Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve probably already heard about Google’s recent announcement regarding mobile SEO, and in case you haven’t paid much attention, these are the facts straight from google:
“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.”
What that means is that when someone does a search on their phone Google will start giving priority in search rankings to sites that are mobile-friendly. In other words, if your site is not mobile-friendly your rankings will plummet, and if your site is already mobile-friendly, this will only help your mobile SEO.
Although this will affect any and all businesses, it is especially critical for local businesses who’s customers typically come from nearby areas, and if you think this doesn’t apply to you, here is a reality check:
• 50% of all local searches are performed on mobile devices.
The fact is people search for your business services for different reasons, such as looking for the nearest business of your kind, look up business hours, find a map and directions, or just call for information, and you want them to find your business and not your competitors.
How to do a quick check to see if your site is mobile-friendly
A simple way to check if yours passes the test is to type the name of your business on your phone’s browser (not your website url since this will take you to the web page) and when you see it listed on the results, see if it says “mobile friendly” next to it:
For this example I typed “remodelers fort lauderdale” and the only mobile friendly result is not even a business but a directory. In fact, I had to do some scrolling to actually find one so I could do the screenshot for this post. I did similar searches for other local businesses, such as restaurants, plumbers, hair salons, cleaners, vets, among others, and hardly found any with that notation.
One more thing, when you see the results for your page listed, make sure you look at the one for your website, since there will be other results such as your Facebook page, Yelp listing and other Social and Directories results, which will indicate “mobile-friendly” referring to their own sites and not yours.
How to make sure your site passes the Google test
The best way to test if your site passes the test ( in the eyes of Google) is by using Google’s new mobile-friendly testing tool, that tells you plain and simple, whether your site passes or fails the mobile test, it basically tells you that either you are mobile friendly or you are not mobile friendly.
In trying some random URLs found on business cards I had laying on my desk, these were the messages generated:
• Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.
• Not mobile-friendly
Google is also making it very easy to evaluate optimization issues with your mobile site. For example, for this site, I got an “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly,” but in digging a bit deeper I found a very useful list of issues it detected, not all of them critical, but certainly something I’ll have my team looking into to optimize our mobile SEO. However, for now I just want to bring to your attention how important it is that your site is mobile-friendly by April 21st.
Two options to make your site mobile-friendly
You could either redesign your website with a new mobile-friendly, responsive WordPress theme or just have a mobile-friendly version of your current site created.
New responsive design website – If you’ve been thinking that your website needs a facelift or just doesn’t work well, this is your best bet. This will take longer to complete, but in the end you will benefit from improved SEO, added functionality, and better experience for your website users. If your site is on the WordPress.org platform but isn’t responsive, rebuilding it on a new responsive WordPress theme is relatively simple and quick, depending on how many pages and changes you want to make.
Build a mobile version of your website – This is a quick way to add a mobile-friendly version of your website without touching it, that runs side by side to your existing site. It is also cost efficient (you can get one for $297 at Action). Keep in mind that although this is a quick fix that will get you compliant with Google’s new standards, you may still need to evaluate if is time for a new responsive design website in the near future.
Our team can do either one of these for you. To build a basic mobile responsive site our fee is $297, and if you want to get started or need a quote for a new one please fill out our contact form and indicate the URL of your website, we will get back to you promptly.
If your website was built by our team in the last 3 years you don’t have anything to worry about. But if it’s an older site or build elsewhere, take a few minutes to test it, and do something if it fails the test, before you lose all the SEO you’ve built over the years.
Go to Google’s Mobile Test Tool page clicking below: