Smartphones and other devices are fast becoming the preferred method of Internet access; if you have not already got a mobile website, you need to get one soon. Why? Because it’s what your customers want and they are expecting you to provide it.
Increasingly, your customers are not sitting front of desktops or laptops. Instead, they are on the go and they are accessing your website from their mobile devices. If you do not give customers what they want (easy visibility and navigation so they can browse and shop on their mobile), they will go someplace else.
Why You Need A Mobile Site For Mobile Search
Rumours have been circulating for some time that Google now wants you to mobile-ise your website. The truth is that Google has expanded its use of mobile-friendliness and now use it as a ranking signal. This means that websites with mobile compatibility and app connectivity will be awarded higher rankings in search results than those sites without.
According to the announcement on its Webmaster Central blog, Google said:
“Starting April 21 2015, 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 optimised for their devices.”
What Does It Mean For Your Website And SEO?
In short, if your website is not mobile-friendly, meaning your site is non-responsive to different screen sizes, properly configured and able to be viewed on multiple device types, Google is making plans to penalise your search rankings. So, all the valuable SEO your site has could be for nothing if your site is not viewable on a mobile device.
The reasoning for this update is simple; as the world moves to mobile and more of our lives occur on handheld devices, it is critical that websites are able to keep up. By rewarding the sites that are mobile-friendly, Google is continuing to shape the digital landscape. Very clever! The message is clear; if your current website is not mobile-friendly, it WILL start to drop in Google’s mobile search results. So, you must pay attention to your search engine results pages, your site volume and more importantly, you need to put together a plan to upgrade your website to a responsive site as soon as possible.
How Can I Check That My Site Is Mobile-Friendly?
Google couldn’t have made this process any easier, with the release of their mobile-friendly test tool. Simply click on the link to open the tool, put in your website URL and ask the tool to analyse and show you the results: Mobile-Friendly Tool.
What Does Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Results Mean?
A positive test result means that your website will benefit from the mobile-friendly algorithm update. At the very least, your site should retain its mobile rankings. If a website that has typically been ranking higher than yours in mobile search results is not mobile-friendly, it now means that your website could rank even higher! For mobile-friendly sites, this algorithm update is an upside for organic search performance.
A negative test result means that your site will not benefit from the update and that competitors’ sites that are mobile-friendly could push your site down in the mobile search rankings. This algorithm update is bad news for sites that Google does not see as mobile-friendly.
How Do You Go About Creating A Mobile-Friendly Site?
Do not try to simply ‘tweak’ your existing website to try to make it so. Traditional websites do not display well on mobile devices as mobile devices have smaller displays and will often distort visuals on regular websites. Interface elements also need to be enlarged for easy touchscreen navigation. That does not mean you should ignore those customers who still use desktops and laptops though, as they still account for a significant portion of your customer base and new prospects. You need a solution that fits all scenarios.
What you need to do is speak to a website professional who can fully analyse how your existing site is built and where the improvements need to be made. Improve Position has worked with many companies to redevelop their websites to make them fully responsive and we would happily review yours at no obligation. Contact us today to find out about our WordPress development services or why not take up our offer of a FREE SEO report.