You probably haven’t heard, but Google made an announcement last month that could have an impact on many small/local businesses. The announcement was in regards to the increased importance they will place on mobile device friendly websites and search placement. Here is a synopsis from the Google Webmaster Central Blog
“Starting April 21, we will be being expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and have a significant impact in our search results…” read full announcement
The image to the right is from a Google search done on my mobile phone. You can see the “Mobile-friendly” text next to the search results. Google started testing this feature nearly 6 months ago, this led to speculation that they would begin placing additional importance on mobile friendly websites in search results.
I’m a small/local business, why should I care about what Google does?
Over the past couple of years, Google has been making changes to their (closely guarded) alorithm to display local business in their search results. They will display local business and organizations when they deem that the users search has “local intent”. This has certainly been a big benefit to small and local businesses as they aren’t always competing with large corporations that have multi-million dollar SEO budgets.
This new algorithm change is more likely to impact small businesses who have been slower to adopt mobile friendly websites. With a new emphasis on “mobile-friendliness”, your business could begin showing up further down the search results page or even the dreaded second page! In other words, your bottom line could be impacted. Here are some statistics on search engine placement:
- Only the first page of search results is viewed in 90% of searches
- The top 5 search results account for 75% of clicks
When’s the last time, you went to the second page of search results when you were looking for something?
What Can I do?
The obvious answer is to make your website mobile device friendly. This will make Google AND your website visitors happy. The ugly truth is that making your website mobile friendly isn’t a simple endeavor. If you or someone in your business manages your website, check with your website host to see if they offer software that can make a mobile version of your website. If you have a wordpress website you can also, search for a mobile them plugin such as the one from Jetpack. Because of the various “rules” that Google has for mobile friendly websites, our preference is responsive web design. You can also use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Tool, to analyze your website.
Last off, if you have been considering a website redesign and cringe at the thought of someone visiting your outdated website and , now may be the time.
Feel free to contact us to discuss how this change might impact your business and your website/SEO needs.