Mobile-friendly websites are a must

If you value your website’s search engine positioning then mobile-friendly websites are no longer a nice-to-have.
Mobile-Friendly Search

On April 21st, 2015 Google’s mobile-friendly websites algorithm was updated to have a significant impact on search results!

Since this algorithm was implemented it’s strongly believed that websites not ticking the right boxes for Google’s mobile support best practices have fallen down the search rankings. Some have possibly disappeared into obscurity? Google has indicated that the drop in rankings can be very significant. Website owners who have not embraced mobile browser support will be affected, therefore, mobile-friendly websites are a must.

Back in February, Google stated:

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.

What does this mean?

In short, it will affect your bottom line! This is great news for those with mobile-friendly websites, as they’re likely to see greater ROI as their rankings improve. But for those in the other boat, their website will drop drastically in organic searches from mobile devices, if they don’t sort it out.

What is a mobile-friendly site?

Mobile-friendly sites are typically responsive layouts that re-flow the contents to optimise the user’s experience, based on the device their device. This responsive design pattern is recommended by Google, so it’s a good place to start if you want to be optimising your SEO for Google search.

For example, a desktop or laptop may have additional, secondary information to the side of the main page content, such as a menu or shopping basket. But, when viewed from a mobile device, this secondary information may either be “stacked” vertically below the main content, or hidden away behind a menu.

In some cases, it’s also wise to serve different content on mobile; to improve both SEO and the user experience. Our website is a good example of this (below). For example:

  • on mobile and tablet versions of the homepage, we do not load as many images as the desktop version
  • we load much smaller sized images on mobile & tablet devices, resulting in smaller file sizes
  • we do not load the background video on mobile devices

In The Digital create Google optimised, mobile-friendly websites.

So how do we know if we have a mobile-friendly website?

There are a number of aspects that are taken into consideration, including:

  • font sizes
  • tap targets
  • viewport settings
  • blocked content
  • off-screen content
  • and a much more…

There is no grey area, these and more all have to conform to Google’s criteria for your site to pass, otherwise, it is a fail. Either you have a mobile-friendly website, or not – it’s as simple as that!

Is there any hope for a non-mobile-friendly website?

Fortunately, there is, but this may or may not be a simple task. The first port of call should be to run Google’s test to see the current state of the site. Or, feel free to get in touch and well carry out a free analysis for you, and if action is required, we are more than happy to consult on the best strategy to get your website mobile-friendly.