If you thought tax day was the only nail biting deadline in April, think again. Six days later on April 21st the huge, much anticipated Google search update is rolling out. The new search algorithm could end up hurting businesses who until then rank highly in search results if their websites don’t pass Google’s mobile friendly test.
I’ve spent a large chunk of time over the past 10 days creating a new learning unit for virtual assistants regarding responsive website design. It prompted me to do some research locally regarding the upcoming change in the way Google is going to handle search engine results in regard to mobile devices. A lot of people have written posts and articles about it, including me. Mostly because it’s going to be a big change in the way search results shake down for people searching from a mobile device. You may shrug thinking that it’s just for mobile devices, but let me share something with you.
My Google Analytics says that 25.47 percent of visitors to my website were using a mobile device. Another 13.48 percent were using a tablet, and while Google considers tablets to be their own class, it is also expected that your website will render on a tablet the same way it does on a desktop. Those numbers mean that almost 40% of my website visitors access it from something other than a desktop computer. My numbers are pretty consistent with the numbers given over at Marketing Land in their report regarding the rise in mobile web traffic.
Are you willing to send 25% of your visitors to your competition?
I can’t imagine any business owner answering yes to that question, yet ignoring the way your website looks on mobile devices will do just that when the new algorithm takes effect. And judging from my local research, there are going to be a LOT of happy competitors out there.
Out of the ten local businesses I looked at within a 10 mile radius of my home office, only one of them passed the test. Which was really surprising, since it wasn’t one of the more polished looking sites that I had expected to be ready. Eight of the ten failed outright, the ninth passed for its landing page but failed on inner pages, which is still a fail folks.
If my experiment is any indication, there are going to be lots and lots of unhappy business owners out there in the months following Mobilegeddon.
What can you do?
First, test your website, including inner pages, to see if they pass Google’s mobile friendly test.
If it doesn’t and it’s been a long time since you updated your website, now is the time to invest in a new, responsive website design.
If it doesn’t and you had it built within the past year or so, contact someone who can guide you in either getting what you have mobile ready or transferring your site design to a responsive platform.
Even if you don’t have a website yourself, if you’re aware that your favorite business doesn’t have a website that is easy to read and interact with on your mobile device, contact them and let them know about Mobilegeddon.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore the fact that your website isn’t mobile friendly unless you want your competition sending you ‘thank you’ notes for all the new visitors their getting.