21st of April 2015 is the day it all changes…
I’m sure you have heard the news that Google is having a mayor update to their ranking algorithm to include mobile friendliness (responsive web-design) as a mayor ranking factor. What does this mean? Well, basically, if your website doesn’t dynamically change in order to best fit it’s content in most (if not all) mobile device’s screens, your website won’t show up as often on the search results.
Google’s move towards mobile friendly design should not come as a surprise anyway. Given mobile searches have surpassed desktop ones in 2014, it is really a very logical decision on behalf of the tech giant. Google’s main interest is give users the answers they are looking for as fast as possible, if most people are using their mobile devices to access this information, Google will ensure (force you) to make all your content readily available on all platforms in order to create a satisfying user experience.
Search Distribution Online:
We have talked about this impending change in some past posts, keep in mind the plan is still set: On the 21st of April 2015, if your website is not mobile friendly, Google won’t display it (or reduce extensively the number of times your website shows) on the main search pages of the biggest search engine in the planet (certainly NOT a good thing for your business!)
What is mobile design exactly?
The term mobile friendly website refers to websites built using the practice of responsive design. For almost an entire decade now, mobile devices have increasingly taken over the core volume of the internet traffic, seeing this trend, webs-designers started building their sites so that they would ‘recognize’ which device there are being view in and ”respond’ to these screen sizes. By physically changing their structure, so that all the content is easily views by users regardless of their device, these type of websites tend to provide the best user experience across all platforms, and trust me on this one, Google loves that!
I guess the best way to illustrate is just to show you. If you visit this very useful web-app called Responsinator. With this tool you’ll be able to input your website’s address and get an estimate (is not 100% accurate, though it is a great indicator!) of how responsive your website is. The app will show how your website will display in across a huge range of different devices. Check our Voova Digital website below:
Portrait on i-Phone
Landscape view on i-Phone
What will happen if my website is not responsive?
You definitely don’t want to find out how much of a hit you will receive, as you will certainly get hit given the fast increasing number of people using their mobile devices over normal computers, once Google starts excluding you from mobile searches. If you find yourself asking this same question, DON’T, contact a web-designer right now and star planning how to adapt to this omnipresent update. There’s just nothing good that will come out of having a non-responsive website as we adventure deeper and deeper into this mobile revolution, don’t get left behind!
How can I ensure my website is responsive
Well consider yourself lucky all this change is happening right now, it has never been as easy (or quick for that matter) to adapt to the changing times. I’m almost certain you have heard of this amazing tool called WordPress. We constantly write about it given is my personal favorite, in simple terms, WordPress is a system that allows anybody to build and control websites of a huge range of complexity. The entire system works on the idea of pre-disgned Themes, which are fully stand alone websites templates that can (with a very basic knowledge of code) be customized extensively to fit anyone’s needs.
Whether you want to build a blog, a property website, a hotel website and pretty much any other business out there, WordPress is certainly your safest bet. Also, it is very important to mention that the popularity of the platform (more than 20% of the world’s top websites are built on it) is due to the fact it is fully and beautifully responsive right out of the box! That’s right, you don’t even have to do anything to it, most modern themes are 100% responsive since the second you install them.
In case we have woken up your curiosity for this extremely powerful tool, allow me to share the resources I constantly use in my humble attempt to master this wonderful virtual power house:
Web Courses Bangkok: Amazing little academy here in Thailand. They are located on Rama 4 road near the Sathorn intersection. I learned most of the things I know from here, from my humble beginnings doing basic HTML static websites to the 6-month internship that taught me how to really harness the power of WordPress. If you live in Thailand and want to learn to use WordPress
Lynda: This website has some of the best video tutorials on the net. You can pretty much learn anything here, I have used it in the past to learn to use Google Adwords, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and even WordPress. Highly recommendable indeed!
There’s not a lot to say really, if your website isn’t responsive by now I certainly hope you are doing what you need to do to ensure this changes, ASAP! Remember that by the 21st of April 2015 the update will be rolling our, make sure you keep a close look at your website’s analytics so that you can see how your traffic gets affects as the algorithm starts finding and blocking all those unresponsive websites that need to go.
Remember you can always contact us at Voova Digital, we’ll be more than happy to audit your site and tell you the ways in which could be improved and avoid a heavy penalty from Google. Let’s get working!