For the first time ever, Google has provided SEO experts advanced notice of a change coming April 21st and it’s a BIG One. Mobile continues to grow in importance and popularity for just about all advertisers. We are shifting the way we consume information and enjoy our free time. Cruising the internet on mobile or a tablet device is the new normal.
So Google is taking its effort to provide the ultimate user experience to the next level. If you have a website and you care about SEO – you need to heed to this warning:
Per Google –
“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.”
Google wants publishers (this means You – business owner with content to market) to provide a great experience for your customers regardless what device they are using. So the next big SEO question, if you have some familiarity with building a website, is – “Does this mean I need a responsive website?”
There are specific SEO pros and cons to building a responsive website vs. separate mobile and desktop versions. Google officially took a stance mid-2012 and stated that responsive website design is the preferred configuration. However, it really comes down to specific needs and how you want your website to adapt as technology continues to change. There are also technical things to consider, like how many different variations of a website will be built if you go mobile version instead of responsive. The size and amount of screens continues to rapidly increase.
At Krush, we prefer responsive designs whenever possible and usually help clients find many benefits for responsive from user experience to some of the ways it helps make it easier for us to improve a business’s SEO.
So how can you tell if your business risks being downgraded in the search engine rankings before Google’s algorithm change? First utilize <a href=”https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/” title=”Google Webmaster Tools” target=”_blank”>free tools from Google</a> to determine if your site is mobile ready/responsive.
If it is, now breathe…ok you can even puff your chest out and feel proud. But if it isn’t, don’t wait too long to get help! You need to make some serious decisions when it comes to your website and how to proceed forward in a manner that is most cost effective as we move down the digital brick road. **Also note that you will want to check in webmaster tools to examine every page of your site. We recently ran a site that initially seemed ok in the free tool – but we found 4 or more pages in webmaster tools that were not compliant and would have been discounted after April 21st.
If your site has problems, you will have two choices. You can move your current website to a responsive platform once you are informed about all the potential positives or negatives this could mean for your business. The other option is to build out a mobile friendly version of your website. Again, there are specific SEO reasons you may need to choose one option over another.
Krush is a full-service advertising agency in Oklahoma City. We specialize in brand development, graphic design, media planning, performance tracking, print services, SEO, social media, video services, as well as website design and development. Our focus is to grow your brand and your bottom line–we are your strategic marketing partner! Check out our portfolio of work and contact Krush today!