By now, your inbox and newsfeeds must have been flooded with the recent ‘mobile-friendly’ algorithm announcement from Google. The date of April 21st has probably been embedded in your memory, whether you like it or not.
Business owners with a nonresponsive website are probably losing sleep and praying to the Google Gods to protect their website from being hit by Google’s Mobile-geddon.
To those who are new to the story, Google recently announced a mobile-friendly algorithm update that is scheduled to release on April 21st this year. If you think the Penguin and Panda updates were scary, be very afraid of what’s about to come. This one is expected to have a bigger impact on search results and will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide.
The importance of Mobile
According to Google, 94% of people in the USA with smartphones search for local information on their phones. Interestingly, 77% of mobile searches occur at home, at work, or places where desktop computers are likely to be present.
Google Analytics is a great way to track mobile traffic and look at cross device engagement on your website. It is also one of the tools we use religiously here at Steadfast Creative. The data below are pulled straight from our own Google Analytics feedback.
As you can see from the information above, majority of the users that visited the two websites came from a mobile device. This is why mobile is critical to businesses and will only become more necessary.
My website is mobile-friendly, should I still be worried?
Don’t get too comfortable if your website is mobile responsive, that does not guarantee that it will survive the update. Avoid the risk of being hit. Below are a few other factors you need to consider:
Test your website using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test
Use the “Mobile Usability” function found in Google Webmaster Tools to fix mobile usability errors affecting your site. If there are no errors detected, you will received the following message:
If there are errors detected, you will see a detailed report chronicling the issues that may keep the sites from displaying properly on mobile devices.
The good news is that you still have a few weeks left to ensure all your i’s are dotted and your t’s crossed.
Keep in mind that it takes a while for Google to crawl and index any changes made to the website.
Therefore, it is crucial that you optimize your website before April 21st. Doing it the night before the algorithm changes will not work, regardless of how well that worked for you in college.