On April 21, 2015 Google is rolling out a big change to their search engine algorithm. More specifically, they are expanding the use of mobile-friendly signals to rank websites in the mobile search results.
According to Zineb Ait Bahajji, a member of Google’s Webmaster Trends team, this update will have a bigger impact on search rankings than the infamous Panda or Penguin updates. If you’ve been following SEO for a while then you know both Panda and Penguin caused massive changes in website rankings and subsequently massive headaches for website owners.
So mark your calendars, April 21 will be a day to remember for digital marketing.
As mentioned above, on April 21 Google is going to use more mobile-friendly signals in their ranking algorithm. For example, Google will consider your website’s usability, page load speed, and appearance on mobile devices to ensure searchers get the best results when Google’ing on their mobile devices.
This update was inevitable as more and more people are now searching on their mobile devices rather than desktops. And if you’ve ever tried to navigate a mobile-unfriendly website, then you know how frustrating it can be! Google is just trying to avoid showing websites in their results that are hard to use on mobile devices.
Why Should You Care?
Obviously if your prospects are searching for your products or services on their mobile devices, then this will impact your digital marketing strategy. Mobile search trends are on the rise and for many keywords desktop trends are plummeting. If you ignore mobile, then you’ll lose in the long run.
What’s not so obvious is the local SEO impact from this update. Google knows that mobile searchers are likely looking for local businesses. That’s why you’ll see a lot of local businesses in the mobile search results.
That means on April 21 businesses that ignored mobile may lose their local rankings.
What Do You Need to Do?
First, go use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your site is ready for April 21. Simply type in your website URL and click the Analyze button. If your site is mobile-friendly and there are no errors, then you’re all set.
If you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, then here are the two options I recommend:
- Create a DudaMobile website. Duda makes it fast and easy to set up a mobile-friendly version of your website and they even have a free option available. This is not ideal because you’ll have to maintain two different versions of your website, but it’s better than nothing if you’re looking for a bandaid to get you through the April 21 update.
- Create a mobile-responsive website. A mobile-responsive website automatically adjusts the layout and content of each webpage based on the device the visitor is using. This is the preferred option because you’ll only have to maintain 1 version of your website. If you’re considering this, then I recommend migrating your website to WordPress and choosing a mobile-responsive theme that is already available.
Want Our Help?
If your website is not yet mobile-friendly and you need help, then click here to contact us. We’ll schedule a call to discuss your options and determine the best plan of attack so your website is set up properly for mobile searches.