Google has been warning us this day was going to come. Well the day has finally arrived!
You can test your website on Google here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
I was recently notified by Google that OUR website wasn't mobile-friendly. This surprised me because it's always been responsive and after looking into it there were a couple of issues. We are redesigning our website anyway so the new website will have these issues solved.
The actual date is April 21st and don't panic. This only means that you'll rank lower when displayed on a mobile device and won't affect wide screen versions. However, more than 50% of searchers are on mobile devices so it's important.
Why would Google do this?
Google and other search engines want users to have the best experience when searching online. If your website design doesn't adapt to devices then it's not a great experience. You have to zoom in and out on a small screen like a phone.
Beware of responsive vs. mobile version.
Back in the early days before responsive design there were ways to have your website show up as a “mobile version”. This was usually a bunch of links rather than adapting to the size of a screen. This may be the next target for Google because I advise our clients against this as it is not good for usability.
Nobody knows how important or how much this will affect your search results. Google has over 200 signals it uses for rankings and would just be one factor in many. The important thing is not to think about keeping up with algorithm changes. We should be thinking about how to give our potential customers the best possible experience. If you are trying to view a non-responsive website on a phone it's not really a great experience right?
So how do I make my website mobile-friendly?
The best way to accomplish is to rebuild the website. Unless the design is hard coded to software it's less costly to convert the website to something like WordPress. There are thousands of designs to choose from and we can usually convert most business websites in a reasonable amount of time. Building a WordPress website is getting easier and becoming less costly.
If you would like us to evaluate your current website just fill out our form and get a free report.