You’ve heard us say that being mobile friendly is important, right? But did you know that starting today, if your site isn’t mobile friendly, you might be left out of Google searches made on mobile devices?
Beginning April 21, Google will roll out new algorithms that check for compliance with mobile guidelines, and a lack of compliance with these guidelines means your site will be unlikely to show up in search results for queries made on a mobile device. It's already been dubbed "Mobilegeddon" with USA Today reporting that businesses and organizations could potentially see a devastating loss in website visits and revenue as their search rankings drop due to a lack of compliance with the new guidelines.
With 64 percent of Americans owning a smart phone and 63 percent of smart phone users using their phone to go online (source: http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/mobile-technology-fact-sheet/), if you’re not mobile, you better get moving.
Before you accuse Google of just being a bully, think about your users. If someone visits on your site on their mobile device, will they be able to easily access menus, read content and click through without playing a game of finger Twister? Do you make it easy for them to find what they need, and give, contact you or sign up, wherever they are and whatever device they’re using? Being mobile-friendly is about more than just staying in Google’s good graces and boosting your SEO: it’s about delivering a user experience that is easy and engaging, allowing you to reach a modern audience in a way that keeps them interested and coming back.
Don’t worry – this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to build a brand new site. A responsive design is all you need to make sure you meet your mobile users where they are. Responsive designs adjust based on screen size, meaning images aren’t cut off, menus are easy to find and all your content remains available, just in a mobile-friendly format. And the good news is many existing sites can be updated to include a responsive design without having to pare down content or build a mobile site.
Check out some of these sites for an example of responsive design. Visit them on your phone or drag the corner of the screen to change the screen size and see how the format adjusts to fit the screen:
Now try out your site! If it doesn’t pass the mobile test, give us a call. We would be glad to help you make the updates you need to make – and none of the ones you don’t – to stay both Google-friendly and user-friendly.