hinted at the importance of having a mobile friendly design, labeling friendly sites, testing labeling slow sites & offering tools to test how mobile friendly a site design is.

Today Google put out an APB warning they are going to increase the importance of mobile friendly website design:

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.

In the past Google would hint that they were working to clean up link spam or content farms or website hacking and so on. In some cases announcing such efforts was done to try to discourage investment in the associated strategies, but it is quite rare that Google pre-announces an algorithmic shift which they state will be significant & they put an exact date on it.

I wouldn’t recommend waiting until the last day to implement the design changes, as it will take Google time to re-crawl your site & recognize if the design is mobile friendly.

Those who ignore the warning might be in for significant pain.

Some sites which were hit by Panda saw a devastating 50% to 70% decline in search traffic, but given how small mobile phone screen sizes are, even ranking just a couple spots lower could cause an 80% or 90% decline in mobile search traffic.

Another related issue referenced in the above post was tying in-app content to mobile search personalization:

Starting today, we will begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, we may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search. To find out how to implement App Indexing, which allows us to surface this information in search results, have a look at our step-by-step guide on the developer site.

Google also announced today they are extending AdWords-styled ads to their Google Play search results, so they now have a direct economic incentive to allow app activity to bleed into their organic ranking factors.

m. Versus Responsive Design

Some sites have a separate m. version for mobile visitors, while other sites keep consistent URLs & employ responsive design. How the m. version works is on the regular version of their site (say like www.seobook.com) a webmaster could add an alternative reference to the mobile version in the head section of the document

<link rel=”alternate” media=”only screen and (max-width: 640px)” href=”http://m.seobook.com/” >

…and then on the mobile version, they would rel=canonical it back to the desktop version, likeso…

<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.seobook.com/” >

With the above sort of code in place, Google would rank the full version of the site on desktop searches & the m. version in mobile search results.

3 or 4 years ago it was a toss up as to which of these 2 options would win, but over time it appears the responsive design option is more likely to win out.

Here are a couple reasons responsive is likely to win out as a better solution:

  • If people share a mobile-friendly URL on Twitter, Facebook or other social networks & the URL changes, then when someone on a desktop computer clicks on the shared m. version of the page with fewer ad units & less content on the page, then the publisher is providing a worse user experience & is losing out on incremental monetization they would have achieved with the additional ad units.
  • While some search engines and social networks might be good at consolidating the performance of the same piece of content across multiple URL versions, some of them will periodically mess it up. That in turn will lead in some cases to lower rankings in search results or lower virality of content on social networks.
  • Over time there is an increasing blur between phones and tablets with phablets. Some high pixel density screens on cross over devices may appear large in terms of pixel count, but still not have particularly large screens, making it easy for users to misclick on the interface.
  • When Bing gave their best practices for mobile, they stated: “Ideally, there shouldn’t be a difference between the “mobile-friendly” URL and the “desktop” URL: the site would automatically adjust to the device — content, layout, and all.” In that post Bing shows some examples of m. versions of sites ranking in their mobile search results, however for smaller & lesser known sites they may not rank the m. version the way they do for Yelp or Wikipedia, which means that even if you optimize the m. version of the site to a great degree, that isn’t the version all mobile searchers will see. Back in 2012 Bing also stated their preference for a single version of a URL, in part based on lowering crawl traffic & consolidation of ranking signals.

In addition to responsive web design & separate mobile friendly URLs, a third configuration option is dynamic serving, which uses the Vary HTTP header to detect the user-agent & use that to drive the layout. For large, complex & high-traffic sites (and sites with numerous staff programmers & designers) dynamic serving is perhaps the best optimization solution because you can optimize the images and code to lower bandwidth costs and response times. Most smaller sites will likely rely on responsive design rather than dynamic serving, in large part because it is quicker & cheaper to implement, and most are not running sites large enough to where the incremental bandwidth provides a significant incremental expense to their business.

Solutions for Quickly Implementing Responsive Design

New Theme / Design

If your site hasn’t been updated in years you might be suprised at what you find available on sites like ThemeForest for quite reasonable prices. Many of the options are responsive out of the gate & look good with a day or two of customization. Theme subscription services like WooThemes and Elegant Themes also have responsive options.

Child Themes

Some of the default WordPress themes are responsive. Creating a child theme is quite easy. The popular Thesis and Studiopress frameworks also offer responsive skins.

PSD to HTML HTML to Responsive HTML

Some of the PSD to HTML conversion services like PSD 2 HTML, HTML Slicemate & XHTML Chop offer responsive design conversion of existing HTML sites in as little as a day or two, though you will likely need to do at least a few minor changes when you put the designs live to compensate for issues like third party ad units and other minor issues.

If you have an existing WordPress theme, you might want to see if you can zip it up and send it to them, or else they may make your new theme as a child theme of 2015 or such. If you are struggling to get them to convert your WordPress theme over (like they are first converting it to a child theme of 2015 or such) then another option would be to have them do a static HTML file conversion (instead of a WordPress conversion) and then feed that through a theme creation tool like Themespress.

For simple hand rolled designs there are a variety of grid generator tools, which can make it reasonably easy to replace some old school table-based designs with divs. Many of the themes for sale in marketplaces like Theme Forest also use a multi-column div grid based system.

Other Things to Look Out For

Third Party Plug-ins & Ad Code Gotchas

Google allows webmasters to alter the ad calls on their mobile responsive AdSense ad units to show different sized ad units to different screen sizes & skip showing some ad units on smaller screens. An AdSense code example is included in an expandable section at the bottom of this page.

<style type=”text/css”>
.adslot_1 { display:inline-block; width: 320px; height: 50px; }
@media (max-width: 400px) { .adslot_1 { display: none; } }
@media (min-width:500px) { .adslot_1 { width: 468px; height: 60px; } }
@media (min-width:800px) { .adslot_1 { width: 728px; height: 90px; } }
</style>
<ins class=”adsbygoogle adslot_1″
data-ad-client=”ca-pub-1234″
data-ad-slot=”5678″></ins>
<script async src=”//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js”></script>
<script>(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});</script>

For other ads which perhaps don’t have a “mobile friendly” option you could use CSS to either set the ad unit to display none or to set the ad unit to overflow using code like either of the following

hide it:

@media only screen and (max-width: ___px) {
     .bannerad {
          display: none;
     }
}

overflow it:

@media only screen and (max-width: ___px) {
     .ad-unit {
          max-width: ___px;
          overflow: scroll;
     }
}

Images are another tricky point.

img {
height:auto;
max-width:100%;
}

Here are a few other general responsive CSS tricks.

Before Putting Your New Responsive Site Live…

Back up your old site before putting the new site live.

For static HTML sites or sites with PHP or SHTML includes & such…

  • Download a copy of your existing site to local.
  • Rename that folder to something like sitename.com-OLDVERSION
  • Upload the sitename.com-OLDVERSION folder to your server. If anything goes drastically wrong during your conversion process you can rename the new site design to something like sitename.com-HOSED then set the sitename.com-OLDVERSION folder to sitename.com to quickly restore the site.
  • Download your site to local again.
  • Ensure your new site design is using a different CSS folder or CSS filename such that they old and new versions of the design can be live at the same time while you are editing the site.
  • Create a test file with the responsive design on your site & test that page until things work well enough.
  • Once that page works well enough, test changing your homepage over to the new design & then save and upload it to verify it works properly. In addition to using your cell phone you could see how it looks on a variety of devices via the mobile browser testing emulation tool in Chrome, or a wide array of third party tools like: MobileTest.me, MobileMoxy Device Emulator, iPadPeek, Mobile Phone Emulator, Browshot, Matt Kersley’s responsive web design testing tool, BrowserStack, Cross Browser Testing, & the W3C mobileOK Checker. Paid services like Keynote offer manual testing rather than emulation on a wide variety of devices. There is also paid downloadable desktop emulation software like Multi-browser view.
  • Once you have the general “what needs changed in each file” down, then use find & replace to bulk edit the remaining files to make the changes to make them responsive.
  • Use a tool like FileZilla to quickly bulk upload the files.
  • Look through key pages and if there are only a few minor errors then fix them and re-upload them. If things are majorly screwed up then revert to the old design being live and schedule a do over on the upgrade.
  • If you have a decently high traffic site, it might make sense to schedule the above process for late Friday night or an off hour on the weekend, such that if anything goes astray you have fewer people seeing the errors while you frantically rush to fix them. :)
  • If you want to view your top pages you could export that data from your web analytics to verify all those pages look good. If you wanted to view every page of your site 1 at a time after the change, you could use a tool like Xenu Link Sleuth or Screaming Frog SEO Spider to crawl your site & export a list of URLs into a spreadsheet. Then you could take the URLs from that spreadsheet and put them a chunk at a time into a tool like URL Opener.

If you have little faith in the above test-it-live “methodology” & would prefer a slower & lower stress approach, you could create a test site on another domain name for testing purposes. Just be sure to include a noindex directive in the robots.txt file or password protect access to the site while testing. When you get things worked out on it, make sure your internal links are referencing the correct domain name, and that you have removed any block via robots.txt or password protection.

For a site with a CMS the above process is basically the same, except for how you might need to create a different backup. If you are uploading a WordPress or Drupal theme, then change the name at least slightly so you can keep the old and new designs live at the same time so you can quickly switch back to the old design if you need to.

If you have a mixed site with WordPress & static files or such then it might make sense to test changing the static files first, get those to work well & then create a WordPress theme after that.

Update: at a conference a Googler named Zineb Ait Bahajji recently stated they expect this update to impact more sites than Panda and Penguin have. And Google recently started sending out mobile usability warning messages in bulk:

Google systems have tested 2,790 pages from your site and found that 100% of them have critical mobile usability errors. The errors on these 2,790 pages severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website. These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.

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Email Marketing: Taking advantage of responsive design [Video]

Watch this excerpt from a MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014 panel discussion on responsive email design for tips on how to improve your customer’s user experience on any device — mobile or otherwise.
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