“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.” (Google Webmaster Announcement)
What does that mean for you?
It means that websites that are mobile friendly will receive a boost in mobile search rankings in Google, and those that are not mobile friendly will probably lose out.
Wait what does mobile friendly mean?
A mobile friendly website is one that adjusts its appearance for smartphones and tablets so that it is easily readable and simple to navigate on those devices. This gives users the full functionality of the desktop site, while providing them with an intuitive layout for their convenience.
There are two different ways of making your site mobile friendly. Option one is to create a separate mobile site, which will then have a different domain name (for example: m.bestbuy.com). Option to is to make your site responsive – meaning that it will automatically adjust to the appropriate size based on the size of the users’ browser. For this method you do not need a new domain name.
For a great example of a responsive site, go to Starbucks.Com, and then drag the corner of the screen on your browser to change the size of the screen showing the site. You will see how the site automatically updates itself to show you all of the information. Pretty cool.
Now to show you how different a mobile friendly site looks on a phone from a regular site, take a look at the following comparison:
Notice how simple the mobile friendly version of the Best Buy site is as compared to the desktop version. Clearly the mobile version is easier to use for someone who is on a smartphone or tablet.
Based on this definition, Google’s update makes a lot of sense – they want to provide their users with the best service possible, and part of that is sending them to websites that will be easy to use and navigate.
What if you don’t know if your site is mobile friendly or not?
No problem, Google has the answer for you – The Mobile-Friendly Test enables you to check whether any URL is mobile friendly or not.
How can you make your site mobile friendly?
Creating a mobile website doesn’t have to be too complicated. Frist of all, Google has a pretty comprehensive guide to creating a mobile site which you can read here.
There are also a bunch of different tools available that can help you create a mobile site. For example:
Get to work
You have until April 21, so now really is the time to get to work on this! You can think of this as something annoying that you have to deal with, or you could think of it as an opportunity to improve the service you provide to your customers, and to actually beat out your competition who might not update their sites for mobile in time.
So go ahead and make your site mobile friendly!
Zack is a social media enthusiast who loves all things digital. He is the inbound marketing manager at StoreYa where he spends his days searching for the newest social marketing scoop. If you’d like to chat with him, feel free to connect with him on any social platform.
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