The news became official last week: Google will be changing its algorithm to use more mobile-friendly factors in search results.
Starting April 21 this year, your page ranking will likely suffer if your site is not currently optimized for mobile devices.
Here’s what Google said via the Webmaster Central blog:
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. 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.”
Why It Matters
This algorithm change will likely have as much impact on your business as any of the search engine giant’s major updates over the past five years. To be more precise, say goodbye to first page rankings on organic mobile search results if you don’t have a mobile-friendly site. Not only that, losing an organic search listing is equal to losing traffic and money.
“I don’t have mobile revenue anyway, so this won’t affect me.” It will, actually.
Mobile traffic is increasing at a rapid rate. Even if your site is not generating lots of revenue right now for mobile, it will—eventually.
What You Can Do Before Google Strikes
For years, Google has been telling webmasters to prepare for mobile.
In fact, in November 2014, they officially added “mobile-friendly” labels in mobile search results:
With the recent announcement, you now have a compelling reason to take action. First, you need to know your status in web optimization.
Start with a mobile-friendly test to make sure your site is truly mobile-friendly from Google’s perspective. You can also view the mobile usability report, which could alert you about mobile usability issues involving your site. It will tell you if you use Flash, if you have improperly sized content, or if you have elements too close and packed together.
If your site is problematic, do something about it. You have two options: either adjust your existing site; or create a mobile version of it. Whichever you choose, go for simpler, minimalist page designs, large fonts, and fat-finger-proof buttons. Make sure the important information is placed above the fold to make them easier to find.
While you can do the site redesign using DIY platforms, professional web design is a better alternative. Our web design service, for instance, will not only make your site mobile-friendly, but will also make it responsive and engaging.
Finally, once you get the design right, focus on your mobile marketing strategy. Don’t forget social media, too. More and more users access Facebook via mobile device, so boost your mobile marketing strategy by complementing it with the real-time aspect of social media.
Are You Prepared for Mobile?
Users are now visiting the Web almost exclusively on mobile devices with touch screen features. All of this isn’t to say that the traditional website is dead and that everyone should go mobile. The bottom-line here is that the mobile world can no longer be ignored.
If you’re not prepared come April 21st and your site’s design is only suitable for desktops, your mobile users will be left with a cluttered site that’s impossible to navigate. What’s more, you’ll be left with only a handful of loyal customers and a business that’s about to meet its end.
Ride the wave right now before April 21 update strikes—you don’t want to play catch-up later.