In a move widely dubbed “Mobilegeddon,” Google changed its search algorithm to favor mobile-friendly websites. The impact of Mobilegeddon proved real, as traffic on non-mobile friendly websites dropped 12 percent in the two months following the change. Suddenly, having a mobile-optimized website became a necessity for businesses committed to attracting and appeasing customers.
Why a mobile website matters
In the U.S., Google processes about two-thirds of the nation’s web searches, the majority of which now come from mobile. Google’s ubiquity means that when the tech company moves direction, businesses are forced to take notice—and Mobilegeddon delivered a discernible impact to those who shunned mobile-friendly websites.
But name your search engine—Yahoo, Bing, or any another—and it’s increasingly likely that the search is being performed from a mobile device, as nearly two-thirds of Americans now own a smartphone.
While non-Google searches are not subject to the modified Google algorithm favoring mobile-optimized sites, the swelling number of individuals utilizing mobile means a mobile-friendly site is simply good business. It can make your site more readable, modern looking, and customer friendly.
Components of a mobile-friendly website
Mobile websites are:
- Responsive: Though mobile phone screens have increased in size, they still remain a fraction of the size of the typical desktop computer monitor. A responsive site automatically adjusts to the screen being employed by the user, whether that’s a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
- Fast loading and slimmed down: If it takes more than five seconds for your website to load, then it’s not mobile friendly. Mobile sites eliminate bloated features like hefty files and graphics in the name of speed and efficiency.
- Easy to navigate: Within a click or two, and with limited scrolling or pinching, a visitor to your website should be able to accomplish virtually any desired task.
- User friendly: Minimizing tabs and creating a single-column vertical layout will help ensure streamlined use, while large text and buttons as well as well-spaced links will further help visitors navigate your website with ease.
- Informative: Provide visitors quick access to core business information, such as hours of operation, email or phone contact information, address, and directions. Don’t hide these key details under separate tabs and require additional clicks for basic info.
Is your website ready?
In the Mobilegeddon aftermath, Google offered a no-fuss tool in which business owners could simply enter their URL to see if their website had a mobile-friendly design or not. However, Google plans to soon take another step forward in launching its “Test My Site with Google” tool, which identifies tangible ways businesses can improve their website for mobile users.
As frustrating as Google’s algorithm shift might have been for some, Mobilegeddon nevertheless underscored mobile’s growing use and encouraged businesses to build a more responsive, contemporary website. Even more, it reminded businesses of the need to conduct regular updates to ensure content that is accurate, relevant, and optimized for mobile—lest they risk a slide in traffic.
With a mobile-friendly website, your business is not only more likely to be found on the world’s foremost search engine, but also well positioned to deliver a more seamless, modern web experience for any consumer seeking information about your business.
used with permission from HP Technology at Work