For months, webmasters around the world have been dreading the day when Google would officially launch a new algorithm that would penalize non-mobile friendly websites. Well folks, that day is nearing a bit closer.
On April 21st, Google will officially expand its use of using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. It will not matter if your website is based in the United States, Italy, or Russia – your website will be affected.
There are a few things to note before you panic. Here are three things worth noting:
• Scrambling to update your entire site is not necessary – mobile friendliness is determined at page level not site level
• Tablets will not be affected
What should I choose – Responsive Or a Mobile Website?
Let’s start with their similarities. Both will optimize your site for better readability on smaller screens, offer simpler navigation, and load much quicker. Your website will also show as mobile friendly in search results when your potential customers search for you (see Fig A below).
That however, is where similarities end. A mobile site is just a copy of your website and it resides on the server. When the server detects a mobile device it furnishes the mobile version instead of the desktop version. A responsive website is not a copy. It is your actual website that automatically adjusts the webpage to the screen size and orientation. This saves you the hassle of having to manage two different website versions. A separate mobile website could be a management nightmare especially if you have a lot of pages.
With a mobile site, you must set up a different URL (i.e. xyz.com/mobile or m.xyz.com) whereas a responsive design lets you keep everything the same and only needs some changes in your code.
Link equity will not count towards a mobile design but it will with a responsive design. This is because a responsive design embeds new code on the backend and again because the mobile site requires a new domain.
If a new phone emerges on the market, you may need to re-code the mobile design. A responsive design will automatically adjust to screen settings.
On April 21st, if your websites are not mobile friendly, this may severely affect your Google rankings. A lower ranking (or no ranking) can hurt your lead generation prospects and dramatically impact your lead pipeline. In some cases, the losses from ranking decrease can be in thousands of dollars and lead to being put out of business.
So, what next?
Ideally you would want your website to be a responsive website rather than having a separate mobile version of your site. But if you have a mobile version, you should be safe but it is advisable to get it converted to a responsive design due to reasons mentioned above. If your website isn’t responsive, take action today by following the steps below:
1) Test and see if your website is mobile ready. Click the button below to see if your site is mobile friendly.
2) If your website failed the test or if it is not mobile friendly, contact your webmaster immediately and ask him/her to start converting your website into a responsive format.
If you need help converting your site, call us at 847-220-9541 or simply click the FREE WEBSITE ANALYSIS button below. We’ll be happy to give you a Free Analysis and recommend the right approach.
Below are some websites that our web team converted into a mobile friendly design.