April 21, 2015 – New Search Ranking Rules Favor Mobile Responsive Sites
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
Read the whole Google announcement.
You can test your site(s) on a Google test page : Mobile-Friendly Test
BTW – I’ve written earlier on this topic: Are Businesses in My Hometown Mobile Ready?
The use of smart phones in the US is reaching 70% of all cell phones.
In the target market of most Hudson businesses the percentage is doubtless nearing ubiquity. Yet, even a brief survey of Hudson businesses on my iPhone (if you are an Android user try this out on your device of choice) shows that very few are mobile ready. When people visit us they are using smart phones to find information. We need to provide them with smart phone experiences that will encourage them to come to our businesses. Most of our Hudson websites look like a completely worn out sign where the name of the business is barely legible – leaves the impression that maybe we aren’t in business.
What Does Mobile Ready Mean?
If you go to a website on your mobile device and you have to pinch and drag to find things on the site, you are not on a mobile ready site. To see a mobile ready site pick up your smartphone and go to:
You will notice that basic information, location, hours, telephone number, are right at hand, The text is easily readable. Navigation is obvious and easy. In most cases, if you touch a telephone number the phone will automatically dial it. Now go to the business of your choice on your mobile device and see what you find.
Getting Mobile Ready
The good news is that mobile ready sites are not hard to create. If you are running a WordPress site, there are responsive themes that do a good job and there are plugins – I use WPTouch Pro 3.
If you are using a template driven site like those on Square Space you need to go back and choose a mobile ready theme. They have them. Finally, there are web companies that will reconfigure your site on the fly when a smartphone user comes a knocking. All of this should cost you from $50 to $250 or so depending on your solution.
BTW – one fun smart phone user factoid: 75% take them with them to the bathroom.
The adoption of smartphones by your customers and prospects is not to be ignored. A recent New York Times article points out that in the US age group below 44 years old 43% are now smartphone users. Other research shows that for an increasing portion of the population the main device for accessing the Web is a smartphone.
Whether you are simply maintaining your website as a flag on the Web or have much more extensive functionalities, a website that responds to mobile devices is critical to your success. If your company’s website is not readily accessible and easily read on a smartphone you are fast coming to have no presence on the Web.