Google changes mean your website needs to be mobile optimised
What if I told you that by not having your website mobile-friendly, Google would lower your site’s SEO ranking and drop your website even further out of sight?
What if Google said that by not offering potential customers a mobile-friendly version of your website or even having it misconfigured your site would be demoted and people looking for your services would have little chance of finding you?
Well, if you haven’t heard yet… Google just did that.
Google are now putting mobile users first, not just in Walsall, Birmingham, London or the UK but the world over
As the dramatic rise of smart phone and mobile devices usage has grown over the past 2 years, 70% of all internet usage is now done by mobile devices.
Google is naturally responding to the changing market place, with the aim of giving all users the best experience possible they are now penalising businesses that have websites that are misconfigured for smartphone users or just simply don’t have a mobile-friendly option for consumers.
This simply means that if you’re not compliant with their Mobile Optimization Guidelines you will see a significant drop in your search engine rankings.
Let’s face it…keeping up with Google can be a challenge if you do not understand how they work and the long term aims they have to keep their users happy.
In 2015 Google took a stance about their moves in this direction with their announcement of the preference for responsive design. This sadly left many people confused due to a wide range of contradictory statements Google had made.
But if you just step outside of the box and take an aerial view of the situation – it just gets clearer that Google are just responding to the changes in the market place and the changes in internet usage by device.
Most websites using responsive website design tend to have slow load times which would give a very poor experience to a user, especially on a mobile device with 3G internet connection.
So it is quite natural that Google will downgrade you in their search results so that businesses with faster more mobile optimised websites can get the top rankings as this will give a mobile user a better experience in using Google. The net effect here is you automatically get negative SEO consequences for a poor performing site
This is where a site speed penalty for mobile became a major factor for getting ranked highly. Google wants everyone to have a responsive site that loads fast, just so consumers using Google get the best of experiences.
And honestly, I must say when I am using my iPhone to search for things online – if a website is taking too long to load I do abandon waiting for the site so I can find another site that will give me what I am looking for faster. The nature of experience is everything here and Googles tracking of all search traffic demonstrates this to them as a worldwide behaviour that they need to respond to.
So what does this mean for you and your business?
Thankfully rather than being cloak and dagger as Google has been in the past about their changes, they have openly shared their recommendations as well as a list of some of the most common mistakes when building a mobile site. This does give us a clear way forward in making sure you maximise your exposure and get the leads and traffic you want for your business. So here are a few brief pointers to be aware of:
74% of consumers will wait a maximum of 5 seconds for a web page to load on their mobile device before giving up. 71% of mobile browsers expect web pages to load as quickly if not faster as web pages on desktops.
Google you highlight that:
- You need to make the mobile web faster overall by reducing the number and amount of data requests.
- Make sure you use Google PageSpeed Insights to check that your site does not have page loading issues.
Videos that will not Play
On smartphones many videos are not playable, especially flash videos. Google recommends using HTML5 standard tags and to avoid formats such as Flash – and to offer a transcript along with the video to be on the safe side.
Some web developers that try to combat these issues create redirects that are intended to recognise the fact that your website is being visited on a mobile device and tries to redirect the user to a mobile version of your pages. Sadly a lot of the time these redirects are poorly setup, with many being broken or simply faulty by constantly redirecting to the home page rather than the page a visitor wants to access.
Here there has to be a fully functioning mobile version of every page on your website.
What is a good way forward?
Right now you can check what issues you may or may not have on your site using Google’s mobile friendly test.
It takes seconds to find out if your website passes or fails the mobile friendly criteria that Google wants you to meet.
I perform these tests everyday for local businesses – and surprisingly 50% of all local business websites fail this test. Which means these businesses will be dropping out of the search results if they have not dropped out already.
A proactive and responsive business owner that takes advantage of this opportunity of making their website and other web assets mobile optimised will find over the coming months the traffic, leads, enquiries and sales they will receive will rise significantly due to the fact that most business owners are so lost in the running of their businesses they will not get around to sorting their websites out.
Here is an example of a local conservatory company that has failed the mobile friendly test:
Imagine being a consumer searching on your smart phone looking for someone to install you a new £10,000 – £20,000 conservatory – would you make the effort to squint through this site or would you simply hit the back button and find a site that works… like the one below:
These days everyone just seems to want things that are simpler and easier to use in the fast paced world we live in.
And when it comes to doing business and the research you make before choosing a business – simplicity and speed are the 2 main considerations.
If you’re confused or not sure where to start, or have even found that your site is not mobile friendly you are welcome to get in touch and we will give you as much free advise as you need to get you going in the right direction or one of our technicians can fix any issues you may find.
Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message with reception at 01922 302145 or 0121 330 0155.
We’re always happy to help.
If you want a full road map of how to get more traffic, and leads so you can take your business to the next level simply complete our discovery form at the link here.