April 21st, 2015 has arrived and Google has levied a new rule that could cause some business owners to commence panicking. It’s hard not to loathe the bitter irony that Google would subject us to these changes in the heart of tax season!
Google has added Mobile-Friendliness to their approximately 200 factors used to determine search rankings. While Google would not specifically identify the degree to which a site’s ranking would be affected, they did clearly state that it would have a “significant impact”. This newest change amplifies the importance of your site being responsive.
This change is in reaction to the significant growth in search inquiries made via mobile devices, which includes smartphones and tablets. Currently 40% of all searches are being made on a mobile device!
What is responsive? Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a type of design that focuses on creating optimal viewing on all sizes of devices. With multiple platforms available to access the internet, Google has elected to reward those sites that adjust their display to the size of the user’s screen.
What does this mean for websites that are NOT responsive? As it stands, we do not have an exact measurement for the value of having a responsive web site. What we do know is that a competitor’s website that IS responsive will leapfrog your site in the event that each has comparable relevant content. Google has even indicated that your site may NOT show up at all if the user is searching on a mobile device!
How do I know if my site is responsive? Two easy ways to determine if your site is responsive: Change the size of your browser window to see if your site adjusts accordingly or simply look at your site on your mobile device. Another easy way to check is to pop onto the Google Developers Mobile Friendly Test page by clicking here.
What if you have a mobile site? Mobile sites have been popular for sometime now. You have probably seen many of them as you’ve hunted the web on your smartphone or tablet. They often redirect to a domain that replaces www. with m. then displaying an abbreviated version of the site that is easier to navigate on your mobile device, but not as detailed as the full website. Unfortunately for mobile sites, this update does not reward you at all. As far as this new algorithm is concerned, your site is NOT mobile-friendly.
How can I make my website responsive? Well, that’s easy, you can call us! There are a few ways to convert your site into a responsive one. If you currently have a site built on the WordPress CMS platform, we can implement several plugins that will assist your site in reaching full responsiveness. If you do not have a WordPress website, we have the expertise to integrate several key lines of code that will again assist in creating a responsive website. The final option is to redesign the website and relaunch on the WordPress platform. We are strong advocates for utilizing WordPress, especially if your website is primarily information based. It offers one of the world’s most flexible content management systems, with virtually unlimited support and endless possibilities.
Contact us today to discuss the options available to ensure that your site has all the elements in place to maximize its performance on Google and other search engines.