If you’re site isn’t mobile friendly expect to see a huge drop in organic (not paid) search engine traffic starting today.
Google announced last month that they were going to start penalizing organic search engine rankings for sites which are not mobile friendly. This makes a lot of sense considering that 80% of internet users own mobile devices and mobile traffic now accounts for at least 57% of internet traffic. And some are saying the changes is partly so Google can keep its toehold on mobile search, which is has started losing in recent years to native apps.
The New York Times does a good job of explaining what makes a site mobile friendly in this article. They say:
“Companies will be docked for shortcomings like displaying links that are hard to click or forcing users to scroll horizontally on a lopsided site.”
According to Computer World and Squarespace, the change may mean a drop in traffic by as much as 50%!
I know Web site redesign projects can be expensive and time consuming. How often to redesign is something many businesses struggle with. But I highly recommend that, if you’re site isn’t mobile friendly, you considering a redesign – or at least a mobile version of your site – in the near future.
So How Do You Fix This?
The best way to make a site mobile friendly from a user experience perspective is to use “responsive design”. This is a way of designing a Web site that makes the appearance of the site change dynamically to fit the size of the screen used to view the site. This means that, no matter whether you are on a tablet or a smart phone or a computer, you get an equally great Web site experience. If you want to see what a responsive site looks like on different screen, use the mouse to resize this screen. You’ll see the entire site format & layout changes as you do so – that’s a responsive design.
Unfortunately, making a site responsive required a complete overhaul of the design. This means it won’t be cheap or easy to do.
If its been 2-3 years since you last redesigned your site, it probably isn’t compliant with the most recent changes to how sites are coded anyway. It may be time for a refresh of your Web site. There are lots of things, other than just mobile-friendliness, that a Web site should really have to as effective as possible. Read more about that here, if you are interested.