Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that on April 21 Google released their new mobile algorithm. This release is aimed at improving Google mobile search results for mobile friendly websites. This is such a huge, significant, and game changing release that it’s being called “MobileGeddon”
Google wants to give users the most useful and relevant search results. So it’s no wonder they reward a mobile friendly website with higher search engine ranking. Most business owners don’t have a mobile ready website, even though more than 50% of all consumers search for products and services on mobile devices.
So you are probably wondering…why is this such a big deal? When a consumer visits your website on a desktop or laptop, they should be able to navigate it easily, find what they are looking for and engage with your content. When that same prospect visits your website on a mobile device, they expect the same experience. But that won’t be the case if your website is not mobile friendly.
Various elements of a website that work on desktop/laptop, won’t work the same on mobile devices unless your website has been designed on a responsive framework. For example, the majority of websites use a horizontal menu bar that spans the width of the website. If your website is not mobile ready, the right side of the menu will be cutoff on mobile devices. Now your customers cannot fully navigate your website.
If your fonts, buttons or links are too small or too close together, the visitor won’t be able to tap on the button/link they are interested in. Or worse yet, they will tap on something and it will send them to a different page!
Just like the menu, the content itself will also appear cut-off on the right hand side of the page. If your videos don’t play or if they consume too much battery on a mobile device, the visitor will loose interest and move on. Any or all of these scenarios add up to a bad mobile experience that will turn prospects away.
Back in May Google stated that mobile search surpassed desktop search. So mobile friendly websites will continue to rank higher in search results. Consider that in addition to loosing search results ranking, you are also loosing customers to your competition if your website is not mobile friendly.
Consumers are very likely to leave a site that is not mobile friendly. A study shows that 71% of consumers will revisit a site if it’s mobile friendly. To fully understand the update read FAQ from Google
What To Do If Your Website Is Not Mobile Friendly
1. Test your website
Google created a mobile website testing tool. Visit Google’s Mobile Friendly test tool to check your website. Enter the url of website and Google shows you how it used your pages and whether or not your website is mobile ready.
2. Update your current site
If your site doesn’t pass Google’s test, you will see the reasons why. Review the results and make the changes to your site so that it’s mobile friendly. Test again after all changes are done to see if your site successfully passes Google’s Mobile ready test.
3. Build a new Mobile website
Mobile search will continue to outpace desktop search, so every business owner needs to have a mobile ready website. While it may seem expensive now, believe me you need to be mobile friendly to grow your small business.
You might be tempted on simply creating a new mobile version of your website and leave your current website intact. I caution against this from a business perspective. It’s all about branding and giving your prospect a consistent look, feel and experience no matter what device they use to visit your website.
As long as you are going to bite the bullet and redesign for mobile, do it right! After all isn’t your business worth it? Don’t cut corners, it will cost you more in the long run.
4. Monitor your search engine traffic
Once your website is mobile friendly check your Google analytics traffic on a frequent basis. Monitor your traffic from mobile to make sure it’s heading in the right direction. Continue to check your desktop traffic as well as this gives you an indication of where the majority of your visitors come from. If you see a spike in mobile traffic, you know you are on the right track!
Mobile search is here to stay and Google will continue to tweak it’s algorithm. If you want to keep up with your competition and grow your business, you MUST have a mobile friendly website!