You might of heard something about Google launching an update to their search algorithm, which is being called the "Mobile Friendly Update". What is it exactly? And what does it mean for your business? Well, for the past few years people have increasingly been using their mobile phones as their primary device to access the internet. In fact, just this year, mobile web traffic has surpassed desktop traffic on the internet, with upwards of 60% of traffic originating from mobile devices.
If you have a website, chances are a large sum of your visitors are arriving there on their mobile device. And if your site isn't mobile responsive, your mobile visitors may not be having the easiest time navigating your website. As you may have experienced elsewhere on the web, navigating a website that isn't mobile responsive involves a lot of double tapping, panning and searching the bounds of your small device screen to find the information you want. Google is aware of this experience, and now that mobile has taken a more demanding market share of search traffic on the web, they have implemented changes to their search algorithm in order to deliver up a better experience to mobile users.
What does this mean for you? The first thing you should do is use Google's Mobile Friendly Test to see how Google views your site. If you receive an "Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly." result from the test, you have nothing to worry about - Googlebot recognizes that your page is mobile responsive and your site will not be negatively affected by the update. If, however, you see a screen similar to the one below:
This means that your website was found to be not mobile friendly, and lists the reasons why Google has come to this decision. There's also a helpful screenshot that demonstrates the typical mobile browser experience on your website, illustrating why it would be difficult for them to navigate.
If Google's Mobile Friendly Test deemed your site to be not mobile-friendly, it means that from this point onwards, your search rank will be negatively affected when users seek out your website. If you were previously enjoying a first page search ranking for "xyz widgets" for instance, now that the mobile update has rolled out, you risk being pushed off the first page by competition that have mobile-friendly websites. Google simply wants to provide their users with the best experience possible by delivering up websites that are optimized for the particular device they're browsing on. This means that for searches that were carried out on a desktop, your search rank will remain the same as your site is optimized for desktop use. But with an internet landscape that is rapidly changing to predominantly serve mobile, it means you need to act quickly to ensure your position on Google to compete for these valuable screens.
Where do you go from here? If you're using a Wordpress theme, or a theme for a similar Content Management System, the theme may have been updated since you bought it - you should check either your Wordpress dashboard or the developer's page to see if there's a mobile-responsive update, and then implement it after backing up your site data. If you have an internal team that maintains your website, you must highlight the importance of having a mobile responsive website, using the Mobile Friendly Test to illustrate your point.
And of course, all websites that Chargefield builds on its Current content management system are mobile-responsive. If you'd like to talk to a representative about how we can help your company create a website that's optimized for mobile devices and search engines, call us toll free at +1.888.446.BOLT or send us a message. We'd be happy to walk you through the ways we can assist you in your online strategy.