For those who are unaware, Google’s search results are set to endure a major shakeup starting on April 21st, 2015, and websites that are unprepared may stand to suffer without even knowing it.
Basically, if by this date your website isn’t optimized for user-friendly viewing on a mobile device, you will more than likely be penalized by having your search rankings drop significantly in the results pages.
It can be scary stuff. Let’s say, for example, that you own the most popular restaurant in a place called “Anytown”. You get loads of web traffic that regularly converts to a return on investment via people finding out about you for the first time online, because you’re always the #1 result whenever someone types “Anytown restaurants” into the Google search bar. No matter how popular and highly-trafficked your site is, Google may very well demote your high ranking because it looks terrible on a smartphone or tablet.
You’ve probably experienced it before; visiting a website on your iPhone only to discover that the text is way too small to read without zooming in, and a bulk of the content is cut off on the right-hand side. Put simply, this is not an ideal user experience, and due to the ever-increasing importance of mobile search to Google’s search product, it seems like they’re now taking matters into their own hands to ensure that your site is ideally suited for those browsing on the go.
Don’t panic, because this isn’t exactly a bad thing. If trends continue, mobile will eventually become the dominant force in online search overall, and you’ll be happy that the majority of your potential customers will have a clear, easily-browsable experience when deciding whether to buy your product or service.
There are many options for making your site mobile-friendly, and the best thing to do is talk to your local creative agency to explore them. In many cases, a full site rebuild isn’t even necessary: there are several ways to upgrade yours existing site at minimal cost.