By Nicole Slenning
Beginning April 21, Google will use mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in search results, rewarding websites that are fully optimized for mobile platforms. This is very important for business owners with a website who want to continue to have a strong google ranking.
The move by Google doesn’t come as a surprise considering more than 60 percent of all Google searches originate from a mobile device. These changes will make it easier for mobile users to find relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices creating a better user experience.
What does mobile-friendly mean?
Even if your site appears on a mobile device, that doesn’t mean it’s considered mobile-friendly. Google recommends responsive web design as the industry best practice for websites. A responsive website seamlessly adapts itself to whichever device it is being viewed from. While responsive web design should be your ultimate goal, creating a fully responsive site can present a challenge for many small business owners. However, simply using Google’s guidelines to optimize your existing website for mobile platforms will help greatly in the meantime.
- Start by looking over Google’s guide to mobile-friendly websites.
- Want to see how your site stacks up? Take this simple mobile- friendly test on Google. This can help you understand the basics of how mobile browsers and Google itself will view your content.
- You or your web developer can generate a Mobile Usability Report to help identity any issues with your site when viewed on a mobile device.
How does Google determine a page to be mobile-friendly?
There are five areas of mobile usability that Google looks at when determining whether to reward a webpage with a mobile-friendly label in mobile search results. Pages with this label will benefit from a ranking boost when the new algorithm launches later this month. Here’s a list from Google webmaster tools help:
- A defined viewing area (or viewport) that adjusts to the device’s screen size.
- Content that flows in the viewport, so that users don’t have to scroll horizontally or pinch the screen in order to see the entire page.
- Fonts that scale for easier reading on small screens.
- Easy-to-touch elements (e.g. buttons) that are well-spaced from other touch elements.
- Visual design and motion driven by mobile-friendly technology.
Taking the steps towards building a responsive site will benefit your business greatly as more and more customers searching for windshield repair or headlight restoration from a mobile device grows.