On Tuesday, April 21, Google will update it’s algorithm to reward mobile-friendly sites and punish those sites that aren’t mobile-friendly. Google search results will also have a mobile-friendly tag beside them so users will know what to expect from their user experience before clicking on any link. This is huge. If your company doesn’t already have a mobile-friendly website, it’s now more important than ever to make the investment.
So why is Google doing this? This is just another reminder that Google’s primary focus is user experience. This change will make it easier for users to get relevant, high-quality search results that are optimized for the devices they are using.
However, Google hasn’t left webmasters and developers in the dark. There are a wealth of resources and tools available to help you make sure your website is ready for the big change. Here are three resources worth checking out:
- A great place to start is running Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
- Through Webmaster Tools, you can also run Mobile Usability Reports (you will need to be signed in and verify your site in order to run the report) to show errors in the mobile experience of your website. Mobile usability issues can include flash content (which Google issues warnings for), issues with configuring the viewport and content not sized to the viewport, small fonts that are hard to read on mobile devices and touch elements (links and buttons) that are too close to each other.
- Finally, check out these common mobile mistakes to make sure your site is as mobile-friendly as it can be.
If your site isn’t mobile-friendly yet, you can still make improvements and your site won’t be penalized forever. You will, however, probably see a decrease in traffic to your site, especially in mobile users, until you are able to make some changes.
If you have been thinking about making your site more mobile-friendly, now is the time to revisit that conversation and move forward with modernizing your site. This will not only save your mobile visitors a lot of frustration, but it will also increase the overall perception of your brand.