New Google Mobile Friendly Update
If you read our last post on the new Google Mobile Friendly Update requiring all websites to be mobile friendly, you have a good idea already of what it means for your business.
For those who missed the last post, here is a brief overview of the Google Mobile Update and you can check out our last post here for more information.
The Google Mobile Update basically requires your website to be mobile friendly so the viewers using mobile search can have a better experience online. Google is essentially attempting to improve mobile rankings with its new algorithm by penalizing websites lacking a quality experience on mobile. If your website is responsive or has a mobile version built already, there is really nothing to worry about and if anything your mobile rank may improve a bit.
How do I know if my website is mobile friendly?
There are a couple ways you can determine if your website is mobile friendly or if you are in need of a possible update.
1. If you have a Google Webmaster Tools account, it will give you a list of any mobile usability discrepancies on your website. There are a couple valuable tools available for use including:
Google Mobile Testing Tool which allows you to check multiple pages on your website to see where your site is impacted.
Google Site Speed Checker allows you to determine if your website is recognized and verified as “mobile-friendly” by Google. You can also see how your website performs with mobile search.
2. A faster way to simply determine if your website is mobile friendly is to use your smart phone and go to your website. Does your website fit nicely with the screen size or do you need to move left and right to see your website? If the latter, your website is not mobile friendly.
You can also check on your laptop by shrinking your browser window and using the arrows to make it the size of various mobile device screens to see if it fits properly with all the screen sizes. Or at least check the smart phone sizes because that is what the algorithm impacts. Although I am certain they will be doing the same for tablets as well in the near future.
What Should I do if my Website is Not Mobile Friendly?
There are a few things you can do to solve this problem if you know your website is not mobile friendly:
1. Before you jump to make a decision, I highly recommend looking at your Google Analytics to see if you are getting enough mobile traffic to require the update immediately. If you have no mobile marketing in your strategy at all and rely on other sources for traffic, the Google update may not impact your website or business. This does not mean you should not make your website mobile friendly at some point when it is convenient, it simply means it does not take priority number one for you.
2. Contact your web development team or the company taking care of your website and discuss with them the best and most efficient solution. They will more than likely come to a couple conclusions, building a separate mobile website or making your current website responsive (depending on your business needs and/or budget).
3. Building a separate mobile website can have its advantages and will definitely be recognized as mobile friendly by Google. If you are getting a lot of mobile traffic and conversions through mobile, it may be a good idea to invest in a mobile site that shows up for mobile traffic. A mobile website is specifically designed to provide the best experience for mobile users and often includes easy to access call, email and/or contact buttons along with the address or even a button to pull up directions right from their exact location. Even though this is not for everyone, it is an option.
4. Responsive web design is in my opinion the best option when it comes to mobile friendly. I have actually been saying this for years, way before Google brought about this new update and I still stand by it. A responsive web design works for all mobile devices because it responds to the screen size and adapts the website accordingly. Whether a smart phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, playstation 4 or anything else you can use.
This is the best solution for two reasons:
A. It is a solution not only for smart phones, but for tablets and any other mobile device.
B. It is often more cost effective to make your site responsive rather than building a separate mobile site.