Is your business ready for the April 21, 2015 deadline?
Next month, Google will be unveiling some major changes to their search algorithms. Unlike in the past when the majority of algo updates were implemented with no prior announcement, this time around Google has given website owners forewarning to get their houses in order.
From late April, mobile-friendliness will become a major ranking signal in organic search results so if your website is neither built on responsive technology or has a mobile friendly alternative, be prepared to see a drop in traffic!
Warnings issued via Webmaster Tools
Since February 2015 and in some cases earlier, Google has been issuing warnings via the message centre on Google Webmaster tools if a site is deemed to have mobile usability issues.
If you’re one of them, it would be wise to act fast and get this dealt with. If you do not already have a Google Webmaster Tools account registered or have your website correctly linked to your account, you’d be also wise to get an account now to ensure there’s not one of these dreaded messages waiting for you.
Even without this prior warning, it would still be wise to test your website across numerous handheld devices to see how it renders. How does your site look on an iPhone, Android and Google phone?
If you’re unsure, simply use Google’s dedicated online mobile friendly test webpage.
Is the content useable and readable? If the answer is no, then you know you need to clean up your act.
The world has gone mobile. It’s time you did too!
Google’s stance on changing search results based on mobile friendliness is not an overnight, knee-jerk response. This has been in the pipeline for a considerable time and is based on real user feedback.
In late 2014, Google launched “mobile-friendly” labels in mobile search results. This was an effort to help users identify mobile-friendly sites from those that aren’t.
Google believes that users should get the most relevant and recent results, regardless of their device and this is a sign of things to come as the entire world goes mobile.
Google’s view is that when website browsing is inefficient, it’s highly likely that those visitors will not return to the site again and studies show that 61% of users are unlikely to return to a site that renders poorly on mobile devices. Hardly surprising.
What can be done to improve your situation
The answer is simple. You need to get to work on improving your site if you want to appear in mobile results.
For some larger businesses that have a website consisting of thousands of pages, this might not be as easy as a quick site update or redesign. But some time or another in the near future, you will have to consider redeveloping your web presence if it means mobile traffic is important to you.
For smaller businesses, there’s a whole array of open-source solutions out there that can render sites beautifully on mobile devices.
Our interactive division has been developing mobile friendly sites for many years now, most notably on the WordPress platform which is very mobile friendly; not to mention great for SEO too!
If you need help with your site and need to find a way to prevent a loss of traffic via mobile sources, contact us today for a free consultation.