It’s no big secret that on April 21, 2015, Google came out with a new search algorithm. This would favor all sites that are mobile-friendly. The sites that are not mobile friendly would see a decrease in page rankings. This is likely to affect over 40 percent of Fortune 500 websites. Many people are calling this “mobilegeddon.” Websites with a responsive design automatically configure the display appropriately on any size or type of mobile device.
While the impact of this algorithm change may not be as “apocalyptic” as predicted, experts predict that it will give mobile-friendly sites an advantage in time. How long it will take, no one knows; but eventually, this change will affect rankings on mobile search results. If a website drops in rankings, that mean less traffic from mobile which will eventually decrease the number of visitors. And for some sites, this could mean less sales.
Inconvenience to Customer
Websites that are not mobile-friendly require customers to scroll and pinch the screen to view the content. This can create a frustrating user experience and cause them to leave the site early for a competitor site, or not return. Also when links and images are too close together, fingers tend to hit the wrong link or picture, which takes them to the wrong page. As more and more websites become mobile-friendly, visitors will have less patience for those that are not.
Shutting Out Customers
Why is it so important to be “mobile-friendly? According to InternetRetailer.com, over 55
percent of all online retail happened on a mobile device in the year 2013. A business could be shutting out over half of their customers if they lose rank due to not being mobile-friendly. InternetRetailer.com reports, “57% of smartphone users while in a retailer’s store visited that retailer’s site or app” in search for coupons and deals. According to Google Developers, 94 percent of people search for local information on their smartphones.
The Mobile Friendly Test
If a business wants to determine if their website is mobile-friendly, they can take the Google Mobile-Friendly test here. If their site is not mobile-friendly, the good news is that once it becomes mobile-friendly, it will be reprocessed by Google to restore any ranking they may have lost.
How to Fix a Website
If a business’s website is not mobile-friendly, they should contact their web developer right away. The web developer may be able to do a template update and WordPress update for a quick fix. Or it may require a manual conversion to become mobile friendly. Also, you need to make sure the website does not use Flash. Flash-based content is not mobile-friendly. A business can use mobile-friendly software like HTML 5 if they want to use animations.
To make your site mobile friendly it could cost anywhere as $5,000- $25,000 according to Forbes.com. Keep in mind the prices vary depending what services are needed. Some web developers are as low as $1000.
If a website is over 4 years old, a business might want to consider investing in a whole new website design so it will have a current look. A website is a company’s brand, so a fresh, professional-looking site is key.
Companies without a web developer may contact Premier1 Studios, a small boutique marketing agency covering websites to social media; branding to SEO. Mobile-friendly updates ranges from $250 to $500; a brand new responsive website ranges from $1,000 to $3,000.