What is the new Google update all about?
In just a few weeks (as of the time of this post) Google will be implementing their latest search algorithm. In an effort to deliver better search results to mobile users, the new algorithm will favor “mobile-friendly” websites. The downfall is that websites that aren’t mobile-friendly will be penalized and will fall in ranking. Once rolled out, the algorithm change is expected to have a significant impact on search results; perhaps even more of an impact on search rankings than either Panda or Penguin, two of the most impactful search algorithm updates Google has ever rolled out.
What exactly is a mobile-friendly website?
Mobile-friendly websites are designed to look good on mobile devices like phones or tablets. The best way to make a mobile-friendly website is to use a responsive design. Responsive websites will automatically change based on the size of the screen that the website is being viewed on. Take a look at the image below. It shows how the Bend International School website we recently built will look on a computer, laptop, tablet and a phone. If you look closely you’ll see that different parts will either resize or change position depending on the screen size. Another aspect of mobile-friendly website design is navigation. When using a website on a phone menus and navigation can be difficult to use. In responsive website designs the navigation will change to a more mobile-friendly style of drop-down menus when the screen size gets too narrow.
Is your website Mobile-Friendly?
If you don’t know, it’s a good idea to check your website out. Google has made it really easy for you to check. Visit their Mobile Friendly Test page to see if your is, or is not, mobile-friendly. Type in your website address and Google will let you know if it is mobile-friendly. If it isn’t, they even offer a lot of helpful suggestions about how to fix your website.
What to do if your website isn’t mobile-friendly.
So you checked your website and Google said it isn’t mobile-friendly. What do you do now? Depending on how your website was built it may be as easy as choosing a new theme or template. If your website was built with Dreamweaver it will take a lot more work to update it, but if you used a website builder such as Wix, Squarespace or one of the many other website builders, you can sign into your account and see if they have any responsive templates that will work with your website. If you’re using WordPress there are tons of new responsive themes you can choose from. If possible, stick to premium themes or have a web designer create you a custom theme. Changing themes/templates can sometimes create layout issues so make sure you check every page of your website after updating it to make sure everything is working properly.
If you need help with making sure your website is mobile-friendly give us a call. We can either help you update yours or create you a beautiful new responsive website that will keep both your mobile visitors and Google happy. We specialize in building and designing WordPress websites that look great, rank great and are easy for businesses to maintain on their own.