Google has finally made its threat real! As from April 21st, its search algorithm will be updated to incorporate mobile optimization as a ranking factor. This means websites not in the responsive format are likely to experience a drop in their search rankings. Whether your run a simple website or a complex ecommerce site, you have every reason to be worried if it is not mobile-optimized as yet. A drop in Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranking can mean so much for your online reputation, integrity and niche market control.
What Does Mobile Optimization Mean?
At a layman level, mobile optimization refers to how well your website display is when viewed through a mobile gadget such as a Smartphone, Tablet or Phablet. According to Google Consumer Barometer, mobile penetration is currently at its highest with countries like Singapore and South Korea recording 85 and 80 percent Smartphone penetration respectively. What this simply means is that an increasing number of people are accessing the web through their phones and the least you can do to enhance their experience is to update your website.
Recent research studies indicate that 61 percent of site visitors are unlikely to come back to a website they previously had problems accessing through their mobile devices. In this category are sites whose fonts are illegible on mobile screens as well as those where users keep on pinching the screen so as to zoom or pan around.
The aim of Google which is the big brother in search engines is to enhance user experience on every device used to access the web.
With regular updates to their search algorithm they are sending a clear message website owners cannot afford to ignore.
How to Be On the Safe Side
Updating your site for seamless mobile viewing is not just a quick fix to survive the upcoming Google ranking update but rather a positive step into enhancing the experience your site visitors. This has the benefit of boosting customer satisfaction; happier customers are likely to buy more. Below are a number of things you need to include in your checklist as you prepare for the mobile algorithm change.
Important Note! Before proceeding to the next section, it’s absolutely critical you check first whether your site is mobile optimized or not. Use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test to do this quickly.
Ensure the Text Is Legible on Mobile Screens
Mobile phone screens are much smaller compared to your desktop and laptop screens. This means the font size of your website content needs to be big enough so it can be read well on mobile gadgets. Users find zooming in and out not only fiddly but also annoying.
Space Out Links on Your Pages
When using a mobile to access a website, you can have real trouble isolating and picking a link that is surrounded by clusters of other links. The solution here is to space out the links on your web content.
Content Visibility Must Not Exceed the Width of a Mobile Screen
A wider and detailed content layout required the user to continuously scroll either to the left or right in order to access certain portions of the content. This is time consuming and the user may not stay long on your site because of the poor site navigation experience.
Your take home!
After all is said and done, you need a solution to all this! The good news is that you have lots of options to explore. You can decide to get a responsive template for your existing website or completely build a brand new mobile-optimized website from scratch and link it to your existing website. The choice is yours and the time is now; do something lest Google disappoints you.