Walk into any hotel lobby or restaurant dining room and you’ll likely see someone attached to their smart phone. A few years ago, they were probably just texting a friend or co-worker. Today they’re using their phone to share pictures of their vacation or meal with their friends, checking their email or browsing the internet.
The last part is what has caught Google’s attention. With more and more people browsing the internet from their phone, Google announced that they’re soon going to penalize sites that fail to be mobile friendly. The penalty is going to come in the form of lower search engine rankings. That means now is the time businesses should start looking at their websites to see if they’re up to par with Google’s new mobile standards.
The exact words from the Google Webmaster Central Blog were: "To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users."
What exactly are those pain points? To put it simply, they are any issues a mobile user encounters on your website that interferes with their browsing, and in turn, could cause them leave. It could be as simple as a design that is difficult to use via a smart phone because it doesn't function well or can't be viewed on a mobile device. It could also be something as technical as the Google Mobile Bot being unable to crawl a site because of the URL structure.
Beyond that, Google actually went out of their way to explain some of the most common issues.
The largest issue that they see is improperly set up redirects from a separate mobile site.
Another frequent problem that Google sees often is videos that cannot play on smart phones. (Think videos that use Flash, which isn’t supported by iPhones and some Android phones.)
Google says website owners need to test their websites with as many devices as possible ensure that there aren’t any issues.
Over the past few years, some companies have created mobile websites to correspond with the traditional websites. It’s a fix, but separate mobile websites can cause as many problems as they help solve if not done correctly. One of the most common issues is having a mobile website that creates a second version of the website - a duplicate version of text and page titles that could lead to penalties from Google in the form of decreased Organic search traffic if the search engine isn’t told which content to index.
The best solution is often a responsive website design. Responsive web design is designed to work on any screen, whether it’s a laptop computer, smart phone or tablet. It’s one design that will adjust to the size of the screen of the device being used to browse the site. A responsive web design will eliminate any mobile-related problems and go a long way in helping a business’s website improve in the search results.
We’re here to help! We can build a responsive design for you to ensure that mobile users and Google will have the best possible experience on your website. If you already have a traditional website, we can transform your standard website into a responsive design for a reasonable price.
Call us at (504) 779-5188 or submit a contact form today so that we can make your site responsive before Google penalizes your site.