Are you ready for Google’s mobile search update? Coming April 21, 2015, Google will change its search algorithm once again. In this change, mobile-friendly websites will receive an extra ranking boost over websites that are not mobile-friendly.
If your website is already mobile-friendly, this is great news! Websites that are optimized for mobile will start to see themselves rise to the top of the search results page.
If your website is not mobile-friendly, this is bad news! You might soon find yourself moving down the search results page simply for the fact that your website isn’t optimized for mobile usage. Or even worse, you could disappear completely from the mobile search results.
Why are they doing this?
Mobile usage has skyrocketed over the last 5 years. In 2014, 80% or more people used their smartphones for internet searches and last year was the first time we saw mobile internet usage exceed desktop computers. Google recognizes this shift so they are trying to create a better experience for mobile users.
It’s not just enough to have a mobile website. Google has a preference for responsive websites which automatically resize themselves to fit all screens, including mobile phones and tablets. Responsive web design has been around since 2010 and its clear Google wants everyone to get with the new framework so the mobile user experience improves.
What you should do
#1 – Test your website using Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool. Ideally you want to see an “Awesome” message but if you see “Not mobile-friendly”, you have work to do.
#2 – Scan your website in Google Webmaster Tools to find and fix mobile usability problems.
#3 – Speed up your website. Mobile users typically have slower connections than desktop users so it’s important that your website loads quickly. Google has a great tool called PageSpeed Insights that will analyze your website and tell you specifically what changes you can make to get faster load times.
#4 – Get a responsive website. If your website is not responsive, chances are it’s pretty old anyway since responsive design is the new standard. IT Indianapolis can turn your current website into a responsive website that is fully optimized for mobile usage.