More and more people are browsing websites on smartphones and tablets. With this growing change, more and more websites are becoming mobile friendly. It makes sense that websites are taking a mobile friendly approach, because the site owners recognize that their audience will likely click away from their website if it is difficult to navigate on a device with a smaller screen like a smartphone.
Google has also emphasized the importance of having a mobile friendly website. Starting on April 21, 2015 Google will actually start displaying websites that are not mobile friendly lower in the search results. This mobile penalty can impact where websites end up in search results overnight. A once highly ranked website may not even show up on the first page of the search results if it is not mobile friendly.
This is an important shift where Google is looking at more than just content on a web page to determine where it should show up in a relevant search result.
Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
Many modern websites use what is called “responsive” site design. This basically means that the same set of code that displays a website on a desktop screen will cause the site to “respond” and display differently on a mobile device. This helps keep the site mobile friendly, while providing a more robust desktop viewing experience.
If you are unsure whether or not your website is responsive, open it up in a new browser window, and use your mouse to drag the corners of the window to make it bigger and smaller. If it seems like some of the site’s elements are changing as you resize the window, then chances are your site is using a responsive design. You can also open your site on your desktop and also on a smartphone and compare the difference.
Google also has a new tool that will let website owners test to see if their site is mobile friendly. To test your site, hop on over to Google Webmaster Tools Mobile Friendly test. Type your website into the box and click the Analyze button. After a few seconds, the site will come back with either a success, or failure message depending on how it perceives your site’s mobile friendliness.
If your site comes back with the success message, which shows up as a green bar under the search box, congratulations! Your site is mobile friendly and will not see a drop in search rankings after Google makes the change to their algorithm.
On the other hand, if your site comes back with a “not mobile-friendly” message, you need to do some work to get your site back in the game. This is especially important for sites whose primary traffic source is from search engines. If you took the time to write some really well optimized pages on your site for some specific keywords, you definitely don’t want your site’s search ranking to suffer because of this change.
Luckily, if your site is on WordPress you can easily make your website mobile friendly by simply switching to a mobile friendly theme. I would highly recommend any of the themes from StudioPress that run on the Genesis framework.
If you aren’t sure whether or not your site is mobile friendly, or if you need help setting up a new theme on your website, please contact us for more information on how to make your website mobile friendly.