Knowledge Corner: How Google’s Mobile Friendly Update Will Impact You
The ‘Google Mobile Friendly Ranking Algorithm’ – also known as ‘Mobilegeddon’ – is the most recent of many updates Google has run in the past few years. (Remember Penguin and Panda?) Released on 21st April 2015, this time around, instead of focusing on filtering out sites with poor quality links or content, like the previous updates, this new mobile algorithm is said to impact way more sites than its predecessors. So what does this mean for your website?
Is your website mobile-friendly?
A page is “mobile-friendly” if it meets the following criteria as detected by Googlebot (Google’s web-crawling search-bot software):
- 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 do not have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
CE QUICK TIP:
A site can be tested almost instantly,
via Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, to check if it is mobile-friendly.
If you’re not responsive – you need to be
The new algorithm is designed to reward mobile-friendly web pages, so if your site is not optimised for mobile and is not responsive – then you’re heading for trouble, and will be penalised. This means you’ll see your site drop significantly in Google’s organic search rankings or worst still, drop off the radar all together!
“Google is pushing to improve user experience by raising the bar on mobile and its mobile friendly update will potentially give a ranking boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results”, says Marketing Manager Hannah Potts. But she warns: “If your site isn’t mobile friendly, and you have lots of competitors with mobile friendly sites, then you could expect steep drops in organic search performance on mobile devices.”
What is Responsive design?
It is important to factor it in to your site! Also referred to as ‘RWD’ in the web world, it’s become an essential part of web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience — basically, easy reading and navigation without having to res-size, pan or scroll —across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones and tablet devices).
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Yes, you should act on these developments, but the best thing you can do is not panic and make any knee-jerk decisions.
- Create a new mobile-friendly homepage
- Point to a mobile app
“Whilst this is an effective short-term solution”, says Hannah “over the longer term you need to decide whether to make your existing design work in line with the changes, or use it as an opportunity to refresh your website.”
Be Responsive from the start
The best mobile implementation is generally considered to be a responsive site. But it is possible to create a separate mobile site that will work for Google as well, provided you stick to best practice when it comes to structuring the mobile site. However, our advice is to ensure your website is responsive – because a website and an app offer different things to different users and should be considered as part of your wider business and marketing strategy – and budgeted for.
A website is a perfect shop window; it’s an informative and educational tool about your brand and what you offer. A responsive website helps kill two birds with the same stone: you get the attention of the customers browsing on their desktop, as well as those who are browsing or researching about your products on the go – using a smart phone or tablet.
“Building a responsive website should be the natural choice to inform your target audience about your brand, but a mobile app comes in handy when you want to further engage your prospective and existing customers” says Hannah. Perhaps something you can’t do on your website you could create as a mobile app to engage and entertain people? Many brands build specific mobile apps and games for this purpose but don’t completely replace their website with a mobile app.
CO3 responsive technology
At Creative Emporium, all of the websites that we build in-house as part of our innovative CO3 online ordering solution are built using responsive technology. This is not an add-on or an upgrade – it comes as standard as part of the build. This is because we believe in best practice and ensuring our clients’ websites perform. To find out more about CO3 and if an online ordering system could benefit your business for the procurement and storage of promotional merchandise and branded clothing, then get in touch today.
Complete Branding Solution
We’re experts in providing the complete branding solution for our clients, so please get in touch today to discuss your requirements and how we can help you with your branded merchandise and clothing. Call us on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.