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Have a Non-Mobile Friendly Website (or not sure)? You Need To Read This!

For the first time ever, Google has given webmasters and business owners advanced warning of an upcoming algorithm update. For this reason alone it is likely to be a game-changer and why we felt it important to update our clients and partners.

Brands and businesses without a mobile or responsive website will likely suffer from a loss in traffic due to lower rankings.

The algorithm update due to hit on Tuesday 21st April 2015, concerns mobile search and more specifically how search results (when a search is conducted on mobile) will prioritise sites with a mobile friendly website.

Full details of the announcement can be found here but the key excerpt to pay attention to is below:

mobile-rankings

It is important to remember that this just affects mobile rankings and ranks on a desktop should not suffer (yet). However, this could change in the future.

We’ve emphasised how important it is and this algorithm change only makes it all the more imperative…and now there’s a clear deadline!

To be clear; a “mobile-friendly” site follows these 4 principals (according to Google):

  • Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  • Uses text that is readable without zooming
  • Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped

[Source]

We wish to re-iterate that if you have been thinking of redeveloping your site in the near future then this is the time to do so. We can help scope out the site, put together a brief with you and even recommend specialist mobile site designers to make the process as easy as possible for you.

If you are unsure whether you need a mobile/responsive site, this simple Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool from Google will tell you.

mobile-friendly

 

Your Next Steps:

  • Decide whether you are in a high, medium or low/no risk category; If you have no mobile-friendly pages you are high risk. If you have a mobile-friendly homepage or strategic landing pages you are medium risk. If all your site pages are mobile-friendly you are low risk.
  • You can use the tool mentioned above to determine if your site is mobile friendly. If it isn’t, talk to Reload Digital and we’ll help you work out how much mobile traffic is contributing to your bottom line.
  • Talk to some mobile web developers (Reload Digital can put you in touch with some) or your own tech team about costs / implementation time and make a judgement call on whether to proceed with a mobile build/redevelopment…but we highly recommend you do!

Cover image courtesy of Search Engine Land.

Rick Eliason

Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

Rick is Reload's most senior SEO expert, and started his digital marketing journey way back in 2007 as an in-house online marketing executive. Now with over three years under his belt at Reload Digital, he handles search and conversion campaigns for a wide range of clients from e-commerce and start-ups to large service-based businesses and not-for-profits.