There is no denying that most businesses would not imagine their operations nowadays without having an online presence. Having a website has become a must over the past years. However, with the ever increasing use of mobile devices, it has also become imperative for a website to be mobile- friendly. If your website is not mobile-friendly it is running a risk, and your business is going to take a serious blow too.
As from the 21st of April 2015, Google expanded its use of mobile friendliness as a key ranking signal. This change is going to affect mobile searches carried out in all languages and it has a significant impact on the search results. This is one of the biggest ranking updates that has ever been introduced by Google. As a result of this change, a user will find it easier to get relevant search results which are optimized for mobile devices.
But, even though mobile users are set to benefit from this change, it is also going to be the downfall of many websites. In fact, some 90% of websites are going to be in trouble since search rankings are going to suffer dramatically following this change. Therefore it has become critical for website owners to save their Google rankings as soon as possible.
But why has Google introduced this change?
The main reason why Google has made this change is because statistics show clearly that mobile internet is becoming increasingly popular. It is in fact practically taking over traditional desktop use for most activities. As a result of this exponential growth in mobile usage, Google has had to change the way it ranks and how it displays websites.
Since this update is going to affect negatively any websites that are not mobile-friendly, it goes without saying that something needs to be done, and fast! If you are one of those who has a website that is not mobile-friendly, you need to take this really seriously. You have to make it a priority to make your website mobile-friendly as soon as possible, because with every day that goes by, competitors will have outranked you. This will ultimately lead to potential customers to buy products or services from your competitors instead of from you.
What is a mobile-friendly website all about?
The term mobile friendliness is becoming increasingly popular, but are you aware what it really means? Simply put, a mobile-friendly site is one that can be easily accessible and properly viewed on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or a tablet. When your website was designed, it was created to be viewed on the large screen of a desktop computer or a laptop. But now you need to imagine that website on a much smaller screen. The first thing that tends to come to mind is how are you going to squash all that information and images to fit a small screen properly. This is what mobile friendliness is all about at the end of the day. Your website needs to be laid out well so that it is aesthetically pleasing and easy to browse and read. Now your visitors will not be clicking with a mouse, but they will be pinching and zooming their way around your website. Your aim is to make this a pleasant experience for them, rather than an irritating or wearisome one. If they start to find it difficult to browse through it, chances are that they will simply leave and check out your competitor’s website, and you surely do not want this to happen, especially considering how much you had invested to develop your website and to drive traffic to it. You certainly do not want to put all that time, effort and money to waste, and to couple that up with a loss in customers and sales too!
What should you do now?
So, at this point you are surely appreciating the importance of having a mobile friendly website. But how will you know if your site is mobile friendly or not?
All you have to do is to test your website with this tool: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.
It is really simple to use. Just paste your website’s URL and press the blue “Analyze” button. This tool will then give you the result – that is whether your website is mobile-friendly, or whether you need to make any improvements.
What are you going to do if your site is not mobile-friendly?
To have a mobile-friendly site you are going to have to do some updates. Let us go over some ways with which you can get your site to be mobile- friendly.
Responsive web design
Basically the actual content of your site and the HTML coding will remain the same across all mobile devices. However, with the use of different style sheets you will be able to reformat how your site is displayed across different mobile devices. With a responsive website design you will be able to hide, display or rearrange content according to different screen sizes.
As the name itself implies, this mobile website design will be able to detect the type of device, and adapt accordingly. Even though a single URL is used across all devices, there will be different versions of the site provided to the user, depending on the device he or she is using.
Standalone mobile websites
Unlike the previous two, standalone mobile sites will have unique URLs. So they will be a completely separate website from the desktop version.
Each one of these options has its respective pros and cons. Responsive mobile website designs are currently favoured by Google. This is mainly because a responsive design is more easy to update and maintain.
What will your next steps be?
If you want your website to attract traffic, it is literally essential to invest in site that is mobile-friendly. It may seem a bit daunting, but it is not something that you should panic about. You just need to take this seriously and to make the necessary changes as soon as possible.