Occasionally, Google will introduce an update to their search algorithm which turns out to be an SEO game-changer, leaving the rest of the web to panic and get itself in shape to meet the new requirements and stay at the top of the rankings. According to a recent blogpost, Google state on April 21st that they are:
...expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.
We anticipate this update to be at least as seismic as Hummingbird, Penguin and Panda updates - but why? Mobile usage on the Web has massively expanded over the last few years and - crucially - 2014 marked an important milestone in which mobile traffic overtook regular desktop computer traffic altogether. It may seem unfair to ask business owners to redesign websites to meet the latest, coolest current trends, but consider this: any website built before this was designed for an audience that no longer exists as it once did. Google is keen to encourage the web to evolve and this means preparing your website for mobile users.
How do I Know If My Website Mobile Friendly?
Your web developer will almost certainly know, but to find out there are a few things you can do:
- Firstly, load your website on your mobile - do you need to zoom in and out? If so, it's not likely mobile friendly.
- Try opening your website on your computer normally - and then try and make your browser narrower and see if your website re-arranges itself to display nicely? If it doesn't, it's not likely mobile friendly.
- Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome all include mobile display testing facilities which allow you to view your website on these types of devices
Fortunately, Google have released some tools that help you asses and check! Start here and click the "Mobile-Friendly Test" link.
How Do I Make My Site Mobile Friendly?
For most people, this will mean a total re-design since it's not a simple task to add responsiveness to an existing website - though you should check with your web developer to see if they have any thoughts on this.
Fortunately, Simon Antony Ltd have the perfect, low-cost solution if you should find yourself stuck: Our SimplePage package gives you a new, fully responsive HTML 5 website which will work brilliantly on mobiles, tablets and desktops which comes with SEO built from the ground up. SimplePage websites run on Umbraco, giving you the full power, security and future-proofing of Microsofts ASP.NET framework and a website you can easily edit.