In February Google announced they will be expanding the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, starting April 21st.
Here are some reflections from Zooma on what you need to consider, and how you can move ahead:
Why is this happening?
Google's idea behind this is that when it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps.
Mobile is preferred over the PC for executives conducting research during and after office hours, according to the IDG Global Mobile Survey 2014.
- 92 percent of executives own a smartphone used for business.
- 77 percent of executives use their smartphone to research a product or service for their business.
- 93 percent of executives will purchase that product via the Internet using a laptop or desktop.
- 86 percent use their tablet and 72 percent of executives use their smartphone to conduct research for products or services for their business.
As more people use mobile devices to access and search the Internet, Google's algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns. They’ve already made it easier for users to find mobile-friendly web pages and they’ve introduced App Indexing to surface useful content from apps.
What does this mean?
It's time to find out what makes a “mobile-friendly” website, consider how well your website performs, and identify and plan for the changes you’ll need to make to meet the new requirements. A good way to start is to focus the user’s experience — and work from there.
What is mobile-friendly?
The desktop version of a site might be difficult to view and use on a mobile device. The version that's not mobile-friendly requires the user to pinch or zoom in order to read the content. Users find this a frustrating experience and are likely to abandon the site. Conversely, the mobile-friendly version is readable and immediately usable.
Google considers a page “mobile-friendly” if it does the following:
- Uses text that is readable without zooming
- Sizes content to fit the screen, so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Avoids software that isn’t necessarily supported on mobile devices, like Flash
- Spaces links far enough apart that the correct one can be easily tapped
What do you need to do?
Mobile is already critical to your business and will only continue to increase in importance. Make sure visitors can have a good experience on your site when they’re visiting from their mobile devices!
To get help with making a mobile-friendly site, check out Google's guide to mobile-friendly sites. If you’re a Webmaster, you can get ready for this change by using the following tools to see how Googlebot views your pages:
- If you want to test a few pages, you can use the Mobile-Friendly Test.
- If you have a site, you can use your Webmaster Tools account to get a full list of mobile usability issues across your site using the Mobile Usability Report.
And of course, if you want help making your online presence mobile friendly - don't hesitate to get in touch with Zooma!