Is your website mobile friendly?

Category: Web

Friday July 3rd, 2015

Beware – Google’s next major update to its search engine algorithm is promised for April 21. And, while the search engine giant never likes to reveal precisely what it has in mind – for obvious reasons – there is a clear indication that this update will favour websites that are mobile friendly.

The reason for this is simple. More and more web users are visiting websites via mobile devices – that means smartphones and tablets. Generally, they need to receive and present websites in a different way, compared with desktop computers:
• with smaller, and different shaped screens, they need to see a simpler format of website
• as they are often on a mobile or shared wi-fi connection, mobiles generally need a version of the site that is faster to download, with fewer large image files
• as users are frequently out and about, they will often be interested in different information – such as how to find a retail outlet, or opening hours.

The move echoes what Horizon is seeing with client websites, where month on month, our analytical data shows greater volumes of website visitors arriving from smartphones, iPad and other tablets.

So do you need to be concerned about the latest changes that are coming from Google? You might need to, unless your website has been designed or updated recently. New websites, particularly those modelled using platforms such as WordPress and Drupal, are generally automatically “responsive” – in other words, the code within the design will reformat a website, when it detects it is being read on a mobile device.

However, if your site is more than a year or two old, you may not have a responsive site. How can you find out? Simply grab a smartphone, get on the web, and look up your website to see how it looks; do this when on a mobile signal, and when on a wifi connection. If it is exactly the same as on your desktop computer, then the site is not responsive – which means, come the end of April, it risks being marked down by Google.

The best way to solve the problem, is to contact your website developer to discuss how to make your website mobile friendly. Alternatively, if your website is long overdue a redesign, perhaps now would be a good moment to consider taking the plunge and agreeing to a makeover. Failure to act, could mean your current website becomes less and less visible in Google searches. If you’re worried, give us a call now!