Since April 2015, Google’s new algorithm update is significantly impacting websites which are non-responsive – not mobile device friendly. For obvious reasons (like the exponential increase of mobile users), Google is putting mobile users first. This means that websites with mobile compatibility and mobile app connectivity will be awarded higher rankings in search results than those sites without.
Not only that it has to be responsive, based on an announcement by Google’s Matt Cutts, it seems Google wants us to have a responsive site that loads fast.
How does this affect your business online?
Obviously, with the current situation, without a responsive website your current ranking on search engines will suffer the Google’s demotion process.
To be fair, in order to help website owners, and to avoid “simply smacking us with penalties”, Google has shared their *recommendations as well as some of the most common mistakes when building a mobile site. Here are some highlights which may most likely affect your business.
Page Loading Speed
74% of consumers doing online searches will allow about 5 seconds for a web page to load on their mobile device before abandoning the site. We also know that 71% of mobile browsers expect web pages to load almost as quickly or faster as web pages on their desktop computers.
With such characteristics of the mobile user and the likelihood of using a 3G/4G network, performance of a mobile site is critical. According to Google you should consider doing the following:
- Make the mobile web faster by reducing the number of requests and amount of data transferred.
- Use Google PageSpeed Insights to check your site for page loading issues.
Quite often videos aren’t playable on smartphones. Google recommends using HTML5 standard tags to include videos and avoid content formats such as Flash that are not supported by all mobile devices. Offering a transcript is also a highly effective solution to be safe.
when a desktop sites server is setup to redirect all smartphone visitors to the mobile websites homepage;
this even happens with sites that have a mobile equivalent of the desired page but the redirect was implemented incorrectly.
You ideally want to make sure that there is a mobile equivalent to every URL if you’re not using responsive design.
App Download Interstitials
It is not advised for many businesses who are promoting their mobile app to their mobile web visitors by leading them to an interstitial page to drive downloads. Google does not like this. It is better to promote your app to mobile web visitors by using a banner. Using interstitials only slow them down and builds annoyance.
To better improve your website and ensuring it’s mobile friendly, we propose that you take a website audit which will show you where to improve your website.
If you’re confused and not sure how to go about it, our team would be happy to perform a website audit for YOUR business. Our audits offer a comprehensive review of your current business, your competition and we’ll provide you ideas and recommendations on what are to be to implemented.
* Google’s recommendations – see resource box.