How important is it to have a mobile-friendly site, and what exactly does that mean? For some time, Google has warned they would be making changes to search algorithms to use a site’s mobile-friendliness as a key ranking factor. Translated, this means sites that were not originally optimized for smartphones may see their rankings downgraded. Or to put a more positive spin on it – mobile-friendly pages would receive higher search results.
On April 21, Google began rolling out its mobile-friendly update. According to them “We’re boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results. Now searchers can more easily find high-quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.”
It’s important to note that your rankings will only be affected when someone is searching from a mobile device. And it applies to individual pages, not entire websites. Google also notes that even if a page is not mobile-friendly, if it has high quality content, it might still rank highly.
Wondering if your site is mobile-friendly? Check individual pages with the Mobile-Friendly Test.
If your site is not mobile friendly, you have several options:
1. Do nothing. If you find that very little of your traffic is coming from mobile devices (tablets are not considered mobile devices), you might not see much of an impact for a while.
2. Redesign your site to be mobile-friendly. This is called having a responsive design. This takes a bit of effort, but gives you a clean, single platform solution that adapts to the device it’s being viewed on.
3. Create a mobile version of the site. This usually means creating a small, second version of the site with just the essentials that is used for mobile viewers. After all, mobile users rarely want to browse through all of the content on a full site anyway. You’re essentially maintaining two sites, with similar content. When you want to make changes to the content, keep in mind that you may need to update both versions of the site, versus just one. An advantage, however, is that this solution is usually less expensive than option 2 above (depending upon how the current site is coded).
Not sure what to do? Give us a call and we’d be happy to talk about your options! We can be reached at 630.717.8332 or contact us online.