Today marks a major change in how Google displays search results on mobile devices such as smart phones. Your business cannot afford to ignore these changes.

80% online consumers are browsing for your product and services via smartphones. Of these consumers 48% find your website via Google Search and roughly 33% come directly to your branded website. Google’s changes to mobile search could take weeks to come about starting today.

There is much technical discussion available on this topic and let’s try and put this into more layman business-friendly terms to help you calculate the potential marketing risk for your business.

Test Your Website Now!

google-mobile-friendly-websitesGoogle highly recommends your website be responsive, but it’s not required. All websites created by Reach Maine Marketing Agency in the past year utilize responsive web design to accommodate the majority of devices and web browsers consumers use. However, responsive design is not your only option to laser target Google mobile search results.

Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). – Wikipedia
As a business owner, your budget or a third-party vendor that provides your website services might not allow you overhaul your current website to swiftly adapt to Google’s mobile search changes. An alternative to updating your current website is to create an alternative mobile website that is targeted to consumers using mobile devices.

Stanley Subaru utilizes a 3rd party vendor named to deliver their website and online auto inventory management. Below you’ll notice the mobile-specific version of their website is stripped down and focuses on: contact information, brief explanations of services,  and searchable inventory. This is a common implementation across many industries to target mobile consumers. This alternate mobile website WILL NOT result in what is called duplicate content, a penalty that Google imposes on content that is not unique and exists more than once on a website or multiple websites.

Duplicate content is a term used in the field of search engine optimization to describe content that appears on more than one web page. The duplicate content can be substantial parts of the content within or across domains and can be either exactly duplicate or closely similar. When multiple pages within a web site contain essentially the same content, search engines such as Google can penalize or cease displaying that site in any relevant search results. – Wikipedia

If not deemed mobile-friendly by Google, my website will not show up in mobile search results

mobile-friendlyPreliminary information indicates that consumers directly searching for your business brand will likely find you at or near the top of mobile search results even after the changes take place. Searches for brands of product you sell or descriptive search terms related to your business that do not directly include your brand name, you’ll likely be out of luck and will not be found.

Does the speed of how fast my site loads affect my search engine rankings for mobile devices?

The speed at which your website pages load does impact the quality of search results for your brand. In the short term, it does not appear there will be a change in the Google’s algorithm regarding site speed.  Long term, experts indicate site speed on mobile devices will increase in significance.

Here in Maine, mobile connection speeds vary not only in rural environments, but urban environments as well. Your ability to deliver your website to a wide range of devices and Internet connection speeds will be increasingly vital.

Reach Maine Marketing Agency provides all client websites with tools to optimize website performance based on device and Internet connection speed. A couple of vendors we utilize and recommend are Cloudflare and Yottaa. For a small incremental monthly charge, these service really help.

I must have an app for my business.

appsThis is not necessarily true. Depending on your business and marketing budget it may or may not make sense for your business to have apps to target consumers. If you do choose to go the app route, we highly recommend you provide an app for both Apple (i0S) and Google (Android). Check back soon for a separate detailed blog post with guidelines to help you determine if your business should have an app.

If you all ready have an Android app then your app MAY benefit increased exposure in the coming weeks. Should be exciting to see the results!

Google will continue to roll these mobile-friendliness changes over the coming weeks and it should be very interesting to see how this all plays out.

For a free consultation on how your business might be affected by these changes, contact us today.

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Article Sources
Rumors are flying about Google’s upcoming mobile-friendly update, and bits of reliable information have come from several sources.

We believe Google will launch a new mobile crawler (probably with an Android user-agent) that can do a better job of crawling single-page web apps, Android apps, and maybe even Deep Links in iOS apps. The new Mobile-Friendly guidelines that launched last month focus on exposing JS and CSS because Android apps are built in Java, and single-page web apps rely heavily on JavaScript for their fluid, app-like experience.

Curated from 9 Things You Need to Know About Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update – Moz

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.

Even if you have a mobile-ready site, it’s important to dig deeper by doing a mobile SEO audit so Google can correctly identify and serve your mobile content.

Curated from Take These 3 Actions To Ready For Google’s Mobile Friendly Update

aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

Curated from Responsive web design – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This test will analyze a URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design.

Curated from Mobile-Friendly Test

Percentage of consumers using mobile devices

Curated from Mobile marketing statistics 2015

Google is introducing an update to their algorithm on April 21, 2015 which will prioritize mobile friendly sites toward the top of search results. Responsive design is more important than ever.

Curated from Responsive or Bust: Google’s Focus on Mobile & How to Design for It

Google is introducing a new algorithm that affects how mobile search results appear — a significant change that will take anywhere from several days to a week to roll out.

Curated from Google to websites: Be mobile-friendly or get buried in search