UPDATE: March 1, 2015
Since I wrote this back in Dec. of 2014, Google dropped a bomb on the web world. They will now be using their new Mobile-friendliness technology to effect page rank. This is big news for many small businesses not yet up-to-date with a responsive, mobile ready website. I see this as Google’s way of pushing the web forward, which is a really good thing, but also a pain point for others. Google wrote…
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
Read this and more over at the Google Webmaster blog.
Mobile is just as relevant today as desktop web usage, a quick look at your analytics will likely reflect an increased amount of users accessing your website from smartphones and tablets. However, did you know if your website is not yet Mobile Friendly this could also effect your ranking within search engines? It’s true, Google has recently released their “Mobile Friendly” labeling system notifying users on smartphones the website they’re about to visit is Mobile Friendly. This labeling system is yet another step in the right direction toward improving the webs overall user experience, regardless of their device. The new Mobile Friendly labels encourage a mobile first web design strategy, something I’ve been doing for sometime now.
If your website is already Mobile Friendly, Google will, if they have not already, add the label to your website in search results on mobile. If your website is not yet Mobile Friendly, you guessed it, you don’t get the label meaning your website could be overlooked by users. The label lets users know your website offers an experience catered to their device. In addition, Google is said to be experimenting with other factors of Mobile Friendly websites effecting page rank. This could have negative effects on the ranking of websites not yet Mobile Friendly and reward those that are.
If you’re unsure if your website will pass Google’s mobile friendly test you can start by looking at your websites listing from a smart phone to see if you already have the label.
You can also use Google’s Mobile Friendly test tool.
At MWH I design custom small business websites with a technique called Responsive Web Design (RWD). Responsive Web Design is a technique web designers use to build flexible websites to look great across various screen sizes eliminating the need to scroll right and left and zoom on small screens. Some benefits of responsive design are that search engines crawl, and users visit, the same HTML and URL for desktops, tablets and smartphones. This makes sharing content and links much more seamless versus having separate URL’s such as mobile.example.com, tablet.example.com, and example.com.
If you’d like help with an audit of your current website and an estimate to redesign your website to be Mobile Friendly, please use my contact form to get in touch, I’d be happy to take a look and offer my professional expertise.