Local Businesses Need Mobile-Friendly Websites or Face Google Penalty!
On April 21st, 2015 Google is rolling out an algorithm that will penalize websites that are not mobile friendly. Essentially, if your business website is not responsive, or doesn’t otherwise have a mobile friendly version, your website is going to lose page rank position in mobile search results.
If you’re saying to yourself, “who cares about mobile search,” it’s probably a good time for you to invest five to ten minutes of your busy day to read what follows. The plain truth is that the success of your business is in imminent danger of losing valuable customers.
You won’t want to pass this information up, so grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea and read this very critical truth about why mobile search matters to you and everyone. Remember, mobile search is going to drastically change on April 21, 2015.
A little Google History
- In April of 2005 Google Maps came to mobile phones, offering driving directions and local information to mobile devices.
- In June of 2005 Google released Mobile Web Search for viewing search results on mobile phones.
- In July of 2008 Google released their first downloadable iPhone app. The App debuted with the launch of the Apple 3G iPhone and enabled users to experience faster mobile searching on iPhones.
What Exactly Does Mobile-Friendly Mean?
I’m certain that practically everyone has had the unfortunate experience of viewing a web page on their smart phone or tablet that was not compatible with their device. The text and graphics were tiny, forcing you to use your fingers to “zoom in” on the website content and drag it left and right. It’s annoying, right?
The term “mobile” or “responsive” means that when a website is viewed in a smartphone or tablet, the layout of the website adapts to the browser’s viewport size, making it easy to view and read the website content. Essentially the website resizes horizontally, and text and graphics adapt to a comfortable viewing size. Users merely have to scroll up or down to view the website content.
The first implementation of an adaptive viewport website width was demonstrated by Cameron Adams in 2004. In early 2009 CSS3 media queries were almost ready for full implementation across all devices. A media query allows web developers to target not only certain device classes, but to actually inspect the physical characteristics of the device rendering the website. By 2011 “responsive web design” was capable of being implemented by web developers around the world.
In December 2012, Pete Cashmore at Mashable penned a very insightful article stressing the necessity of implementing mobile friendly design, and dubbing 2013 the year of responsive web design. Forbes has also shared great articles on the necessity of prioritizing mobile friendly design into your website.
How to Survive Google’s Mobile-Friendly Website Algorithm
You need to have a mobile responsive website to survive this algorithm.
Liberty Web Marketing offers responsive design solutions that comply with Google’s requirements. Our responsive web development offers businesses an effective solution for visitors on all device types.
Mobile website vs Responsive – What’s the Difference?
A mobile version of your website is a “mini-me” version of your main website that utilizes a different domain than the main website. In other words there are two versions of a website on two different domains.
A responsive website is a single website that adapts to the size of the device being used to view it by utilizing a single domain.
In the above-referenced article at Forbes, Contributor Susan Gunelius interviewed Jody Resnick, President of Trighton Interactive. Resnick made it very clear that having a mobile version of your website is not enough anymore. Resnick explained:
“With a responsive website, businesses can be in front of consumers at every step of their online journey. People, who search for a business’ site, begin reading content and viewing videos from their desktop computers at work, and then look for the same business on their smartphones during lunch are able to continue their research into products and services uninterrupted.
“In contrast, if the business has a traditional website and a mobile site, someone investigating products and services online can become frustrated by the lack of complete content on the mobile site or the inability to navigate through the full site on her smartphone. She might give up the search altogether,” Resnick warned.
“Responsive websites provide continuity between different viewing contexts, remaining completely agnostic to the type of device used and the size of the screen it has. What this means is that the same website will present an optimized layout regardless of which device it finds itself being loaded in.”
Responsive Design is Best for Organic Ranking
Responsive websites are easier for consumers to find than traditional or mobile sites because they come up higher in search engines’ rankings. In fact, Google recommends responsive web design because having a single URL for desktop and mobile sites makes it easier for Google [and other search engines] to discover content, and for Google’s algorithms to assign indexing properties to content.
For the past four years Liberty Web Marketing has been successfully designing and promoting their responsive design and Local Search optimization services in an effort to help Waukesha and other area businesses rank well in local search results. We’re honored to say that we’ve helped many businesses achieve a successful online presence that generates leads and new customers.
Ironically, local search ranking was successful for our clients, even if the business website was not mobile friendly. Although we stress to clients the importance of having a mobile responsive website, some businesses either lack the necessary budget to adapt to responsive design, or they fail to see the necessity of investing in a mobile-friendly web presence.
The “free pass” of ranking well in local search with websites that are not mobile-friendly will soon come to an end, and business owners really need to understand the impact this will have on their business.
Over the past few years there has been a significant evolution in the way that people surf the internet. The mobile device (Smartphone and Tablet) is now the dominant form of telecommunications technology. Both smartphone and tablet dissemination has been the trend towards true, seamless digital experience across desktop, mobile and tablet devices.
In 2012, the global Internet usage from mobile devices was 12x the amount of data that was used for the entire internet in the year 2000 (1. Cisco Visual Network Index)
Perhaps you’ve passed on making this necessary upgrade and have survived so far.
This is all about to change, and fast!
We can help! Call 262-993-1562 or contact us online.