Ensuring Your Site Will Measure Up to Google’s New Mobile-Friendly Standards
Chances are you use Google and have noticed that one of the search result criteria is whether or not a site is ‘mobile friendly’ or not. This is a result of step 1 in a major implementation on Google’s part to encourage website owners to take the plunge and optimize their site structure. Beginning in late 2014 and implemented in April 2015, this isn’t some power play for Google – it’s simply better for a user-centered system and better business for a site.
To reinforce the importance of this shift, with regard to search, as of April 2015, “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.” Further, and even more telling to conversion strategies, behavior in spending has shifted to approximately 30% of all online sales now made on mobile devices. Gartner predicts that, by 2017, U.S. mobile commerce will have increased so much in popularity that it will account for 50% of U.S. total digital commerce revenue.
Taking into consideration the mass growth in this segment, it’s only reasonable that technology advances and requirements are refined. In that spirit, Google this week released an update to mobile search results that will take place in May 2016. Described to ‘increase the effect’ of it’s mobile ranking signal.
Is Your Site Really Mobile-Friendly?
A webpage will be designated ‘mobile friendly’ as long as certain criteria are met: (including, not limited to)
- Readable text, without the need to zoom
- Relatively quick load times (hint: 40% of people will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load)
- No implementation of software unfriendly to mobile, for example, Flash
- Automatically resizes content to the device to avoid zooming or horizontal scrolling
- Content placement for ease of link clickability
As a response and to keep online business flowing, by now, many have made the obvious and necessary shift to responsive web design which satisfies all the algorithm criteria for Google, offering a superior user experience. For this set, all the boxes are checked.
For others that have not yet made the move to a mobile optimized site, this is a second chance to get on board – before May 2016. The only thing to lose is customers – if you don’t make the shift. Going responsive not only has the potential to expand the reach of your business, but deliver conversions that were nearly impossible before.1