There’s no going back! Google have recently changed their algorithm for how it ranks and lists websites that are not suitable for viewing on mobile devices, for example an iPhone or iPad.
Google refer to this as ‘mobile-friendly’, which can be defined by a number of technical and design characteristics of which some are listed below:
- Text legibility (size and weight) on the screen – adapting to different size screens (adding break points)
- Mobile viewport not set which optimises content to the specific device
- How close links are placed to one another makes it difficult for touch enabled devices
- Content or layout too wide for the screen (lack of responsive tumbling)
- Software/coding blocked by mobile browsers (such as Flash on Apple’s iOS devices)
- Easy to navigate by using touch-enabled features for touch screens
- Enable maximum scrolling to avoid content expanding past browser windows
- Avoiding common SEO mistakes to ensure Google index your site efficiently
The above points determine whether a website is mobile-friendly or not. Last year, Google started to display ‘mobile-friendly’ labels on their search results which inform the user if a particular website is mobile-friendly or not. That means websites that don’t have this label on their search result can be ignored entirely by potential customers and visitors to their website, who are trying to access it on any mobile device. This change is still slowly being rolled out so you may not notice a change in your ranking yet, even if you do not have a responsive or mobile-friendly website. However, it’s better to put a preventative in place rather than wait until it’s too late, where by that time your SEO score could then take a bad hit as a result.
If you already have a responsive or mobile-friendly website, then you can rest assured your rankings are unlikely to change dramatically. However, there are several key elements that determine whether a mobile-friendly website has been coded to achieve the best result possible. For example, some elements of your website may not adapt to, or even work on mobile devices, which would have an impact on your overall ranking, but these can be fixed or changed to improve your ranking.
So, what does it mean for you?
We now see that more than 60 per cent of website visits are made using a mobile device. This is a vital statistic that could change your business for the future. This number is expected to increase quickly, making it essential for you to invest in a mobile-friendly website if you want to continue offering the best user experience to your existing and potential customers. If you are unsure of whether your website is responsive or mobile-friendly, you can use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test which will determine the next steps you need to take to ensure that your rankings are not affected.
For more information on Google’s changes, you can visit their Google Developer’s Mobile Guide. For help and advice you can also contact us today so that we can arrange a check over your website and suggest what changes can be made to improve it.