By: Rick Juarez -
A large number of companies believe websites are "set it and forget it," but they couldn't be more wrong. We know that a lot of businesses sometimes struggle just to get a website up and running. Then they are faced with the many challenges that come up with Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. They hear things about Content Marketing and Social Media and struggle with ideas about what to put out there. It's enough to make your head spin. Leave it to Google to throw another curve ball at you. On April 21 st, Google's new algorithm begins to roll out which will give websites that are considered "mobile friendly" a leg up in mobile search rankings. If your company relies on customers finding you on Google, then you will want to make your website mobile friendly as soon as you can. Why? Because 48% of search traffic is generated from mobile devices.
So, what is "mobile friendly?" Quite simply, it is a measure of how well a website renders on mobile devices such as phones, tablets, etc. So, how do you know if your website is mobile friendly? Easy. You can simply enter your company's URL here at Google's Mobile-Friendly Test. If you get the message, "Awesome! This page is mobile friendly," you're set. If you get the message, "Not mobile friendly," then Google will give you tips on what you can do to fix it. If you are like most of us and have used a developer to create your site, now is the time to call them and discuss your options. You can create a separate mobile site, or you can use Responsive Design which allows the site to adapt to the device regardless of screen size and orientation.
Does this mean that April 21 st is the coming of what has been called "Mobilegeddon?" In a word, no. April 21st is the launch date of the new algorithm and it may take as long as a week to completely roll out. Even then, the algorithm will be real time, meaning websites can make changes and see improvements immediately. If you are wondering, "Am I alone?," that is also a no. Portent recently tested 25,000 top sites and found that 10,000 failed. That's 40% for those of you who are counting. For some companies, becoming mobile friendly is not a priority as they believe that their customers find them on desktops. For the rest of us, we should plan accordingly.