Will your website be affected by the recent Google Mobile update? Are you feeling the pressure to do something? Have you been told you will have to change your website to comply? If so, then, most likely, you may be a little confused and wondering where is the best place to go for some advice. This article hopes to remove the confusion and help you make the right decision about what do do next.
From the horses mouth – what Google says!
On the 26 February 2015, Google announced an important change to help users discover more mobile-friendly content and confirmed it would be rolled out on the 21 April 2015. The aim was to expand their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. They went on to say, the change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in their search results. Consequently, they believe, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
They also included a free tool to test if Google will view your Website as mobile friendly and named it the Mobile Friendly Test. They went on to say;
- Affects only search rankings on mobile devices
- Affects search results in all languages globally
- Applies to individual pages, not entire websites
What a great opportunity for the Web Design industry!
For nearly two years now, the Web Design industry has been aggressively telling website owners, of the need to move to a mobile friendly website. Unfortunately, what they were unable to do, or more likely, refused to clarify, was; what, actually, is a mobile friendly website. Likewise, with this recent Google Mobile update, they are deliberately “throwing this into the pot”, in the hope it will finally push website owners over the edge and make them invest in a, potentially, and, uneccessary, new website.
So, in case you are having sleepless nights (surely not) over the constant bombardment of the need to invest in a new website, the following should give you some guidance and is much simpler than you may think.
So, do you need to worry?
Probably not! A client of ours recently contacted us about this issue (Accountant Web Design), so we decided to do a quick check on their website statistics. Within a matter of minutes, we were able to confirm, only 0.1% of traffic to their website was from Mobile Phone devices. Of that 0.1%, an even smaller percentage was due to the visitor finding the website via a Google search on a Mobile Phone. Therefore, since the Google Mobile Phone update only applies to Mobile Phones, you don’t have to be the, proverbial, “Rocket Scientist”, to realise, this client has nothing to worry about.
Therefore, if you are happy with your website and have very little Mobile Phone activity, then don’t worry about it. If the Desktop version of your website ranks high for your key search phrases, then it will continue to do so well into the future. By the way, this also applies to Pads and Tablets.
When you may need to or want to take action
- If a large proportion of your website traffic is from Mobile Phones.
- If your website serves mostly dynamic content, such as, Ecommerce Websites.
- Your Website is old and tired looking and you can afford a new website.
- You still want a Mobile Phone version and “cover all bases”, even though, there is no real need to do so.
What steps you can take
If 4, above, applies to you, or if you can’t afford a completely new Website, then you should consider purchasing a mobile version of your Website. Instead of trying to make your existing website mobile friendly, create a Mobile version, instead. This approach allows you to safeguard your key search phrases by allowing you to apply Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to your mobile site.
Here at The Holt Partnership, we offer our clients the very popular goMobi Website for Mobile Phones application. At £60/year, it is a very cost effective way of having a Mobile version of your Website. To demonstrate how simple it is, why not checkout the live demonstration version of the goMobi interface. The Mobile version of our own website is based on goMobi. Why not check it out. There are also many other solutions on the internet you may wish to look at.
WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, PrestaShop, Magento CMS Systems
If a large proportion of your website traffic is from Mobile Phones and you can afford to do something about it, then perhaps it is the best time to change over to an auto responsive website and give your visitors a layout they prefer to interact with. If your website is based on one of the Internet’s leading CMS systems, such as, WordPress, then you should be able to keep all your existing data and, simply, change to a new auto responsive Theme or Template.
If your website is old and tired looking and you would like a new site based on one of the popular CMS systems, then all our Hosting Plans have these pre-installed and may be worth a look. For example, HostStarter is only £24/year. If you would like us to build you a new Website, then why not check out our WordPress Developer service.
Likewise, if your content is always changing, then having to update two versions of your website will quickly become very labourious and makes an auto responsive website almost mandatory.
Don’t feel intimidated to invest in a new website just because nearly all Web Design suppliers would infer you would be mad not to. The issue is simple; if you have little Mobile Phone traffic, then the Google Mobile Phone update is going to have negligible impact on your Website. If you have to react, always look at the cheaper options first, to see if that would give you a solution i.e. goMobi Website Mobile version.
And finally, we do as we preach. Our own Website is not an Auto Responsive Web Design and for the above reasons, we are in no hurry to change. We are delighted with it and routinely receive compliments on the design and informational content. We created a Mobile version of our Website, not because of the recent Google Mobile update, but because, if we offer it as a service, then we must be able to demonstrate it in a real environment. So sleep well, don’t worry!