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12 May 2015

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update

by James Cottis

In April, Google put their new mobile-friendly update into action. The update was being referred to as “mobilegeddon” across the internet, and there was a lot of panic and tension surrounding it. So many people were worrying that their websites were just going to be completely thrown off the grid if they didn’t have a mobile-friendly site.

It wasn’t as bad as it seemed, though. Obviously, if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, then it’s going to rank lower on Google, and it could be potentially bad for your business. But that doesn’t mean no one’s going to find you at all. Let’s take a look at what we know about “mobilegeddon”.

The basics of the mobile-friendly update

The main aim of this update, was to boost the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results in order to deliver accessible, high-quality, and relevant results to searchers.

Nobody wants to end up on a page that’s a hassle to use on their mobile device. If you have to constantly keep zooming in and out, and scrolling horizontally to view content that is barely displayable, then soon enough you give up and move onto another site. That’s why Google has put this update into place. They want their searchers to have the best experience possible.

There are a few things to bear mind about this new update:

  • It only affects search rankings on mobile devices
  • It affects search results in all languages globally
  • It applies to individual pages, not entire sites
  • Google still uses a variety of signals to rank search results

If your page has high quality content, but isn’t mobile-friendly, it can still rank high if it has great content for the query. You can see if your pages are mobile-friendly using the Mobile-Friendly Test, or check your entire site through the Mobile Usability report. Once your site becomes mobile-friendly, Google will automatically re-process your pages.

Why make a site mobile-friendly?

Users should be able to get the most relevant and timely results, and have the best experience possible on your site. More and more people are starting to use their mobile devices for internet use, and 77% of mobile searches occur at home or at work, where desktop computers are usually around. Users find sites that aren’t mobile-friendly extremely frustrating, and if you don’t have one, then it could look bad for your business.

The idea of making your site mobile-friendly can be a bit daunting for some people, and they often don’t know how to go about it. That’s where we come in. Here at Twist, we’re professionals, and we’re committed to helping you and your customers get the most out of your site.

So, how can we help?

We’ll make it easy for your customers

We can design your site to help make it easier for your customers to complete their most common tasks. We’ll outline the potential steps in their journey, and ensure that these are easy to complete on a mobile device. If your company sells clothes, we’ll make sure that the products are simple to browse through, and that the payment process is quick and easy enough to follow.

We can measure the effectiveness of your site

Making a mobile website requires prioritisation, so we’ll work out what the most important and common tasks are for your customers on mobile. We like to focus on consistency, and providing a unified experience across all platforms. The measure of your site is how well your customers can complete their objectives, and ease of use is the main thing mobile shoppers want to see.

Select a design that’s consistent for all devices

Responsive web design means that the pages use the same URL and code whether it’s displayed on a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. The display adjusts according to the screen size, meaning that there’s no hassle with zooming in and out, or scrolling horizontally. One of the main benefits of using responsive web design is that you only need maintain one version of your site instead of two. You won’t need to maintain the desktop site at one URL, and the mobile version at another, making it a lot more practical for you, and your users.

As big as this update seemed, it really hasn’t had much of an effect on most sites. Mobile-friendly sites were already being ranked higher on Google before they’d pushed out the update, so it’s probably not as big of a deal as they made it out to be. However, having a mobile-friendly site is definitely something that will help your business in the long run, and will keep your customers happy.

If you’re in need of a mobile-friendly site, then give us a call and we’ll help you out.

Tags: Business | Design | News | Web Development |

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