According to a recent Google blog post, if your site isn’t mobile responsive, it’s going to get shoved down the search results starting in a few weeks:
“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.”
If your site doesn’t pass their “mobile responsive” test, then starting April 21 expect your site to drop significantly in Google’s Search Engine results.
The Real Reason to Have a Mobile Responsive Site…it Isn’t SEO
I argue that having a mobile responsive website to help your Google rankings and SEO is merely a secondary reason to make your site mobile responsive. The real reason you want your website to work well on a smart phone or other mobile device is the same reason Google is starting to reward websites that are mobile responsive…happy visitors.
An increasing number of people are browsing websites on smart phones and tablets; we commonly see 30% to 50% of website traffic to local business websites coming from mobile devices. That means your website better be easy for them to view and navigate on a small screen!
What Does “Mobile Responsive” Actually Mean?
Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones)
Take a look at our site on say a notebook screen and then compare that to looking at it on your smartphone. You’ll see that the site (it’s the same website, same code) automatically adjusts itself to provide an optimal viewing:
- The horizontal menu is replaced by a “menu widget”.
- In fact, the whole header has been simplified and optimized on the phone.
- Blocks that were laid out side by each are now stacked on top of each other
There are other subtle changes throughout the site too. For example, some features that show on a larger notebook screen may be absent from a smaller phone screen. The objective of responsive web design really is to provide “easy reading and navigation”. A usable website is a corner stone to good Internet Marketing.
How Can You Make Your Site Mobile Responsive?
Depending on your website, converting it to be mobile responsive can be a straight-forward task or very involved project. The best thing to do is to sit down with your web developer and they can work with you to develop a plan that fits your budget and objectives. You may simply need to make the design you already have play nicely with mobile devices or this may be your opportunity to redo your website and build it around achieving measurable marketing results.
Remember, the best web sites—the ones that perform well in the Search Engine Rankings and with your website visitors—are the ones that are designed to serve people in an easy to read and navigate way.