Thursday, 2 April 2015

Google's Deadline for Mobile-Friendly Websites - Are You Ready?

Is your website 'mobile-friendly'?

Google has set a deadline of April 21st for websites to become mobile-friendly. If, after this date, your website fails Google's mobile-friendly test then it will begin to slide way down their organic search results ranking for mobile searches.

Isn't Google meant to deliver these results in an un-biased fashion based on relevance and popularity? It doesn't matter, Google will do whatever it wants and our job is to obey. So what is it that website owners of small businesses need to do?

Test Your Website for Mobile-Friendliness


Use this link to find out the results: www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

If your website passes the test, you don't need to read the rest of this post. Enjoy the rest of your day!

If your website fails, there may be a couple or more reasons cited. Before you panic, though, how important is the result to you? Google isn't very clear on this but it is generally thought that, currently, it will only affect your results position for searches on mobiles and that your position should remain fairly consistent on desktop computer services and probably tablets.

Use Google Analytics to Determine the Urgency


If you have access to your website's Google Analytics, you will be able to find out what percentage of your visitors are using mobiles to find your website.

If it's around 10%-12% like this, you have a little time to think about your strategy

But if it's 25%-30% like this, you will need to make some quick decisions!

If the phrase 'Google Analytics' means nothing to you, contact your web people immediately for help. If that is difficult for you, email us with your website address and we'll (1) see if you have analytics in place and (2) try to give best advice, briefly, without charge or further obligation.



Winners & Losers

WordPress
If your website was developed using a WordPress theme within the past year, it is quite possible that it has a responsive theme and will pass the test; if it is a non-responsive WordPress site, it may be a case of transferring to another theme. Sometimes, though, it's quicker (and therefore cheaper) to start again.

HTML hand-coded sites
These are unlikely to be responsive but your website developer may be able to use CSS to make it responsive.

Other CMS & e-commerce sites
Sorry but I don't feel qualified to comment as expertise here is limited.

Other options
Rather than rewrite a site, it may be possible to code a mobile-friendly version. Your website developer will be able to explain this to you.

One more thing... Act Now! If you need help, advice or maybe a new website, let us know.