Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
From April 21st Google will be changing the logic that determines which search results are displayed. Having a mobile friendly site has always been seen by Google as a positive … but now sites not optimised for mobile devices may find themselves dropping down the rankings.
What is the Google Algorithm?
When you type a search into Google there are probably thousands of web pages that might contain the information you are looking for. The Algorithm is basically the logic that Google uses to decide which results to display and, more importantly, what order they are displayed in. In theory the website or web page returned at the top of the list is what Google considers to be the most relevant to what you searched for.
How is it changing
“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.“
Google February 2015
Since so many people access the internet now from mobile devices, it makes sense that Google would refer people to content that displays well on mobile devices. If a site can’t be displayed easily on a mobile device then Google will now look less favourably on it which could affect it’s ranking … it’s not mobile friendly
So … the bottom line is that if your site is not mobile friendly then it will be harder to find for someone searching from a mobile device.
Note: The rankings of searches performed from desktops should not be affected by this change.
So what do I do?
First off visit Googles Mobile Test and type in your website address. This will tell you almost instantly how mobile friendly your website is. If it says you are good to go then give yourself a pat on the back and go and have a cup of tea.
Oh no … my site is not Mobile Friendly!
Don’t panic. It may be that there are just a few tweeks required and Google’s Mobile Test, as part of the results, should give you some guidance about the changes required.
If your site is way off the mark then there are a couple of routes you can go down.
- Create a Mobile Friendly Version of your website. This is a separate version of your website and is presented to users when they access your site on a mobile device. Although this is the cheaper and quicker way to address issues it does create a separate version of your website … which means you would have to update both of them when you make changes.
- Create a Responsive Website. This approach allows the website to respond to what device the user is viewing your website on. Take a look at our website on your phone and then on a tablet or desktop. You will notice that the content is pretty much the same but the design changes depending on what device you are using. While this approach may prove initially more expensive that creating a mobile version of your website the benefits of just having one website to maintain may make this the better long term option.
Can we help?
At Sour Mash we prefer the Responsive option. We adopted the Bootstrap framework about 6 months ago. Bootstrap is one of the most popular frameworks for developing responsive, mobile friendly websites. One of our recent projects involved making Home Heat Services’s website mobile friendly … take a look.