Digital/Online Marketing Communications Strategy

Why You Absolutely Must Have a Mobile-Friendly Website

By on March 18, 2015 in mobile, user experience with 0 Comments

fall rocks sign with letters SEOIf you’ve been holding off on optimizing your website for mobile because you weren’t sure if you really needed to do so, how’s this for an incentive: Starting April 21, Google is giving more weight to mobile-friendliness in its algorithm.

In plain old English this means, sites that are not mobile optimized will be downgraded in Google’s mobile search results.

In its Webmaster Central Blog post announcing the algorithm adjustment Google says, “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

Go mobile or bust

Of course, these days any web strategy needs to take into account the mobile experience.

I could easily cite copious data to prove the level of penetration of the mobile web. However, the point is just as well made if you consider your own behavior. How often do you surf or search the web using a mobile device? How often to you access apps and social media platforms via a mobile device? It’s a lot, right?

When you’re taking a bus or train, or waiting in a check-out line, how many people are glued to their smartphone? Again, odds are it’s a lot.

Today, while riding an elevator at my fitness club, I noticed that all five of the other people in the elevator with me were doing something on their smartphone.

Truly, in this case, the data is literally right in front of your eyes.

Google’s impending algorithm adjustment puts a deadline on when you need to get with the program or risk losing mobile web traffic. But don’t just do it because Google tells you to — the bottom line is, lost traffic translates into lost sales.

Check and see if your site is mobile-friendly

If you’re wondering where to begin to make your site mobile-friendly check out the Google Guide to Mobile-Friendly Websites.

Click on the “Get Started” link and take the mobile-friendly test.

If your site is mobile-friendly in the eyes of Google you’ll see something like this:

results from Google test showing a site is mobile-friendly

Those not up to speed with mobile will see something like this (web address is intentionally hidden for this example):

results of Google test showing a site is not mobile friendly

As you can see, Google tells you where the site falls short, and helps you find out how to fix the problems.

Guidance on how to offer a full mobile experience

Google’s guide provides special documentation for a number of leading content management software packages including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Tumblr and Magento, among others.

There’s also a section with detailed information on mobile SEO where you can “learn to configure your site for multiple devices, help search engines understand your configuration, and avoid common mistakes along the way.”

Unless you’re familiar with web code, you may require the services of a web developer to make the necessary fixes. If you don’t have a developer on your team and you need to hire someone be sure read What should I think about when working with a developer?

Google’s site for mobile-friendly websites is very detailed. Even if your site passes the mobile friendly test it’s worth perusing to help you better understand the how’s and why’s of mobile user experience.

More Google references

There are more references from Google on going mobile, including, The Mobile Playbook: The Busy Executive’s Guide to Winning with Mobile and Multi-Screen Success Stories, featuring case studies about how several major businesses and organizations approach their mobile experience.

Related posts

Here are a few posts from other sites, with stats, in case you need more than anecdotal evidence to hop on the mobile bandwagon:

Why Mobile Still Matters in 2015 (ClickZ)

Mobile Marketing Statistics 2015 (Smart Insights)

Digital, Social & Mobile Worldwide in 2015 (we are social)

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About the Author

About the Author: Deni Kasrel is seasoned (slightly spicy) specialist in digital/online communications. .

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