The risk of your company missing out on receiving its maximum number of new business enquiries is at an all-time high. This is because a growing number of business website owners are now feeling the full effect of Google updating its mobile-friendly algorithm again in May 2016.
At the time, the search giant stated:
“Getting good, relevant answers when you search shouldn’t depend on what device you’re using. You should get the best answer possible, whether you’re on a phone, desktop or tablet.”
“We started using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal on mobile searches last year. Beginning in May, we’ll start rolling out an update to mobile search results that increases the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly.”
Any sized company that does not have a mobile-friendly website is paying a heavy penalty.
Website traffic data from a client who didn’t invest in a mobile responsive site (this means all pages resize according to the device used) but instead has a separate, much limited mobile site (this means they show only few pages to people on mobiles, not the entire website) experienced a 69.7% drop in visitors to its online shop window from mobile devices. This is a significant fall.
On the other hand, the benefits for businesses with sites that pass Google’s mobile-friendly test are immense.
One central London estate agency that hired Art Division to make its website mobile friendly saw an 82.6% increase in visitors accessing the brand’s digital shop window through a smartphone between May and July when compared with the same period in 2015.
This latest update means your website will no longer appear on Google search results for phrases relating to your business unless it is optimised for mobile.
To put it bluntly: If your leads come from Google and your website is not ranking on Google’s mobile search results, your competitors are definitely scooping up most of those enquiries.
Many of our clients now record close to 50% of traffic from mobile devices so you could be losing anything up to half of your market share.
If you do not want to redesign your current website or build a new one from scratch, a mobile site is essentially a copy of your existing website. It works by getting the server to deliver an optimised page that’s smaller and easier to navigate. For this option you need to create a new domain – for example m.yourdomain.com.
Advantages of a mobile site
You don’t have to redesign your existing site. The solution can really customize a unique experience for mobile users.
Disadvantages of a mobile site
Unless you include all your pages to a mobile site, it can dilute the domain and hurt organic search traffic. It can also add to website management time and costs because you have to maintain two separate sites of content. A mobile site might also need updating in order to stay current with next-generation phones and mobile browsers.
If your website is more than two years old, the best option may be to commission a company to build a new mobile-responsive website.
Responsive design means the device automatically adjusts the web page according to its screen size (large or small) and orientation (landscape or portrait). It switches between these options on-the-fly.
Advantages of a mobile-responsive site
Responsive design lets you keep your own domain—nothing changes except code on the back-end. Google also thinks this is the better solution.
The search giant has previously said:
“Maintaining a single shared site preserves a canonical URL, avoiding any complicated redirects, and simplifies the sharing of web addresses.”
The technology is more forward-thinking because once added to site it will work on any future device without having to be programmed further. We believe it gives a better return on your investment and it’s also better when it comes to organic ranking. Overall, this is a very good and flexible solution.
Disadvantages of a mobile-responsive site
The cost to build a mobile-responsive site will be higher than creating one that does not resize on different devices. To design a site that is mobile responsive, your designer needs to create three versions of each page, which will triple the cost for design. The programmer will then have to do more work on the CSS and few other things which also add to the cost. However, we believe that the benefits and business you will get by having a mobile responsive site far outweigh the initial investment to build it.
Google is serious about its mobile-first strategy. Any business that fails to make its websites mobile friendly will not be seen by the increasing number of customers who start their search for products and services online.
The good news is it’s not too late to benefit from Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm. The search giant will restore your mobile-friendly site to its results as soon as it crawls your new shrink-to-fit pages.
Even if your website is already mobile-friendly, it will pay to review its capabilities on a regular basis.
Why? Because Google has said its next algorithm update will add mobile page speed to its list of ranking factors.
Tags: B2B Services, Estate and Letting Agents, Professional Services, Responsive Web Design