ALERT: You Need a Mobile Friendly Version of Your Website!

Do you have a mobile friendly version of your website?
In 2014, mobile hit its tipping point: half of people accessing the Internet were doing it from a mobile device (smartphones, tablets, etc.). Now that we’re into 2015, that trend is only increasing. It’s now estimated that more than 60% of all Google searches are done from mobile devices.
We’ve been stressing for a while that businesses must ensure their websites are mobile-friendly. It has always mattered to users who are accessing your website via mobile devices. And it was emerging as a key ranking factor for search engine optimization.
But starting on April 21, if you don’t have a mobile site, you may get clobbered in Google’s search rankings.
Because Google is rolling out a significant update to their algorithm that will penalize websites that are not mobile-friendly.

Is Your Site At Risk?

Your website can’t be “kind of” mobile-friendly. It either is or it isn’t. So which is it?
Click here to test your website with Google’s “Mobile-Friendly Test” tool.
If your website is not mobile-friendly, you are at risk from this new update; you should focus on getting a mobile version of your site as soon as possible.
If you do have a mobile-friendly site, you should check your Mobile Usability Report. You can access this when you’re logged into your Webmaster Tools account. The Mobile Usability Report will let you know if your mobile site has any specific issues.
There are two approaches for making your website mobile friendly:

  • Responsive Design: Your website knows the size of the device viewing it and automatically resizes and adapts the layout to suit the screen.
  • Separate Hosted Mobile Version: Your website has a separate domain (usually your website’s address preceded by “m.”) for mobile visitors.

Google recommends using responsive website design because it’s easier to maintain and can adjust to a variety of screen sizes.

Mobile Website Mistakes to Avoid

Here is Google’s advice on common mistakes to avoid on mobile sites:

  • Blocked JavaScript, CSS, and Image Files
  • Unplayable Content
  • Faulty Redirects
  • Mobile-only 404s
  • App Download Interstitials
  • Irrelevant Cross-links
  • Slow Mobile Pages

Click here to access the guides for avoiding each mistake.

Why a Mobile-friendly Algorithm Change?

Google’s April 21 algorithm change is making mobile necessary for businesses that want to be found through search. But why is mobile so important to Google?
Google wants to serve up the best possible results to their searchers. If a searcher is using a mobile device and lands on a website that is not optimized for mobile, they will have a poor experience. The website will be hard to view and difficult to navigate, read or click on. That doesn’t reflect well on the business or on Google.
The bottom line: your website should be mobile-friendly – regardless of Google’s algorithm update. You don’t want to lose potential business because this important piece of your online marketing infrastructure isn’t optimized.
>> Core Online Marketing is an outsourced digital marketing agency for small and mid-sized businesses. Contact us for help with your online marketing activities.
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Ben Molfetta
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