Why A Mobile-Friendly Website Matters to Google (and should matter to you).

By: Steve Wright, Vice President, Director of Interactive Services

If you have a smart-phone, you are probably well aware that some sites are mobile-friendly and others are not. Think back to the last time you searched for something on your phone. How do you feel when the information you are looking for is difficult to read? Perhaps you are shopping for that last-minute oh-so-difficult-to-find gift and the checkout form is off the right of the screen with no scroll bar? Do you as a user want to do business online if the resulting experience has so many flaws? Answer with me, of course not!

Your ranking might be affected by Mobilegeddon.

Brands that want to thrive in this digital age need to acknowledge the trends and behaviors happening in the digital world all around them. Mobile-friendly web content is not a new trend, but in light of some recent changes announced by Google (that took effect April 21,2015) , it is now one of the leading discussions in search marketing and web development today.

The change, which will prioritize search results with mobile-friendly pages (when searched from a mobile device), has been dubbed Mobilegeddon. Likely denoting the “end of days” style extinction awaiting the unworthy (non-mobile-friendly) sites in the mobile search landscape. Extreme? Probably. But a mobile-friendly site design is a benefit to you and a priority to Google.

How do I know if my site is mobile-friendly?

Google has published an easy to use tool to test whether your site is mobile-friendly. It could not be easier to enter the URL of your page and within seconds have a true or false overview of whether Google thinks your page is mobile-friendly. In addition, they have provided excellent documentation on mobile-friendly websites and offering a full mobile experience.

What will it take to make my website mobile-friendly?

Rethinking your current website will depend on a variety of factors. In most cases the go-to answer will be responsive design. What is it? Responsive design is a method of coding a web page so that its contents adapt proportionally to the screen size and resolution of the web browser. Mobile-first coding, a similar methodology, is very similar to responsive design. As the name suggests, the code is written for a mobile screen first, and then adapted to give enhance the design for higher resolution displays. This process won’t happen overnight, but the upside is the opportunity to refresh your web presence. A developer can audit your code to determine how extensive the changes might be.

What’s the big deal, does mobile really matter?

Nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone. Chances are you will have proportionate amount of mobile visitors accessing your site. Google favors relevant results, and they have identified that mobile-friendly sites are more relevant to mobile devices.
To rank among those mobile results, having a mobile-friendly site is a must.