Is Your Site Mobile Friendly?
There has been plenty of hype recently about the ‘mobile geddon’. In simple terms – Google mobile search update. We want to put the myths to bed and talk facts in our latest post and address why and how your site should go mobile today?
What are the main changes?
Google has announced that it will be changing the way it ranks websites that are not mobile friendly on mobile devices. Earlier this year the search engine started testing tags on cellphones via its search results. The latest change affects all websites when they are being searched for by a mobile device (not desktop). However, Google does say that although a site might not be mobile, it may still rank higher depending on other factors such as the relevance of the site compared to others.
Why the change?
This latest change is no surprise to many marketers (including us). We’ve been building mobile responsive sites now for a few years. The reason the change was predictable was because Google and other innovative brands focus on the user experience. At the end of the day, they want to satisfy or exceed user wants and needs.
What does this mean for you?
It’s time (if not already) to go mobile friendly. More than 60% of people use cellphones to search goods online. If your site is not geared towards that, users are more likely to leave your site and go to one that is responsive and easy to use for their browsing needs.
To find out if your site is mobile friendly, use the free Mobile friendly test by Google.
Also, make sure you check the screenshot. If any content appears different, you may need to check with your developer whether there is a Google bot issue.
How can I become mobile friendly?
The important first step is not panic and to explore all the options you have available to you.
There are three ways you can do it.
The first two are short-term solutions.
1. Mobile Redirect: This is a whole new website in itself. When a user visits your website on their cellphones, it is redirected to a mobile-only version.
This option is quite cost effective as you can usually build your mobile site (depending on your needs) for less than $500. However, you may need to cut back on website features or consider updating more than one website at a time to keep your content up to date.
2. Adaptive website: This is when you make changes to your existing website to make sure it displays as ‘mobile friendly’.
The website code is changed and altered by a developer so your website can be easier to use on cellphone devices. The problem is that the coding only allows for so much functionality. Thus, your website will appear user-friendly until the visitor decides to alter the size of their page – causing format issues. Adaptive sites can vary in cost and will depend on how many pages and features your website has.
And here is a long-term solution
3. Responsive website: A website that truly delivers for the user experience! Users can change the screen size without format issues.
The issue with user experience focussed sites is they take time and cost a lot too. Further, you may need to look at other upgrades like a premium CDN to boost your sites speed, due to the heaviness a responsive site brings when it comes to page load time.
So what’s your next move?
Don’t jump the gun just yet. You need to consider a few things before you make the decision.
Take into consideration the following:
1. How many people visit your site from a mobile device?
2. How much can you invest?
3. What resources will you need to maintain the site?
4. How are you going to differentiate yourself from others?