Google has recently announced some changes that have left a state of panic across the digital landscape. Business and website owners who currently receive most of their traffic from Google, or depend on traffic from Google are researching and working on the new guidelines and ranking factors Google has announced regarding the importance of mobile friendly sites.Mobile-readiness and the easy access of information has always been a priority for Google, and with the change that they announced, they have made it very clear that mobile-friendliness is now even stronger before, and more important.
This is what they have announced:
As of April 21st, they “will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.”
“This change will […] have a significant impact in our search results.”
What this means is that Google is taking the existing ranking factor and giving it more importance. They haven't been very clear as to how important it will become, but there is a guess lingering in the air, that the “significant impact” will be big. It is this unknown that is creating the state of panic. Questions I have been asked as:
- “Will my site be affected?”
- “How much of my traffic will lose?”
- “How much time to have to fix this?”
- “Is it really that important?”
- “Are there that many mobile users that browse off their mobiles?”
- “Does it affect all of my traffic, or just my mobile traffic?”
Some facts to keep it mind, before your heart starts pounding, if you have a website:
- This change will only impact mobile search results. Desktop search results will remain unaffected.
- This change will have an impact on all website owners, no matter what the industry, language and location are.
- Yes, it is that important because with this change Google has made it very clear that there is a rising trend in mobile device usage, and a there is a tendency of mobile users to be dissatisfied with non-mobile results and websites. So, again, mobile users are there, and are very important.
- In the left menu go to Audience
- Click on Mobile and Overview.
- Choose the date range you want to see stats for.
- Select the checkbox next to Mobile.
- Click on Plot Rows.
- Learn about how much mobile traffic you have, in comparison to your overall site traffic.
If you are not a user of Google Analytics, check the statistics tool you are using to find out how much traffic you generate from mobiles.
So ask yourself, what does this Google change mean for my website?
Let me ask you - is your website mobile friendly? Is responsive webdesign necassary?
Basically, what this mean is that if you’ve been delaying the idea of implementing a mobile strategy for business website, the time has come for you please this as a top priority on your todo list.
How do I find out if my website is considered Google mobile friendly?
Thankfully, Google has made it very easy for you to find out. They have a create a Mobile-Friendly Test which you can access by clicking here.
All you need to do is type in your URL in the text box, and click on “Analyze.”
Wait a few moments while Google checks your site, and then report whether or not it considers it mobile-friendly. If your site qualifies as mobile friendly, a screenshot of how your site looks on mobile appears. If your site does not qualify as mobile friendly, a list of reasons will be provided for you to go through.
Once you check, and you find out you are mobile friendly, feel good, but also take a deeper look as to how you can enhance the user experience, making it even better. And if find that your site does not qualify as mobile friendly, it’s time you get your hands on a developer and start working on a new website using a more up-to-date method.
The most popular method on the market now is to have a Responsive Website Design.Tthis is part of the web design trends 2015. A website that has a responsive design is one that can adapt the display elements on the site, based on the size and type of device being used by the user. This means that users surfing a site on a desktop can for example see a 3 column page with a navigation on the left side, while a user on a mobile device can see a 1 column page with the content blocks stacked under the navigation. In other words, the display of the content on the site, is altered and placed in an appropriate layout according to the device size. No need to zoom in and out anymore, or find yourself trying to read this tiny text, or flicking the screen from vertically and horizontally so you can get larger text. The latter drives me crazy! I almost always exit sites that do that to me. The site not only will look correct on each device size, but will also function accordingly.
For everyone else, depending on your website and the platform on which it was created, you may have a fewer options to choose from to sort out the mobile friendly requirements. Luckily WordPress users do not need to redesign and develop a new site from scratch. You may be lucky enough and find a new theme to be installed that is responsive. This new theme should make your site mobile friendly simply through a theme update, and minor adjustments.
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