Google has announced that as of 21st April, mobile-friendly sites will be ranked higher than non-responsive sites. The change will make it easier for mobile users to get relevant, high quality results that are optimised for their devices. This is a worldwide change that comes as mobile overtakes desktop usage as the preferred web access platform.
What this means is that if you’ve been lagging behind the responsive design trend, Google is letting you know ahead of time that your ranking will suffer unless you take action.
Why the change?
In their official announcement, Google stated that their algorithms must adapt to usage patterns. The catalyst for change is undoubtedly the fact that mobile has overtaken desktop as the dominant platform for accessing the web.
mobile v desktop graph (comScore)
More mobile users means that website designs must be mobile-friendly. In fact, behavioural data shows that a well-designed, responsive website typically has lower bounce rates and higher conversion rates. So, Google’s move to using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal is just one more reason for businesses to incorporate responsive website design.
What you can do?
Google has provided tools and resources to help you understand the change and how best to optimise your site mobile devices. Start by taking Google’s Mobile Friendly Test. Importantly, the results will link you to useful guides to making your site more mobile-friendly if you’re using a CMS like WordPress, Drupal, Blogger and more.
If you’re behind on your CMS updates, that would also be a place to start. You could also remove any Flash Components, as this is still not viewable on many mobile devices. If you’re using a custom theme, confirm if it’s mobile-friendly and change if needed. However, before you make any change, remember to backup your site first.
Find out how your business will be effected on April 21st by Google’s algorithm change by contacting iFactory on 07 3844 0577. Take advantage of our knowledge and experience in SEO and web design to help mobile users find your business quickly and easily.