Google’s Mobile Search Algorithm Update

The day has finally arrived! Google will begin to reward businesses who have optimized their website for mobile devices and penalize those who are not mobile friendly. The entire web industry, including us, have been pushing businesses to optimize their website for mobile devices to ensure a pleasant experience on mobile and tablet devices. This goes hand and hand with how Google’s search is organically shifting to more mobile searches than traditional desktop searches. The April 21st deadline is fast approaching, the new algorithm update will be pushed to the United States and other countries that same day. Is your website ready for the new algorithm update? We’ll provide some guidance on how you can prepare your website for the mobile search update.

What Can I Do To Be Compliant?

There are multiple ways to optimize a website for mobile devices. We will focus our energy on the responsive design technology, which we discussed in another blog post. The general concept of responsive design is the website will cater to the screen size the individual’s device is viewing the website on. The content will respond to the screen size to fit the content appropriately. For example, Uber has a responsive website. If you are viewing the Uber website on a desktop, simply drag the corner of the browser window and start to narrow the browser and you will see the content begin to respond to the window’s size. Responsive design is a growing technology that lots of websites are beginning to implement. The main idea we want you to understand is having a mobile site is a requirement for all businesses and essential to increasing mobile website success.

Google has published a page where you can check if your website is mobile friendly. If the page is mobile friendly, you get a nice green message that displays “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.” If the page is not optimized for mobile devices you get the dreaded red “Not mobile-friendly” message with tips on how to improve the mobile experience. Use the tool for your website and confirm the site is ready for April 21st.

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

Now that the Google mobile algorithm announcement has been made, it is time for businesses to get serious about a mobile site. A lot of users are using smart phones and tablets for numerous activities. Everything from browsing social networks to making purchases online to doing research on a specific topic. Smart phones and tablets are slowly gaining momentum as the default for search. It’s no wonder why Google is pushing website owners towards website optimization. If the website is not mobile ready, here are some penalties that may affect your marketing effort. Google is counting a mobile friendly site as a ranking factor in organic search. If a website ranks high on the desktop for a specific topic and the website is not mobile friendly, that ranking can be affected on mobile devices. Even worse, mobile sites that are not optimized will suffer with poor user experiences on mobile devices. Most individuals who have visited non optimized mobile sites have a hard time navigating, by pinching and zooming, accidental wrong link taps, or the user leaves the site immediately. Focus on the future by planning on optimizing your website for mobile devices.

Discuss Mobile Goals

A mobile site’s information architecture is very different from a desktop website. For starters, when visitors are on a mobile website they are typically looking for quick data. The content needs to be organized in a way that allows mobile users to find information quickly. When designing the website, the business should have a good understanding of what visitors are doing on the website and cater the site to the common goal for the company. A good example would be to review the business’ analytics and determine which pages are the most important to generate revenue. If the website is a lead generation website, consider having a smaller form with the most important data that needs to be collected. If the website is ecommerce based, make the checkout process simple with less steps than purchasing the product on a laptop. The goal of having a mobile site is to provide a lite version of the website with only the important information readily available.

The message we want to communicate to you is simple, either program the current website to be responsive in design or start from scratch and program the site for mobile devices. Either way, make sure you have a mobile site as Google’s mobile search algorithm is not too far around the corner.

Andrew Lopez
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