For a long time already Google’s algorithms have factored in mobile compatibility into their search results, but on the 21st April there’s a big change coming. So big, some are calling it Mobilegeddon!
Beginning on April 21st, Google will no longer list non-mobile websites in mobile search results
Source: Google Webmaster Central
Currently around 60% of all searches are made on a Mobile Device of some sort, so it only makes sense that Google want to make sure that the results they display on these devices are mobile friendly.
How Does This Affect Your Business?
If you currently get most of your traffic from mobile devices, it’s going to have a dramatic effect. If your website is mobile friendly and your main competition is not, that’s going to be very good for you. However, if the shoes on the other foot and it’s your website that is not mobile friendly then you’re going to experience a significant drop in traffic.
Check to see how much mobile traffic you are getting on your Google or other Analytics Tracking Dashboard. For GA go to Reporting > Audience > Mobile > Overview, the combined number from mobile and tablet is what you could be losing if you don’t have a mobile responsive website.
Zineb Ait Bahajji, a member of Google’s Webmaster Trends team, was quoted at SMX Munich as saying that the new mobile-friendly algorithm change will have a greater impact on search rankings than Panda or Penguin did in the past.
Google have kindly provided a quick tool to let you know if your website is mobile friendly or not:
A Special Note For Phuket Businesses
The 60% average quoted above will be considerably higher if your customers are tourists. Desktop PC’s in hotel lobbies have limited appeal when you have access to the internet on your phone or iPad. Anyway, when was the last time you saw a tourist without a mobile device in their hands?
Most of your customers will not be familiar with the area, so naturally their first source of information will be the internet (via their mobile device). For quite some time now Google have localised their search results for mobiles using the devices location to show only the most relevant results. There are still many local businesses in Phuket that don’t take advantage of this so that’s also something to address when checking on your websites mobile friendliness.
Do Not Panic! – Not Yet Anyway
Before you start to panic it’s worth seeing where you stand. Google’s Free mobile-friendly test
- Ensure the mobile version of your site is active and functional. Responsive designs are the most popular, but you can also have a separate hosted mobile version of your site. Google doesn’t have a preference, as long as mobile users’ experience isn’t interrupted.
- Ensure Google’s mobile bots can crawl your site. If Google can’t see it, it may as well not even be there.
- Check each individual page of your site on a mobile device to ensure navigability. Just because your home page is mobile friendly doesn’t mean the rest of your site is.
Google have also provided some great information and options for mobile friendly websites. If you manage your own website have a read through and take your options from there.
Time To Take Action!
If your website isn’t Mobile-Friendly then you probably haven’t updated your site in quite some time, which likely means old and outdated content too. So if the tools above have raised a few red flags, then it is time to hit the panic button. This will be a big shift for a lot of websites and if yours is more than a couple of years old, now is the time to upgrade your site.
But there’s a silver lining! Instead of feeling like your hand is being forced to update your website. Take the opportunity to re-activate your online presence and embrace the chance to really make a difference to your business. Your website is the most cost-effective communication tool you have if it’s done right.
Modern websites are mobile friendly and have the benefits of being easy to update yourself, plus they look amazing and will easily outperform your old website in usability and create the right first impression for your visitors. Well, ours do!
Click on the free website review button above or call us at +66 872 827 483 and talk with Stephen.