While sitting in line last month to get my annual auto emission test I was searching on my mobile when I noticed a tag in results “Mobile-Friendly”. I had never seen it before and recognized immediately what it meant – “Google is telling mobile users what sites are going to be a good experience to visit on your mobile”. Google’s Search Engine’s aim is to lead you to the best search results but it is now drawing a line in the sand and basically saying if your website is not mobile friendly (no matter how much wonderful content you have on that site) – it is not going to get the all important “Mobile-Friendly” tag. This tag in my opinion will help users decide whether they actually visit your website. And long term I suspect google may even consider listing Mobile-Friendly results first.
Once I spotted this I started watching out for an announcement from Google. Google is constantly changing and testing new products and I wanted to wait until an official announcement came out before sharing with customers and associates. Sure enough this week Google has made that announcement that they will be rolling this out over the next few weeks.
So what does mobile-friendly search tag ultimately do for your website?
If you do have a mobile-friendly site (responsive website) – well Congrats and Well Done! You not only are making it inviting for your customers to use your website on a mobile device – Google is going to bring your more prospect traffic with the Mobile-Friendly Search Tag. Your choice to head in this direction in the last 12-24 months looks like it will really pay dividends in the upcoming year!
If you DO NOT have a mobile friendly (responsive website) you will most likely start getting less and less mobile traffic (which in essence will also have a bearing on your regular search results as google uses visitation as key ranking parameter). Loosing traffic generally means less prospects more than anything else but keep in mind you also are wasting your customers time (and causing frustration) when they have to use a non-mobile friendly website.
Is it too late to upgrade to a mobile-friendly website?
I don’t know the actual stats on the internet (which sites are mobile and which are not) – but my suspicion is less than 25% are mobile-friendly right now. Which means some of your competitors haven’t taken that leap yet. I was recently reading a news site on my mobile and saw a great ad for a famous beach town in South Carolina. I clicked on the ad and to my dismay landed on a non mobile-friendly site and simply closed the site. I have since see the ad 100’s of times but never bothered to click it again. I couldn’t believe a tourist bureau would actually invest in online advertising sending you a non mobile-friendly page and expect to have great results – but it shows that lots of companies and organizations have not fully grasped the importance of a mobile-friendly (responsive site).
If you want to verify that google is seeing your website as mobile-friendly please visit Google’s Mobile Friendly Tool. On this page Google really clarifies the biggest issue with websites are not mobile friendly – Readability & Navigation.
Be sure to make upgrading to a mobile-friendly (responsive) website at the top of your marketing plans for 2015 and be sure to contact us at Bear Web Design if you need some help!