April 21st2015 is the date that Google is set to roll out its latest algorithm update. This time round, unlike previous Panda and Penguin updates, Google isn’t targeting low content and low quality sites, they’re going to be setting their targets on sites that aren’t mobile friendly. If your business website is yet to take the leap into mobile responsiveness, now is time. So what does this mean for your business and more importantly, how can you make sure that your site isn’t one of the ones that gets hit?
What is the Mobile Friendly Update?
Google’s latest update is aimed at improving the user experience of the internet by encouraging businesses and web developers to make their websites mobile friendly. People are increasingly using their mobile devices to access content online and many sites are extremely difficult if not impossible to use on a mobile device. After the update if a site is found not to have mobile functionality it’s search ranking will be negatively affected.
Do You Need A Mobile Friendly Site Right Now?
The update is set to come in on April 21st, but will not having your mobile site up and running by this time be a problem? The short answer is yes. This is a major update and if your site isn’t mobile friendly, or at the very least mobile responsive then your mobile search ranking will take a hit. However, it is worth taking a look at your sites analytics and checking to see how much of your traffic is coming through mobile devices. If the majority of traffic is visiting your site from desktop machines then you can probably get away with not implementing a mobile friendly site straight away but it is certainly something that you will want to consider before too long.
Mobile Vs Desktop Search Rankings
Although for the time being not having a mobile responsive site shouldn’t affect your site’s desktop ranking, it certainly will affect your mobile search ranking. As more and more people are using their mobile devices to search the internet, missing out on this demographic might mean missing out on a large amount of potential customers or clients. Future updates may indeed affect desktop search rankings too so it’s worth investing in getting a responsive site now.
What You Need to Do?
Google have developed a new tool which allows you to check you domain for mobile friendliness. The refreshing thing to note here is that your site is either mobile friendly or it isn’t, there is no grey area. If you find that you site isn’t mobile friendly and after checking the analytics you see that a large proportion of your traffic views your site on mobile devices then it’s time to take action.
Depending on the size of your site and its platform it may be fairly straightforward to make it mobile friendly. If you are using a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, you can change your site’s theme to a mobile responsive one. If you have a larger custom designed site it may be trickier and involve hiring developers to do it for you.
The important thing to remember is that any improvements you make to your user experience can only benefit your business. Although this latest update may seem like a nuisance that you could do without, long term it will benefit everyone’s mobile browsing and in turn your business.