Mobilegeddon – Is your website ready?
So, website developers around the world snapped to attention when Google announced last month that “As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns.”
This prefaced their announcement that:
“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.“
So what does that mean for you?
Search engine rankings determine how easy it is for people to find you and your website.
If you’re not heavily steeped in the world of website design and SEO, it may simply sound scary and confusing. As an author or a speaker, you want your website to be a place for your readers and audience to connect with you. As a business professional, you need your site to rank well so that people can hire you or buy your products and services. Your website is an extension of what you do, and if it’s not getting found in the search engines, it can have a profound impact on your bottom line.
However, the good thing about all of this is that Google has given you warning. You have the better part of a month to test your site, make sure its mobile-friendly, and make any necessary changes so that your site is not negatively impacted by this algorithm change.
Where do you start?
Visit the Google Webmasters site to check the mobile-friendliness of your site.
If Google says you’re good to go, that’s great!
However, if it identifies errors, it’s time to start working your way through resolving the issues. (If you registered your site with Google’s Webmaster Tools, you may already have received an e-mail from Google telling you that there are issues to resolve with your mobile site.)
Google provides useful instructions on how to correct the most commonly found errors. So you can try to fix the problems yourself, or you can send the report to your website developer and ask them to resolve the issues for you.
Ultimately, there are two options when it comes to mobile-friendly sites, and they both have their pros and cons.
Mobile Version V’s Responsive
Mobile Version: This is separate from your existing website, and is presented specifically to users when they access your site from a mobile device. While it’s possibly a quicker and cheaper way to resolve issues of mobile-friendliness (and allows you to target your content specifically to mobile users), it is a separate instance of your website. That means double maintenance of your content. What you post on your main website would also need to be created on your mobile site.
Responsive Design: Responsive Web design is the approach that allows design and development to respond to the website user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The benefits include less maintenance and lower cost. (Simple math, one website is cheaper than two.)
For what it’s worth, Google has long supported having a mobile-responsive website over having a dedicated mobile website. It makes for a better user experience and is less prone to errors.
Jabu designs encourage you to check your site today and start thinking about what needs to be done to ensure that your site isn’t penalized by the google algorithm update due to take effect April 21st 2015. Otherwise, you may see a dramatic dip in traffic to your site coming from search referrals.
If you would like advice or have any questions on ensuring your website is mobile ready, our friendly team would be happy to help.
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