Mobile-Friendly Website Design More Important Than Ever

POSTED BY Tracy Pratt - 04.09.15 - Website design

Mobile_friendly_test_-_fusionfarm-093436-editedMobile is finally getting the SEO attention it deserves. Starting April 21, Google will focus more heavily on mobile friendliness as a ranking signal for mobile search, making responsive design and mobile optimization more important than ever. Is this a big deal? Yes. It’s been touted as having more of an impact on Google search results than algorithm heavy hitters, Google Panda and Google Penguin.

So what does that mean for your website? Google’s announcement states the change will have a “significant impact” on mobile searches worldwide. So if your website design is optimized for mobile, it’ll surface fine in mobile search rankings. If your website isn’t fully optimized for mobile, you risk a Google mobile penalty which could drop your ranking or worse – your website might not show at all in mobile search results. Bottom line: check your site and make sure it’s optimized.

Recent Google Updates Have Pushed Mobile

Some of you might be thinking, why all the fuss? Hasn’t Google already optimized for mobile? Yes and no. There have certainly been updates to the Google algorithm to perfect the mobile experience for users, but that hasn’t really affected mobile search, until now.

Recent Google updates have focused on ensuring a website is configureScreen_shot_-_mobile_friendly_listing-665114-editedd properly for mobile and that a website is viewable on modern devices. In other updates, Google encouraged app indexing and, in February, started surfacing content from indexed apps more prominently in search results. Last November, Google even added a “mobile-friendly” label to sites that received its seal of approval. This latest update takes the effort a step further. It compels website owners to take a hard look at the mobile user’s experience with their site and fix any problems if they want to rank well in mobile search.

Tips for mobile optimization

Here are some key points Google is emphasizing with its mobile-friendly algorithm.

Make sure search engines like Google can understand your mobile site setup. Review the technical setup and fix any problems you find. You can test your site with Google’s mobile-friendliness tool.

Keep pages and assets crawlable. If Googlebot can’t access your CSS, JavaScript or images, it may not detect that your site is mobile friendly and serve it to searchers.

Avoid mistakes that frustrate mobile visitors. Pages that provide a poor user experience on mobile can be demoted in rankings or displayed with a warning in mobile search results. Some of those frustrating things might be unplayable content, faulty redirects, slow-loading pages, irrelevant cross-links, and full-screen interstitials that block users from completing a task. Learn more about good design in Liz Kennedy’s blog post: Responsive Design – Deal With It.

Google knows the days of desktop dominance are over. More than ever, people are living their lives on multiple screens and, as such, they enjoy the freedom of being connected anywhere, anytime. (Nielsen survey of digital attitudes and behaviors). Mobile devices empower consumers with new moments for search and discovery – on the go, during work hours and at home. Be ready for the changing landscape. Contact Fusionfarm today to optimize your website and improve your mobile SEO.

If you are thinking about updating to a mobile friendly website or just updating your website in general, you can learn more about the latest in SEO best practices by downloading our FREE ebook, Redesign With SEO In Mind.

Redesign with SEO in Mind
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tracy Pratt

Tracy Pratt

Tracy Pratt is the SEO/SEM/Targeted Display Product Manager at Fusionfarm. She believes good digital marketing should be like shopping with a friend – personal, comfortable and immersive. When she’s not thinking about the future of marketing, she’s out having fun with her family.

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