Is Your Site Mobile Ready? Responding to Google's Mobile Push
Rachael Giza, February 13, 2015
Last November, Google announced yet another algorithmic change with the potential to significantly impact website search engine rankings. Currently untitled, this latest algorithm is just one of many changes the search engine giant has made throughout the course of the year in an effort to afford users a more accurate reflection of authoritative, user-friendly websites. According to a Google Webmasters article, this change is specifically intended to help users identify mobile-friendly pages in search results. Google's new focus is undoubtedly the result of the growing percentage of online traffic conducted on mobile devices, which has steadily increased in the last two
Google will indicate in search results if a site is mobile friendly
Search results will now indicate when a website has been deemed mobile-friendly by Google, a distinction earned by meeting the following criteria:
- Compatible software for mobile devices
- Readable text that does not require use of the zoom function
- Properly-sized content that eliminates the need for horizontal scrolling
- Adequately spaced links
How to Test if Your Site is Mobile Friendly within Google's Guidelines?
In fact, Google even has a site specifically designated for mobile responsive testing, found here. Users can paste their website's URL onto the page and, within about a minute, an analysis identifies the specific elements of a site that prevent it from earning a mobile-friendly label. Google Webmasters have stated that this algorithm will be implemented globally throughout the coming weeks.
What does Google's new mobile push mean for your business or website?
So just what does this new emphasis on mobile-friendly websites mean for businesses? In short, for those that haven't already, it's time to implement responsive web design. A website that is responsive or "mobile ready" is designed to seamlessly adapt to mobile platforms without the creation of entirely separate mobile websites, or without hindering an optimal user experience in any way. When accessed from a mobile phone, websites that aren't responsive can present poor layouts, challenging navigation, incorrect image resolutions, minuscule text, and many other problematic issues.
The importance of mobile responsiveness extends beyond adjusting to algorithmic changes; a responsive website design in itself typically earns businesses higher traffic and greater conversion rates, as their websites are better able to reach audiences in more dynamic and accessible ways. The significance of catering to this audience is undeniable considering recent statistics. For example, mobile traffic accounted for 35% of all online traffic in 2013, and is expected to increase dramatically within the next five years (approximately ten-fold). And did you know that 61% of people have a more favorable opinion of companies that provide a positive mobile experience? The reality is that businesses who seek to maintain a competitive online presence can no longer ignore optimizing for their growing mobile audiences.
How to make a site mobile friendly
What does it take to create a responsive website design that will meet Google's new criteria and afford users a mobile-friendly experience? WebiMax has the answers. Our design team continues to work successfully with businesses to implement every necessary element for an effective website design. Specifically, we:
- Adjust back-end coding of a business's existing website so that layout changes automatically and accurately accommodate any mobile device in use. Back-end coding does not require changes to overall website design theme or current content, which means businesses need not worry about website overhaul.
- Use fluid grids to arrange page layouts and text flow to fit the screen of any device, affording a consistently optimized view, regardless of screen size.
- Ensure automatic conversion of a layout, depending on horizontal or vertical positioning; a responsive web design for mobile users will seamlessly rotate in response to how a mobile device is held by a user.
- Implement media queries to engage in a mobile-first approach that prevents pages from displaying designs that are too large or too small, and instead use CSS to proactively readjust content.
Learn more about implementing a responsive web design to make your site mobile-friendly by contacting WebiMax online or calling us at 1-888-932-4629. Click here for mobile marketing solutions by Webimax.