It might seem that everyone that comes into your store, or those who interact with your business online, has a smartphone that they use for research before, during and after they shop. You might be surprised to find that, according to comScore, 80 percent of internet users own a smartphone and use it to search the internet.
Unfortunately for business owners, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, there is a good possibility your business won’t show up in a Google search, even if it did previously. Why? There is a new Google algorithm that puts an emphasis on mobile-friendly websites.
Don’t panic. There is an easy way to know if your website is mobile-friendly. If it isn’t you can fix it so you don’t lose any business from being MIA on Google searches.
Here is what Google uses to assess what websites are considered mobile-friendly:
- The site doesn’t use software that is not common on smartphones and other mobile devices – like Flash.
- The text is readable without zooming in.
- The site has a responsive design that fits the content to the screen, and allows users to interact with the site without having to scroll horizontally or zooming in to read.
- The links are placed at a far enough distance so users can easily tap the one they are looking to use.
There is a foolproof way to tell if a business’s website will pass the test for the new algorithm. Google is now offering everyone a free assessment tool that you can use to see if a website is mobile-friendly. If you get a passing grade, you are fully optimized and will still be included in Google searches. You can click here to be directed to the free assessment tool.
If your site gets a failure message after the assessment, don’t worry! You will get a few reasons that your site isn’t considered mobile-friendly, and you can use these to start plans to fix the problem and get back onto the rankings where your business belongs.
If your site requires a little more heavy lifting than you have the time, or skill set, to fix, there are a number of website builders that offer mobile-friendly. If you are looking for free or inexpensive templates that include a responsive design, visit templatemonster.com, templated.co or html5up.net.
While this may seem like a tedious exercise – it’s all about location. If your customers are using their mobile devices more than computers for their internet searches, then your business should be mobile-friendly so that you’re both top of mind, and top of the search engine results.
If you still have questions, or want to help others make mobile-friendly sites, visit the Webmaster Help Forum that Google has set-up to help make the web better for all users.