Google to Demote Non-Mobile Friendly Websites
19th Nov 2013

Google to Demote Non-Mobile Friendly Websites

Google likes responsive design

It’s estimated that over £10bn was spent online in December as Christmas shoppers geared up  for the festive season.

The digital revolution is ensuring that more and more of that figure was spent using tablets and smartphones – in fact retail giant John Lewis predicted that for the first time ever, sales from mobile devices would overtake those from desktop computers.

Was your website one of the winners in the run up to Christmas?

You may have lost out on those seasonal sales if you didn't take some fundamental steps to optimise your website for mobile visitors.

Consumers now have more choice over when and how to shop, and expect as seamless a service from their iPad, Kindle Fire or smartphone as they do from their laptop and desktop computers.

This trend should make anyone who sells online take an honest look at their own website and rate the usability of the site from mobile devices.

  • Can visitors navigate easily to the most important areas of your website?
  • Do visitors have to scroll, pinch and zoom excessively to get around the site?
  • How user-friendly is the purchase and checkout experience for buyers?

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, chances are your customers are getting a less than ideal experience when viewing it via their mobile phone or tablet; frustrated users who abandon your site could be costing you dearly.

But the repercussions don’t end there. Google plans to adjust the ranking of websites depending on how well optimised they are for mobile visitors. Businesses that don’t fall into line will lose visibility in search results and could see a fall in the number of visitors to their site.

It’s not only ecommerce websites which suffer

The problem doesn’t just affect ecommerce websites. If you use your website to attract leads, promote your services, present information or encourage sign-ups and contacts, a poorly optimised mobile layout will drive potential customers away and suffer the same disparaging treatment from Google in search results. 

Competitors in your industry who make the effort to adapt their websites for mobile visitors are likely to have the upper hand - can you afford to hand potential customers to them? 

The solution – Responsive Design

The solution is responsive design, a technique which ensures your website works well and looks good on any size device, including desktop and mobile.

How to tell if your website is already responsive

Open your website in a browser and drag the corner to different sizes. Does the layout change to adapt to its new boundaries? Or does the content simply get smaller or disappear behind scroll bars? If you have to do lots of pinching, zooming and scrolling to see the whole page, your website probably isn’t responsive yet.

You can also test your site in various sizes by going to the useful website http://mobiletest.me/.

What to do if you need to make your website mobile-friendly

An element of redesign is unavoidable, but depending on the current layout of your website, this could involve less upheaval than you might think. On the other hand, you might want to take the opportunity to completely re-vamp an old website and make some big changes that you’ve been meaning to get around to for ages.

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