Does your website pass Google’s mobile-friendly test?
Starting April 21st, 2015 Google is penalizing non mobile-friendly sites, with their new ranking changes and your position on the search engine results pages (SERPS) may be taking a dive. If your site does not pass the Google’s mobile-friendly test you need to get it ready A.S.A.P. or risk losing ranking and all your hard work.
While this is not good news for those with older sites that do not meet the new standard, I have to support Google’s efforts. The writing is on the wall; mobile is the future of our digital world, the hub of our communications and information access.
Love them or hate them, Google is at the center of our SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts. They set the rules (and change them often) and we have to play along.
Have a question… Google it. Need to know where to buy, who to buy from and how good their product or service is… Google it.
Statistics on mobile usage and adoption
I use Google all the time and guess where I use it most from, my mobile device. I’m not alone, statistics show that mobile has already overtaken desktop computers and continues to grow.
Why are non mobile-friendly sites so bad, my site looks fine?
Non mobile-friendly websites have the following problems on mobile devices:
- Text is too small to read
- Links are too close together
- A mobile viewport is not set
- Content is wider than your screen
You can’t read non mobile-friendly sites without pinching, panning and zooming and it’s hard to select links, just to name a few issues.
These issues and more add up to a frustrating user experience and drive traffic to your competition that does have a mobile-friendly website.
Mobile-friendly websites present a vastly improved experience for the end user. Google penalizing non mobile-friendly websites should be a wake up call and encourage those with older sites to update. If you’re not concerned about this you should be. You don’t want to lose out on the millions of smartphone users that could be your next customer.
How can I make my non mobile-friendly website mobile-friendly
Non mobile-friendly websites can be updated to a mobile-friendly version by adapting your existing site to a mobile responsive design or by developing an entirely separate site with a different program created just for this purpose. Google has a guide on how to make your site more mobile friendly.
I fall into the mobile responsive group. This approach is more flexible, provides a better user experience as you move between devices and allows you to work with just a single site. Mobile responsive websites are also much easier to adapt to future devices.
WordPress users are in a good position to upgrade, as it just requires a new mobile responsive theme. The amount of work required depends upon your site and the theme, but most can be converted in a relatively short period of time at a modest cost, since the content is separate from the layout and does not need to be entered again. You just need to “fix” it to work with the new WordPress theme.
If you have an old static site it is surely non mobile-friendly. Let me create a new WordPrress site for you.
For those of you who are not concerned about SEO and having your site rank on the search engine results pages, you have no worries. But, for the 99% of the rest of us, it’s not a matter of if you need to upgrade your site; it’s a matter of when.
References and more information.
How Do I make My Site Mobile Friendly?
A Google guide for popular web development software.
The Danger of Not Having a Mobile Friendly Website
Article from Web Savvy Marketing
Google to websites: Be mobile-friendly or get buried in search results
Article from Mashable