On April 21st, Google began ranking sites based on mobile-friendliness.
We’ve all searched for a business or information on our mobile devices and been frustrated when we weren’t able to read a page or see the image of an item we were looking for. With the forthcoming Google search update, we will be less likely to find websites which are difficult to read on our phones and tablets. This is good for the consumer, but it might easily become an issue for in-bound marketers.
What does this mean for your business website?
In the simplest of terms, it means if your site provides a responsive experience for the user it will rank higher in searches. By default, if your site is not mobile friendly, a lower ranking may mean fewer visitors to your site and potentially lost business.
What does mobile-friendly mean to Google?
Understanding what criteria Google uses in its search rankings can be tricky to grasp, even for seasoned analytic tech types. In the case of determining what Google’s web crawler means by mobile-friendliness, it is pretty straight forward.
Some of the key page components are:
- Avoids use of Flash and similar software not usually found on mobile devices.
- Readable text without having to zoom in or out.
- Content is sized to eliminate scrolling horizontally.
- Links which are spaced far enough apart so the desired link is easily clicked.
It is worth noting a couple of important characteristics of the April 21st update.
Search results will be affected on mobile devices such as Smartphones and tablets not laptops or desktop computers.
Google also made the rollout worldwide and page by page. These two points are significant. Often technical updates are made in one country first and then other and so on. On April 21st search results around the world were impacted at the same time.
Of particular interest is the page by page aspect of the update. This means each page of a website is analyzed individually for its mobile-friendliness. This is particularly beneficial to sites which are currently only partially responsive. For example, your product catalogue may be mobile-friendly but your blog may not be.
As we see more and more consumers using mobile devices not only for research but for purchasing as well, it will become imperative for your site’s design to create a seamless experience for visitors – no matter what device they are using to find you.
Is your website still not mobile-friendly? It may not be that difficult to update! Contact Sudymo Web Services for a free mobile audit for your website and to discuss your options to make your site mobile-friendly.