Monday May 4, 2015 0 comments
By Andrea Lotz
Over a month ago, Google revealed that they would soon be taking the next step in making the Internet more mobile-friendly. As of April 21, the update has gone live.
In brief: For searches done from mobile devices, a web page’s “mobile friendliness” now has a much bigger impact on how it ranks compared to other sites.
This doesn’t mean that Google will just put non-mobile sites at the bottom of the rankings for mobile searches. There are tons of ranking criteria, and mobile-friendliness is only one. All the new algorithm does is increase the impact of mobile friendliness on rankings. They’re also getting more organized about how they measure it and reward it.
How will Mobilegeddon impact small business?
As many as 80 percent of small businesses don’t have a mobile-friendly website. For small businesses, who are already in stiff competition to rank for their relevant keywords, the new update could have a noticeable impact.
Why does mobile friendly matter?
More than 60 percent of all Google searches are currently performed on mobile devices, and the numbers are rising all the time. It only makes sense that mobile users should be able to easily read web pages on their phones.
You’ve probably experienced the frustration of trying to read a non-mobile website on your phone. Zooming in to make the text large enough to read, being forced to scroll horizontally to read everything, and struggling with links that are either to easy or too hard to click with a finger—these are all common frustrations with web browsing on a mobile device.
Mobile friendly sites allow mobile searchers to get quality results that are easily viewable on their devices. And because mobile users prefer and are more likely to return to mobile-friendly sites, it only makes sense to cater to their needs.
Really, Mobilegeddon is just making good sense into policy.
What is Google looking for?
Google has a lot of ways of determining a site’s mobile-friendliness.
First, it looks at the site’s mobile design. There are two basic types:
- Responsive design: the site is smart enough to figure out the size of the screen it’s being viewed on and adjusts accordingly
- Mobile-specific site: a different version of the site that is specifically designed for mobile.
It also looks for loading speed and elements that won’t work on a mobile device (take note if you’re still using Flash!).
How do I know if my site is mobile friendly?
What do I do if I need a redesign?
If your site isn’t mobile friendly – don’t despair. This is a great opportunity for you to reinvest in your website. Here are some benefits you’re likely to see:
- Increased traffic from mobile searches
- More customers converting from mobile devices
- Better ranking for your important keywords
First, you need to decide if you want to go with a designated “mobile version” of your site, or opt for a responsive design. Getting a responsive design costs more than a mobile version, but you get more for your money.
A responsive design is more future-proofed. No matter how much mobile screen sizes change in the next 10 years, your website will be able to adapt. For SEO purposes, it’s much easier to have just one responsive site rather than a main site and a mobile one. In fact, responsive design is how Google recommends dealing with Mobilegeddon.
But it’s not just about Mobilegeddon. You know how frustrating it is when you can’t read a website on your smart phone. Mobile design isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity for having a strong online presence. Do yourself a favor and stop putting off the inevitable. Invest in a responsive design today, but do it because your customers demand it, not because Google does.