Google Is Going Mobile. Is Your Website Ready?

Man holding iPhone searching on Google- representing new google ads “buy” buttons

Mobile. Mobile. Mobile. Sometimes, it seems like it’s all you hear digital marketers talking about these days. But why is it so important to small business websites and e-commerce businesses? We’re going to look at what’s shaping the current mobile marketplace, plus important changes coming soon.

Since 2015, Mobile Searches Have Eclipsed Desktop

In the early days of smartphones, being mobile-friendly was what businesses did to cater to a smaller sector of the market. Today, people are actually more likely to use their smartphone to search for information and products on Google than they are to use a desktop computer. In May 2015 Google announced on their blog that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers” in the U.S. Since then, Google has been on a mission to bring businesses up to mobile standards. They’ve made changes to their algorithm to reward businesses that provide great mobile experiences. And they’ve punished websites that haven’t updated to that mobile standard, including the 2015 update known as “Mobilegeddon.”

Google’s Next Big Step in Mobile

Now, Google is in the process of making another giant step in changing the way it ranks websites that’s all about mobile. The new Google mobile index is already being rolled out. Soon, Google will rank your website based on your mobile site, not your desktop site.) If your website hasn’t been affected yet, it’s coming. Take time now to get your desktop site ready for it.

Make Sure Your Website Is Ready

If you’re unsure whether your website is up to Google’s mobile standards, take the Mobile-Friendly Test. It’s an easy, free way to know if your website passes or not. Just enter your URL, and Google will test the speed of your site in both mobile and desktop versions. Google also gives your site a passing or failing score, plus specific site recommendations to improve the mobile experience and resources to learn more.

If your website doesn’t meet Google’s standards, there’s always a way to fix it. Keep in mind the best solution may be to start fresh, especially for websites more than a few years old. Sometimes trying to adapt an old site can be throwing bad money after good. Ask a reputable developer for quotes on both rehabbing your existing site and building fresh. You might be surprised by the numbers. Fixing a website isn’t like fixing a house. It’s technology, and it’s constantly changing. It’s more like fixing a vintage wood-paneled TV set that’s just going to break again — better to go with a new flat screen.

The Best Reason of All to Go Mobile?

Google’s new mobile index is a strong ultimatum for businesses: Create a mobile-responsive website or else prepare to lose traffic. But there’s an even better reason than Google to go mobile-first: Your customers. A mobile website that’s easy and enjoyable to use is one of the best things you can do for your business right now.

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