Are You Mobile?
A few years ago, you spent several thousand dollars on a new website that was going to last a good 10 years. At the time, you were so proud of how much information you were able to cram above the fold of your 13-inch laptop screen. The website worked great on a mobile phone, so long as you used the pinch-to-zoom gesture to navigate through the menu bar. Once you found the page you needed, more pinching was required to read the small text and to view the tiny images. No big deal right? After all, most people used desktop computers to access the Internet.
Of course, mobile devices have been taking the world by storm, and in 2014 the world reached its tipping point where more Internet users were accessing the Internet on mobile devices than they were on desktop computers.
Once again, the words come to mind, “no big deal”. Heck, people’s screen-pinching skills were at an all-time high, so why should you care? You start to see dumb-down versions of websites featured on mobile websites. However, why would you ever limit how much information a user could see on a mobile device. Besides, you are committed to your 10-year website plan.
Google sees things a little differently. Google is always trying to make sure their users are getting what they want. Not only does Google want their users to easily find the information they are looking for, but they also want said information to be mobile friendly.
According to the announcement on Google’s Webmaster Central blog, Google has officially ruined your 10-year website plan.
“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. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
If you are unsure if your website is mobile friendly, you can test your website here.
Beyond making your website mobile friendly for the sake of passing Google’s test and complying with their standards, there are great design benefits from a mobile-friendly website that is designed using responsive design.
Responsive design allows your website to automatically adjust by moving the elements of the website around to fit to the users screen automatically without having to sacrifice all of your content. Using this method of design, the canvas of your website is no longer limited to your fold line since users are now accustomed to scrolling down websites. This larger canvas has given designers the ability to design much more attractive websites giving users just what Google wants. Another great benefit from responsive design is that you only have to manage one website instead of a desktop website and a separate mobile website.
Enough has changed over the last few years to merit a serious look at building a new website. While you can still function with a non-mobile friendly website, in time, the ground you might loose within Google’s rankings, coupled with the new era of unpracticed pinchers, might be just enough to convert you to a new responsive-design and mobile friendly website.