If you're thinking about building or rebuilding a website for your business or organisation there is VERY IMPORTANT thing you need to consider.
How does your website look on a Smartphone or Tablet?
“But why is that important?” Great question! Here is why:
Already, more people use the Internet through their Smartphones and Tablets than through their PCs.
This is not a future prediction but it is already happening right now!
Regardless of if you use a smartphone or tablet yourself, you can be rest assured your customers and prospects DO and will be visiting your site on their mobile devices. Guaranteed!
If they browse your site and it is not designed to look good on a mobile device, they will leave and go to your competitors.
It’s as simple as that!
Want more reasons why your website MUST look good on mobile devices?
Here are five really good ones.
Still not convinced? No problem. The next section will ‘seal the deal’. Guaranteed!
In late February 2015, Google made a very significant change to their search engine effective April 21st, 2015.
Here is a quote from that announcement:
"This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results."
Now, you probably don’t often spend your time reading official announcements from Google so let me tell you something: It is EXTREMELY rare that Google are so blunt, upfront and use such strong language when talking about changes to their search algorithms!!
Google are usually very coy and cryptic when describing the criteria they use to rank websites in the search results.
After all, this is their ‘secret sauce’ and what makes their search engine so good. The quality of their search results is what made them what they are today and has effectively given them the ‘keys’ to the world wide web.
Google is not a charity but a huge global corporation which aims to maximise their profits above all else and the dominance they have in the search engine space is an important factor in their profitability.
Therefore, they are very much interested in keeping their cards as close as possible to their chest and prevent anyone from being able to manipulate the search results they produce.
As a result of that, they hardly ever ‘spill the beans’ so to speak and tell you exactly and in advance:
- What’s going to happen?
- When it’s going to happen?
- What do you need to do to prepare?
But they did this time!!
Google’s blunt and strong language in this announcement led many Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO as it is often referred to) experts to conclude that this was the most significant update Google has EVER made to their search engine!
This is a very big deal for anyone who wants to be found online because Google are the ‘gatekeepers’ of the Internet (some people actually think Google IS the Internet) and if you are not on the first or second page of their search results for the search terms you target, you effectively don’t exist online.
“So, what does this mean to me?”
Well, the implications are as simple as they are brutal.
If you already have a website, you need to go and test it ASAP with Google’s free “Mobile-Friendly” Test.
If your website didn’t pass then I am very sorry to say that your business has now disappeared from Google’s search results for people searching on their Smartphone or Tablet!
Unfortunately, there is simply no gentler way to say that.
Do you think this is no big deal? Maybe you think you can just get by with the web traffic of people who search for you on their desktop?
Well, check this graphical representation prepared by non other than Google themselves regarding the behaviour of buyers researching products and services online.
Need I say more? Good! Let’s move on then.
Your website MUST have a ‘responsive’ design
A responsive design simply means that your website will adjust itself automatically based on the screen size of the visitor viewing it.
The great thing is that once your website has been made ‘responsive’, there is nothing else you need to do. Everything is taken care of automatically and you don’t need to maintain separate versions of your website for desktop or mobile.
This video does a good job explaining the absolute basics of a ‘mobile-responsive’ design for a website.
If you want a more in-depth explanation (and have 9 minutes to spare), then I suggest you check this video.
If you already have a website, try and browse to it from your smartphone and tablet and see whether you have to zoom in and zoom out on your phone or tablet in order to read the content or watch the videos?
If so, you have some urgent work to do and this no longer a ‘nice to have’ or optional. It is a must do.