Why You Need a Mobile-Friendly Site Now
If you’ve recently launched or upgraded your website, chances are you’re in good shape for April 21. That’s the day Google will add “mobile-friendliness” as a search ranking signal.The company has even gone so far as to state that the change will have “a significant impact” in its search results. This is in response to the fact that, according to Google:
In the USA, 94% of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones… 77% of mobile searches occur at home or at work, [even though they are] places where desktop computers are likely to be present.
We’ve written before about the importance of a mobile-friendly website. If you’re not sure if your website will fit the bill, Google has a quick mobile-friendly test here. Just plug in your website address and you’ll get a pass or a fail.
This change will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks. A page is eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label if it meets the following criteria as detected by Googlebot:
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
- Uses text that is readable without zooming
- Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
A Better User Experience
There are two issues with a non-mobile site. First, it’s not a great user experience. Not sure how many visitors are coming to your site on a mobile device? A quick check of your Google Analytics will show you.* Among Sales Renewal clients, we see anywhere from 5% to over 35% of total traffic (search, referrals, ads, etc.) from mobile/tablet users. This can mean a good number of users who are not getting a great experience on your site.
The New Search Algorithm
The second issue is Google’s April 21 algorithm update. Sites that do not pass the mobile-friendly test could lose half their mobile search once this change kicks in. Among our clients, this change will affect anywhere from 3% to over 23% of total traffic.* If you’re on the low end of this range, losing half of your mobile search traffic may not greatly affect your site’s performance today. But it would be a mistake to view this as a reason to put off creating a mobile-friendly website – as more and more search moves to smartphones and tablets, mobile search will become increasingly important for all businesses.
Google provides a lot of information about ways businesses can fix their sites, and we would hope that you have tested your site (or your developers have already discussed with you changes you can make). If you have questions about the process, or would like Sales Renewal to evaluate your site, please let us know. We’ve audited all our clients’ sites and made upgrades where necessary, and we can do the same for you.
?* To check what percent of your visitors are from mobile, from your Google Analytics account, select Audience > Mobile > Overview. To see the source of your mobile traffic, add Secondary Dimension > Acquisition > Default
Source: Google Webmaster Central
Sales Renewal’s insight:
If you’ve recently launched or upgraded your website, chances are you’re in good shape for April 21. That’s the day Google will add “mobile-friendliness” as a search ranking signal.The company has even gone so far as to state that the change will have “a significant impact” in its search results…