In recent weeks there has been an increased awareness about the need to ensure that your website has a mobile-friendly design; that is, your website dynamically adjusts to whatever device it’s being viewed on, without the reader having to manually make adjustments.
A factor affecting this awareness is Google’s upcoming change in algorithms to give mobile-friendly websites higher rankings, while penalizing those that do not meet the basic standards with lower rankings.
Why the Emphasis on Mobile-Friendly Design?
More than 60% of all Google searches are now performed on mobile devices, and 60% of consumers use mobile exclusively to make purchasing decisions. Google’s overall goal is to provide a faster and smoother experience for users of mobile devices.
If your website does not have a mobile-friendly design, you’ve probably been losing potential customers and clients. This is because websites that are not mobile-friendly present a frustrating experience for visitors. The font is usually too small to read as is, which means that the reader has to manually make adjustments and enlarge the screen then scroll back and forth.
Customers and potential customers have a lot of options, and they exercise these options by moving on to your competitors’ websites, possibly never returning to yours.
What to do next?
Whether you’re concerned about meeting Google’s algorithm update, starting April 21st or not, it’s important to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. To test your website for mobile-friendliness go to: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/. Remember to test, not just your home page, but also additional pages on your site. The search engine bots will be checking them and you want to be aware of what they find.
If your website is not mobile-ready, it’s time to change that. You have choices. You could go with a complete mobile-responsive website re-design or you could have a stand-alone mobile website. It’s important to take measures as soon as possible to ensure that your website if mobile-friendly.
On a side note, while you can create two separate sites, one for desktop and one for mobile, it seems that Google prefers a mobile responsive site rather than two separate sites. This post on Search Engine Journal’s website explains the reasons.
Having a website that is optimized for mobile viewing is critical. Not only is it important for easy accessibility to your mobile customers and prospects; it’s now a major factor in how well these mobile consumers can find your website when searching online for your products and services.