It’s not exactly breaking news that Google will start favouring websites that are optimised for mobile devices. But did you know that this has already begun?
In a not so surprising announcement from Google, they have said:
Starting April 21, we will be 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.
As a result, having a website that doesn’t function correctly on your smartphone or tablet will not reap the Google goodness that a responsive website would. Have a look at the example below:
As you can see, it’s much easier to navigate the mobile optimised version on the right. The non-optimised version looks like a mess and one which you would probably exit immediately if you were on your phone.
Why is Google giving preferential treatment to mobile friendly sites?
Every man and his dog seems to have a smartphone or tablet. The rise in popularity of iPhones, iPads, Galaxy phones and whatever else is simply astounding. It seems you cannot walk down the street without seeing several teenage girls taking selfies, the lost businessman looking up directions or the lady forgetting to call the electricity company and trying to find their number.
Google is helping these people access the information they need, and fast!
You can see the benefits of accessing information quickly on your smart-phone by checking out our post about local business search results.
Not only are Google giving these optimised sites a little extra boost for their efforts, they’re also visually signifying your mobile goodness to the world. Look at the example below:
Google is now telling you if it’s actually worth clicking on the link or not! If it’s not saying “mobile-friendly”, are you going to click it? Perhaps, but perhaps not.
Boom! We’re all good 😀
How you can play the mobile game and become mobile-friendly
Mobile-first, mobile-friendly, responsive, fluid. Whatever you call it, your website should adapt easily between smartphones, tablets and computers. It’s 2015 for crying out loud!
Here are some ways you can ensure your website is mobile-friendly:
Get a responsive WordPress theme
If you run a WordPress site then you can easily get a high quality theme from ThemeForest or MyThemeShop which is responsive. All you need to do then is customise it to your needs and you’re good to go.
Add a responsive CSS grid
If you already have a website but need to make it responsive then you should think about integrating a responsive or fluid CSS grid. A simple and easy one to implement is responsify. The site will even generate an HTML index page for you to get started!
Develop on top of a responsive framework
The folks at Zurb have created an amazing front-end framework called Foundation for you to build on top of. Seriously, check it out! It’s packed full of features and you can easily implement beautiful forms, layouts and UI elements. Oh, and it’s free!
Of course you could always hire us to create and manage a website for you. All of our sites are responsive as standard. We don’t charge extra for something which all sites should adhere to these days and we will even create a beautiful site you can be proud of from as little as £199!
Having a mobile-friendly website will not get you to number 1 overnight but it will certainly help and your audience will be thankful for it. When you’re next sitting on the train or taking the bus and casually browsing the internet, think about what sites are easy to read and not so easy.
Do you have any questions about responsive sites? What are your thoughts on Google giving mobile-friendly sites a boost?