The world is coming to an end!
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That’s what every website builder would have you think. That’s because Google has been warning website owners that they need to have a website that works well on mobile or they’ll start doing bad things (like moving them to the bottom of search results). I’ve been purposely trying not to jump on the doom and gloom bandwagon but I keep getting calls, emails, and messages from clients worried about this.
Here’s what you need to know, and more importantly what you need to do.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Google has drawn a hard line in the sand and it’s April 21st.
“Starting April 21, 2015, Google will be “expanding” their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal for mobile searches. In other words, if you don’t have a mobile or responsive website yet, you may find it more difficult to rank in mobile search results after April 21.”
I’ve written about this before but Google was slowly getting us all ready for this latest update. This is the first time I can remember that they’ve announced a specific change in their algorithm. In the past they’ve changed their algorithm and then hinted what changed afterwards.
“But my clients all use their Desktops so this doesn’t matter much to me”
Actually, it doesn’t matter if your current traffic is 100% desktop, Google doesn’t care. Think of them as the Honey Badger. They don’t give a ____! They know that mobile search will surpass desktop search in 2015. If your site is mot “Mobile Friendly” they’ll demote you in the search results no matter what device your potential visitors are using.
Conversely, if your site is “Mobile Friendly” they’ll push you up in the search results. That’s a good thing. That wasn’t happening before.
HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO
1. Redesign / Rebuild your site as Mobile Responsive. We can keep all the present content, just rebuild it all in a slick new html5 happy format. You can keep the general look and feel or go for a complete make over. Chances are your site wasn’t bringing in the results you wanted anyways – maybe now is great time to talk about and define new goals? Like Jeff Foxworthy might say, “Here’s your sign”
2. Correctly add a plugin that will render your site a little differently when viewed in a smaller browser (that’s called a mobile viewport). I started this sentence with the word “CORRECTLY” on purpose. It’s not as simple as adding a plugin. That plugin needs to be properly setup. Your mobile site will lose a bunch of the look and feel. It’ll lose the Calls to Action. It’ll primarily show the content in a way that ‘fools’ Google into thinking it’s mobile friendly while it’s really just stripping away the things Google objects to.
Yes, I could give you the link to the plugin and call it a day but I’ve seen quite a few websites with this plugin improperly setup and they don’t pass the Google test. At best, this option (even when properly done) is just a band aid.
Would you like Nurse Mike to apply a Band Aid to that now? Click HERE
3. Do nothing. Yeah I said that. Depending on your business model it might be perfectly ok to sit back and do absolutely nothing. Really! If your site primarily serves as an online business card or brochure that visitors go directly to and you are not interested in SEO (search engine results) you have nothing to worry about. If your visitors are viewing on mobile, sure, they’ll have to pinch and zoom and that kind of thing but it’s certainly not the end of the world.
Obviously, I would prefer building you a fabulous website but if you want me to apply the bandaid I can do that too. Just send me an email and we’ll start that conversation. (a typical re design runs around $1,500 while a band aids run around $150)
Oh and hey, if you are wondering if your site is up to Google’s standard, I would be happy to let you know. Mike@AreWeConnected.com
If you need a new website (or even a discount single page site)
He's an avid hockey fan, rides a mountain bike, sometimes rides a road bike, has a few motorcycles (he had a really fast one, bought a cool orange one, rode a really slow one, and wants a really small one). If that isn't enough, he makes cheese and sourdough bread, loves strong beer and good red wine, and poorly plays the Mandolin.