Is Your Website Ready for Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm?

Everyone knows that mobile phone usage is growing and that your business’ website should be responsive to all devices. But maybe you’ve been busy and other tasks have buried that priority. Local Fresh is here to tell you that mobile websites are now vital to a business’ online presence and if you don’t have a responsive website, you should get on that as soon as you can. Why? Because starting in April 2015, Google will rank responsive websites higher in searches than non-responsive websites.

Upcoming change to Google’s search algorithm

This February, Google announced an upcoming change in its search algorithm’s handling of mobile websites. Starting from April 21st, 2015, Google will identify if your website if mobile-friendly and use that information to decide if your website should rank higher in search results. This is no little update, as this change will have a “significant impact in [Google’s] search results,” according to Google. By doing this, Google hopes that “users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” In other words, if your business’ website is not mobile-friendly, your website will start to rank lower on search results.

Why is this important?

The number of people using mobile devices is increasing every year. A study showed that in 2013, more than 60% of mobile users in the United States owned a smartphone. Furthermore, this is especially important for local businesses. About “50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results,” according to Search Engine Watch.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 12.15.08 AMSo if many of your potential customers are using mobile devices, it is crucial that your website is compatible with mobile – especially now that Google cares about it too.

No one wants their customers to go to a competitor because of their website. However, according to Google, 40% of users will go to a competitor’s site if they have a “bad mobile experience.” The message is clear: if you want your website to rank higher in search results, your website has to be responsive and mobile-friendly.

Is my website responsive? How can I tell?

Maybe you’re not sure what it means to have a responsive website or how your website looks on a mobile device. Fortunately, Google has made it quick and easy for you to see if your site qualifies as a mobile responsive website. Simply insert your website’s URL into Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and Google will grade your website. The mobile app will also provide you with tips on how to make your website more mobile friendly. It also shows how your website usually looks displayed on a smartphone device.

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 5.07.13 PMThere are many other free tools out there that allow you to test your website’s mobile compatibility, such as Browser Stack’s Responsive Design Testing, which can display your website on various mobile devices to see the difference between brands and device types. This is especially useful, as you probably don’t own several devices to test your website on.

So… What do I do now?

If you care at all about how your business ranks in search results, you need to know what steps to take to make your website mobile-friendly. If you’re trying to do this yourself, Google has compiled a whole guide on how to develop mobile-friendly websites. If coding and web design isn’t your specialty, you’ll probably want to go with the easier route of working with a web developer to enhance your website’s mobile experience. You can also try Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your site is ready for the new mobile search algorithm.

Having a mobile-friendly website is no longer an option for business of any size! If you try to ignore the need for a mobile compatible website, you’ll quickly fall behind your competitors and on Google search rankings. You need a mobile-friendly website now. Local Fresh can help, click here to learn more.

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