mobile-friendly-seoHas your webmaster recently been sent a warning from Google that says something like: “Google has tested 37 pages from your website and found that 100% of them have critical mobile usability issues. The errors on these pages severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website….”?

Are you aware that from the 21st April websites that are not optimised for mobilewill effectively be placed on the slow track to obscurity by Google when it comes to rankings?

Understanding why a mobile-responsive website is so important, and what can be done to make your website mobile friendly, is critical before Google exerts more pressure on mobile-responsive ranking factors.

Why Google wants your website to be mobile-friendly

mobile-friendly-seo-2Research indicates that the average internet user will, at some point in the very near future, use more than one device to complete an action online, effectively turning the internet multi-screen.

Over 80% of New Zealanders search online before buying a product or service, with Google showing that nearly 50% of those searches are done using a mobile device.

Around the world over 80% of internet users will operate either a tablet or mobile phone while they watch TV, and nearly 90% of us will move between devices to complete an action, mostly involving a purchase of some kind.

Armed with these kinds of statistics, Google recently announced major changes to its SEO algorithm for how it ranks mobile search results. As of the 21st April 2015, the fact that a website is mobile-friendly will have a stronger currency with Google when it comes to search results. Google has even gone so far as to say this change to its algorithm will have a “significant impact” on mobile-friendly websites, a statement that mobile-unfriendly website owners would be wise not to ignore.

Get ahead of the rest

mobile-friendly-seo-3Google is sending a strong signal to webmasters to optimize their websites to be mobile-friendly, with this is in mind it is important to develop a mobile strategy as soon as possible. Google’s algorithms operate in real-time so any changes that are made are picked up immediately, with the website benefiting straight away as it becomes more mobile-friendly.

With mobile internet usage set to grown even more, now is the time to make sure your website is strategically optimized for mobile and other devices, and doing so ahead of your competitors before the 21st of April 2015 is crucial.

How to become mobile friendly

You can learn where your website currently stands in terms of mobile and what can be done to a mobile-unfriendly website by:

– Testing your website using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Results will indicate one of two things; either your site is mobile responsive, which is great, or it is not mobile friendly.

– Developing a plan if your website is not mobile responsive. There are several options for optimizing your website for mobile:

  • Responsive web design, which is recommended by Google.
  • Dynamic serving, where your website page adapts to the blueprint of each device
  • A custom page is created for each specific device
  • A separate site is developed for mobile
  • Mobile users are redirected to a different mobile-specific URL
  • A mobile app is created
  • An independent application is built for mobile, often used in conjunction with the options above.

– Building your platform around best-practice according to Googlebot.

mobile-friendly-seo-4Once you have selected a mobile-friendly solution that is in line with your organizational objectives and budget, there are a few things additional items to keep in mind. Make sure your pages are not too slow, and avoid loading content that cannot be played. Do not block JavaScript, CSS or image files, and don’t use unrelated cross links.

It is important that you also concentrate on the SEO element during your mobile-optimization programme, including using keyword research that has been focused on mobile users.

Google highly recommends that all new websites are mobile-friendly; make sure this crucial element is included in scope before you begin the website design process. Clickthrough is a specialist website design and SEO company. Clickthrough also specializes in creating best-in-class websites that are completely mobile friendly and hassle free.