Today is the day. The day that Google will penalize you for not having a mobile friendly website! We have been talking about this for a while, and have actually been able to convince some of our clients that they need to upgrade, but we still see so many websites that do not offer a good mobile experience!
2 Dogs Media is proud that for all the WordPress web design clients we have launched in the last 12-18 months we have provided them with responsive websites knowing that this update would be arriving in the future!
So why is Google requiring mobile friendly websites as a rank factor?
Well, in part because they want users to have a great experience when surfing the web, but also because their mobile advertising revenue has tripled since 2012. It is in their best interest to improve the mobile search experience to continue to increase their revenue!
This will not only affect the little guys, there are some major brands that will also be affected by this major update. Estimates are as much as 40% of major brands do not have a mobile friendly website. Google will penalize them just like anyone else.
If you have not done so yet, then jump on over to Google and use their free testing tool to see how your website is being seen by Google to see if you will be impacted!
Will not having a mobile friendly website really affect me?
Chances are YES! Although this update is supposed to only affect website results on mobile phones – considering the huge increase in mobile web searches, chances are you will see an impact in your traffic. It is expected that around half of all searches in Google will be from mobile by the end of this year.
This is where it is critical that you understand your analytics data! Without knowing how people are visiting your website or what they are using to view it, it is hard for you to give them a great user experience! If you have analytics installed, now would be a great time to take a peak into your data and see just how much of your traffic comes from mobile devices.
To view this data you will go into your analytics – click AUDIENCE in the left column then MOBILE then OVERVIEW. You should then see a screen like this one (you can see this websites gets 23% of their traffic from mobile devices):
So in this specific case, this website should make sure they have a mobile friendly version! If you are one of the few websites that get minimal traffic from mobile, then you do not have to make getting a mobile website imperative, but we still advise it since you do not know what the future may hold!
IMPORTANT NOTE: You can check your home page in the Google tool, but we also highly recommending checking some interior pages – like a product page or a gallery page – or a blog post, just to ensure all of your pages are friendly. Better safe than sorry!
The hope is that you will see something like this – if you have a big green AWESOME, then you can take a deep breathe and get back to marketing your business!
What you do not want to see is this! If you have a big red NOT MOBILE FRIENDLY, you need to upgrade your site as soon as you can!
So what makes a website mobile friendly?
1) Your website should have a mobile specific version or be responsive. A mobile specific version will be a separate website that is created just for mobile devices, while a responsive version will show on all devices, but automatically adjust to the viewport size the website is being viewed in. In a responsive website your website will change width size and move content around so it is viewed in the best way possible. Responsive has been reported to be preferred by Google.
2) Text should be larger on mobile and have more spacing in between for easier reading.
3) Slideshows, Flash and extra features should be removed from mobile websites. Focus should be placed on your call to actions and branding. You may only have a few seconds to grab them and keep them on a mobile device – only give them the content they NEED to make a decision!
4) Make sure your links are far enough apart to allow for easy clicking on mobile devices. If your links are too close together then users will get frustrated and leave.
I think my website looks fine on a phone, and I do not have a mobile friendly version!
So you viewed your website from a phone and it looks just like your computer version – this is NOT a good thing!
This is an example of a non mobile friendly website (logo removed for anonymity!) This is an example of a website that looks exactly the same as its website version. You can see that the text is too close together, some of it will even be unreadable. The links in the left sidebar to navigate the categories are just way too close and users will find it so incredibly difficult to navigate.
To improve this website the website owner should have a large logo at the top of the screen, mobile friendly navigation just below that and a great image below the menu of the item they offer. It should be a ONE COLUMN website where everything flows down in a way that makes sense. Products can be listed vertically with larger text for easy clicking through to the full product.
If you are looking for help with your mobile website, the contact us today at 732.241.5365 for a consultation or click the link below to email us!