Last month, Google launched a new tag that shows up on Google search results to indicate a mobile friendly website. (It’s just two words—“mobile friendly”—in search results.) What does this change mean to your business website?
It hasn’t started doing so yet, but in addition to listing mobile friendliness in search results, Google says it may begin ranking websites that have the mobile-friendly website designation higher in its search results.
Of course, while that is in the future, starting right now, it’s also a pretty safe bet that users searching on mobile devices will be more apt to click on sites with a mobile friendly designation. Just imagine if your website pops up next to your competitor’s, but theirs says “mobile friendly” and yours doesn’t? Clearly, you have much to gain and potentially a lot to lose if your business website doesn’t earn the mobile friendly website designation.
You may have been watching and reading about the growth of mobile usage, but not taken action yet to get your business website up to speed. Well, when Google makes a change this big, it’s time to take action to meet their standards or be left behind. If your website hasn’t been updated in three years or more, chances are it’s not mobile friendly (at least, not by today’s standards) and needs an update. Google has a mobile friendly website tester you can use to assess your site and see if it meets Google’s new mobile-friendly website criteria
If your site doesn’t measure up, what should you do? Google recommends using responsive design to create your website. Essentially, this means that instead of creating one website for desktop use and another, different one for mobile use—which was many companies’ initial approach several years ago when smartphones first began to take off—you have just one website, but it’s optimized to work on all types of screen sizes, platforms and devices. This makes life a lot easier for you, since you only have to update one website when something changes in your business.
For more information, read Google’s blog post about the mobile friendly website designation. Google says its goal is to create a better experience for users, who are increasingly relying on mobile devices for just about everything. Shouldn’t that be your small business’s goal as well?
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Maria Valdez Haubrich
Maria Valdez Haubrich is Chief Liaison Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.