When the smartphone revolution began, website builders around the world largely ignored this new format. They didn’t worry too much how their websites looked on the mobile because people just used their phones to check a shop’s opening times or see where the nearest take away was, right? But as the growth in smartphones continues and the use of them rockets past any expectations, can businesses really afford to ignore this vital outlet for their website? No, because being mobile friendly matters now to the biggest name in the business – Google. Here, with the help of Grapefruit Marketing, a specialist provider of London SEO services, we look at why being mobile-friendly matters.
This year is set to see a new milestone in the way people use the internet. 2014 saw 72% of people searching for information on their smartphone for businesses within 5 miles of their location (source). It also showed that half of the people who conducted these searches visited the shop that they searched for within a day of the search. So, mobiles are being used for much more than just checking Facebook and Twitter.
What this means is that is a business doesn’t have a website that works as well on the smartphone as it does on the PC or laptop, and then they may not come up in these searches. Why? Because Google are changing how they rate websites.
Google, is releasing a new update in April that will rate websites by their ‘mobile-friendliness’. This means that when someone uses a mobile phone to search for something, Google will provide results based on how mobile friendly the website is. In other words, if your website isn’t optimised for the mobile world, then you won’t appear in those crucial search results and are losing customers.
What this means is that after the update to the algorithms, when someone searches for something from a mobile, they will not receive the most popular organic results but the most popular mobile friendly results. One example is that the three most popular sites for sunglasses when searched for on a PC are not the same when using a mobile because one of these is not rated as mobile friendly.
For smaller businesses, this may seem an intimidating change that could have a negative effect on their business. But it need not be a moment of doom and terror come 21st April because websites can be changed to being mobile friendly with a little expert attention.
If you are unsure that your business’s website is going to hit the mark when the new algorithm comes along, there are also tools available to check this. Google itself has a tool that can be found here, that allows a test to be conducted on the site’s mobile friendliness and gives tips about amendments that may be needed.
For some businesses, there may be someone on the staff who can work a bit of magic on the website to make it mobile friendly. If not, then there are plenty of great website designers who will be able to make the change.
So while the changes may seem a bit severe and potentially hard work for the smaller business, it may be an opportunity to get ahead of the competition and ensure your place at the top of those new mobile friendly rankings.