The Future Of Your Business Will Soon Depend On Having A Mobile Friendly Website
It wasn’t too long ago that having a mobile friendly website was just an option. When something new comes out it often takes time to gain a bit of attention. Going back ten years ago most people were happy with a laptop or desktop pc and did most of their surfing in the lunch hour at work or the odd evening at home.
The big change came with the introduction of the tablet. Mobile phones started to get smarter too. Just as smart, if not even smarter than tablets. The result has been a race between the technology giants to produce ever more connected experiences across all platforms. The search engines have been a little slow to catch up until now and the consequences for online businesses will be significant.
Apps were invented to speed up searches. Websites are already being built so that they display on different size screens without floating away into some digital neverland or becoming so tiny, it would take a magnifying glass to read the content.
Websites built to suit all screen sizes are known in web design circles as ‘responsive’ websites. Responsiveness means that the experience of using a website on a mobile is the same, if not better, than using the website on a desktop. It doesn’t just mean the website simply resizes, which is a common misconception.
April 21st The Dawn Of A New Era In Google Search
A responsive website at the very least must have text that is easy to read, easy to navigate and if you happen to be selling something, it goes without saying it must be easy to for customers to place orders too. This is why it’s a bit of a mystery that more website owners haven’t been paying attention to their mobile presence. This may change on 21 April.
This date will not only be a watershed moment for web design. It will also be an important development for that other aspect most business owners depend on – SEO.
Google, the world’s biggest search engine, has been quietly experimenting for some time on how to handle the growing audience of mobile users, particularly in the US where tablets and mobiles are now the dominant gadgets used to surf the web.
What they have come up with is a way to rank websites according to how friendly they are for mobile users. The official line from Google is that if you don’t care about smart phones, then building a website to suit those users is not essential - unless of course you want to lose those visits.
When Google makes these kinds of announcements, it is important to take notice. Changes to mobile search could be the biggest transformation in rankings seen since the Panda and Penguin algorithm websites which decimated many search engine positions.
The warnings have been in place for some time and website owners who choose to ignore smart phones may soon be hit with a demotion in rankings just because their websites are out-of-date according to today’s consumer needs.
If you already have a mobile friendly website, then there is no need to worry. If on the other hand you are not sure how your website displays on a mobile it is easy to check how Google sees the website on their free Webmaster Tools.
If you have Webmaster Tools set up, you will find a ‘Mobile Usability’ option within the webmster tools dashboard for your website. This will highlight any issues you may have with mobile friendliness.