Google is Serious About Mobile-Friendly Websites

For a while now, Google has been telling website owners to get their acts together and make sites more user-friendly on mobile devices. A few weeks ago, Google made a few changes that suggest that mobile-friendly websites will perform better in mobile search results.  By “perform better” I mean that sites will not only rank higher but will likely see higher click-through-rates (CTRs).

First, Google introduced the mobile-friendly test that tells you which areas need work to make your website more mobile-friendly.

Google's Mobile-Friendly Test analyzes a URL and reports if the page has a mobile-friendly design.

Go ahead and check out how your site is doing at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.

Then Google introduced a new feature of Google Webmaster Tools called “Mobile Usability” to help website owners understand where their sites fall short.  

Mobile Usability results in Google Webmaster Tools

Have you been procrastinating about updating your website to make it more “mobile-friendly.” (Have you thought about it at all?) If you’re like us, you’ve been far too busy in the busy-ness of your business to worry about how your site works on a smartphone or tablet. When is the last time you looked at your own website on a mobile device?

Go ahead and see what your website looks like on your phone? I’ll wait.

Not great, huh? The truth is that a lot of small businesses rarely think about their websites at all.

I have a confession to make. We’re guilty, too. We’ve spent the last couple of years working to make client websites mobile-friendly through responsive web design, but we’ve been neglecting our own. See the Mobile Usability results above? Those are the results for our site. Yes, it’s sad and embarrassing, but we’re working on it.

Does mobile usability really matter that much?

You bet it does. Many of our clients are getting over 50% of site traffic from mobile devices. If that doesn’t convince you of the importance of mobile-friendly website design, take a look at the small change that Google made that gives mobile-friendly websites an advantage in mobile search results.

Google has added a new feature to search results in mobile devices to indicate whether or not the site is mobile-friendly.

Take a look at these results for “coffee shop Atlanta GA.”

Mobile search results for coffee shops in Atlanta that shows the mobile-friendly notation.

See the “Mobile-friendly” label next to the top three results? If you are using your smartphone to search, would you click the link to a mobile-friendly website or one that’s not mobile-friendly. The benefits of a mobile-friendly design are easy to see: a better experience for site visitors and better performance in mobile search.

See why it’s so important to optimize your website for mobile viewing? What are you waiting for? Give us a call to learn more about our responsive web design services and how we can make your website mobile-friendly.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Laura Sultan

Laura Sultan is a veteran at creating successful SEO strategies that grow small businesses. She founded Paramaya Web Consulting in 2001 and has established herself as a respected SEO professional specializing in SEO for law firms. Laura is proud to call Atlanta home where she lives with her family on a small urban farm. Outside the office, Laura enjoys gardening, hiking, birding, and nature photography.

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