Why You Can't Put Off Making Your Site Mobile-Friendly Any Longer
Thursday, April 09, 2015
by Fritz Green
Most web site owners have known for some time that they really should be upgrading their sites to be "mobile friendly", meaning to make it load, display and function well on all types of mobile devices in addition to desktop computers.
Here's the rub: It's also been easy to put it off. After all, upgrading/updating requires an investment of resources, including your valuable time, just to get the ball rolling. Maybe you don't think people are even accessing your site on their phones and tablets, but I can assure you that they are. (We can review your site traffic analytics and prove it to you.)
Now, however, there is an unrefutable, undeniable reason to make your web site play nice with mobile devices: Google insists.
(Yes, those in the know, there has been plenty of reason to be taking your mobile visitors serious for a long time, but you'd be amazed at how many super-busy small business owners have still been plugging their ears and saying "la, la, la, la" really loud when we mention it or don't even realize their sites don't perform well on mobile devices.)
The Google Mobile Search Deadline: April 21, 2015
Google has announced that, as of April 21, 2015, it will essentially do its best to overlook web pages in it's mobile search results (results delivered to mobile devices) if they are not mobile friendly.
Even if only ten percent of your site's visitors are on mobile devices, and it's probably much higher, you're probably going to lose many of those visitors as of the 21st if they were previously reaching your site from search results. Can you afford to blow off even just ten percent of your potential clients or customers? Of course not. It's time to take this seriously, if you are not already doing so.
Fast and Flexible
So, what is Google looking for in a mobile-friendly site? Well, a lot of things, but the two most important are probably responsive design that displays well on mobile devices and speedy load times.
For most web sites that are more than two or three years old, that likely means a redo from the ground up because it will probably require revamping the underlying HTML structure of the site's pages, a rethink of oversized resources like images, scripts, and such, and the implementation of various other under-the-hood technologies that chip away at page load times and provide a faster, cleaner user experience on mobile and desktop.
If you are just now thinking about making your site mobile friendly, you are probably not going to make the deadline, but that doesn't mean you can afford to put it off any longer. The sooner the project is complete the better, in order to minimize the impact Google's mobile search changes will have on your bottom line.
P.S. - If this applies to you, we know the boat you are in. Believe it or not, we're in the same boat with our own web site! We're currently working on a complete overhaul of this web site, but our clients' projects always come first, so it's like the plumbing in the plumber's house...
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