Google’s decision to alter search rankings based on whether a website is Mobile-Friendly or not went into effect on April 21st, and has subsequently caused concern for many businesses.
Why are they punishing us? They aren’t – According to Google’s recent statistics: “94% of people in the USA with smartphones search for local information on their phones. Interestingly, 77% of mobile searches occur at home or at work, places where desktop computers are likely to be present.” Simply put, if your site looks and works poorly on your audience’s mobile device, they won’t want to visit it… so why should Google let it rank highly in their search results?
What can you do about it? The simplest, quickest, Google-recommended answer is to make your website responsive. Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a method that provides optimal viewing experiences of a website across multiple platforms and devices.
Fig.1 : View this live site with Responsive Web Design implemented by Axian
Responsive design includes methods such as fluid, proportion-based grids, flexible images, and CSS3 media queries to ensure that all of your content is easily read, accessed, and looks good no matter the size and resolution of your screen. This is especially important as the type and size of devices available is ever changing and growing.
If your website has been designed responsively, it will be future-proofed against new releases of devices of any screen size, eliminating the need to do a complete re-design.
You may also have heard that designing for mobile devices first is optimal, and while I readily agree with this, sometimes your available time and budget doesn’t allow for that level of re-design. If this is the case, adding styles that allow for graceful degradation on mobile devices can be a good alternative.
Whichever design strategy you choose: Mobile-First or Mobile-Last, move forward with it quickly to address Google’s new search engine policy.
Is your website at risk of being penalized? You can analyze it here to find out: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
And if your site fails the test? Never fear, simply Contact Us and our Super Team of Designers and Developers can help save the day for you.