Have you ever tapped on a Google Search result on your mobile phone, only to find yourself looking at a page where the text was too small, the links were tiny, and you had to scroll sideways to see all the content? This usually happens when the website has not been optimized to be viewed on a mobile phone.
The Creative Collective warns that not only is this annoying to your potential customers, but starting April 21, Google, the search engine with the largest market share in Australia, will be expanding their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, and those sites which are not mobile friendly will be penalised.
“Google have warned that his change will affect mobile searches worldwide, and will have a significant impact on businesses search results. What this means is that if your website is not mobile responsive i.e. it doesn’t display well on mobile devices, post 21 April, despite what other SEO activities you engage in to get top rankings, your site could be relegated on the search engines.
“We’re therefore encouraging all of our clients and wider networks to contact us immediately to ensure their websites are mobile responsive, and remove the risk of losing their valuable rankings on the search engines, and potentially the traffic, leads and sales they currently rely upon,” says founder and partner of The Creative Collective, Yvette Adams.
Adams says most websites designed pre 2013 aren’t mobile friendly and will need adjustments.
“For some companies this means making some minor adjustments to their existing sites. Others will simply need to select and implement a new mobile responsive theme on their existing platform, and others still will need to completely overhaul their websites.
“It really requires a case by case assessment subject to what platform they are currently on, when the site was created and how it was created in order to make a recommendation.”
Adams says the good news is that users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices. In early 2014, the landscape in which businesses operate changed forever when Internet usage on mobile devices exceeded PC usage.
“Since that date the time has come to seriously consider integration of mobile-friendly versions of all mission-critical assets: applications, data, the website, communications, demos, sales materials, customer service, etc,” says Adams.
Businesses who are unsure if their website is mobile friendly can use this free Google tool https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ which will analyse any given URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design.
For more information go to http://thecreativecollective.com.au/mobile-responsive-website.
If you want to make sure that your page meets the mobile-friendly criteria:
– Check your pages with the Google Mobile-Friendly Test
– Read Google’s updated documentation on the Webmasters Mobile Guide on how to create and improve your mobile site
– See the Mobile usability report in Google Webmaster Tools, which highlights major mobile usability issues across your entire site, not just one page
– Check our how-to guide for third-party software like WordPress or Joomla, in order to migrate your website hosted on a CMS (Content Management System) to use a mobile-friendly template
– Speak to a web developer who has Google Partner status, or other Google certification who is across the impending Google changes. The Creative Collective has this status!