Search engine giant Google recently announced that a website's mobile-friendliness will directly affect search results.
Simply put, if you've been ignoring redesigning your website to better serve visitors on phones and tablets, Google is telling you to get off the bench and get in the game.
The term "mobile friendly website" refers to a website that loads quickly, has large links and buttons that are easy to touch and doesn't force the user to scroll left or right to access important content. Instead, the site's words and pictures should flow vertically into an easy to navigate scroll on handheld devices like Apple iPhones, Android phones and Windows phones.
So, how long do you have until Google starts penalizing legacy websites that don't optimize for mobile? According to their announcement, the switchover date is April 21, 2015.
That date has come and gone.
Take a deep breath. Heideldesign can help.
We have two service options that can help you meet or exceed Google's requirements for mobile design.
The first is an intermediary approach where we add the appropriate styles to convert your existing graphic design to responsively adapt to mobile screens. This low-cost introduction to our services starts at only $800. It's a great way to meet the new requirements on a limited budget.
The more advanced tactic is a mobile-first redesign where we use phones and tablets as the base for development, making sure that touch targets, white space and legibility are optimized from the very first line of code. This modern development process ensures that your site has a solid base for future design changes while keeping the smart mobile underpinnings through style iterations.
The screenshot at right shows how Google has been giving preferred status to mobile-friendly sites of late. They're already telling users that designated websites will give them a better experience. The big difference with the new technique is that non-friendly sites will drop lower and lower in the results list.
Increasing search engine rank is a long, complex game often compared to black magic or rocket science. With Google's new mobile emphasis, they are providing a clear, concise road map to minimally not losing your search position and raises the possibility of gaining huge increases in search engine rank, depending on key terms.
Not sure if your site needs help? Google has provided a free mobile friendliness test. It gives a quick look at how well your site performs on small screen devices.
For more in-depth analysis, contact us today for a consultation, mobile audit or to get started on your project. Time is of the essence.