Google Rewards Mobile Responsive Design

By Hannah Spanhake

Google recently made a huge change to how it ranks websites. This change focuses on one very important factor: if your website is mobile responsive.

Right now, some of you are probably realising this will have detrimental effects on your ranking, while others of you were aware of the change when it was announced back in February and made the necessary changes early. In this blog, I’ll discuss the change and using some of Google’s helpful tools I’ll help you figure out where you stand.

Some of you might not even know if your website is mobile-friendly. For those of you, you’ll want to start with Google’s free assessment tool which you can access here. When you run your site on the tool, you’ll get a quick assessment of whether your website is mobile friendly. If your website is already optimised for mobile, you’ll get a success message. If Google’s tool shows your website isn’t mobile responsive you should consider re-building your website using one of the following methods:

Mobile responsive design

Mobile responsive design is Google’s  #1 recommended choice. This is because mobile responsive design doesn’t create two versions of the same site. Browsers use the same URL and the website will automatically adapt to a mobile phone, tablet or desktop.

Dynamic serving

Like mobile responsive design, the dynamic serving approach keeps the same URL but the HTML changes according to what kind of device the viewer is using and then adjusts to provide the best display. However this technique can be an error-prone, but it’s an option that does pass the free Google mobile friendly assessment test.

A separate mobile website

Separate mobile websites were one of the first versions of mobile optimisation, and it still meets Google’s requirements. The reason this isn’t as recommended as mobile responsive design is it requires you to regularly maintain, and for  Google to crawl two versions of your content. It can also be a rather disruptive experience for a potential client who accidentally clicks on the mobile link leading to a poor user experience.

So why is mobile responsive design the best choice?

Website visitors like it because it’s seamless. It’s the same URL and content that adapts based on the viewer. That means you’ll get a consistent experience on a phone, desktop or tablet.

Google likes it for a large number of reasons. It saves resources when Googlebots crawl your site. It also helps Google’s algorithms more accurately assess your content without needing to check two places.

Marketers and website owners like it because it’s easy to maintain as you don’t have duplicate pages with the same content. It also removes the need of redirection of visitors based on their device, which assists in reducing the load time of your website and therefore provides a great user experience.

This change is great for Google users, marketing professionals and website owners. Updating your website to a mobile friendly platform meets the needs of your potential customers and increases customer engagement which will assist in generating more conversions and therefore profit for your business. What’s not to like about that! Ready to take the leap? Get in touch with me today to discuss how I can help your business go mobile!

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