If your website is optimized for mobile devices, you may see a big boost in its Google search ranking in the next few weeks. Google’s latest algorithm update, which rolled out on April 21st, will ensure that phone and tablet users are more likely to find sites that are optimized for smaller screens. However, sites that aren’t mobile ready will likely see a major drop in their traffic.
In 2014, one third of search traffic came from mobile devices, and the number has been increasing steadily by the year. Google’s update was designed to make life easier for mobile users, who are looking for websites that load quickly and are easy to navigate on phones and tablets. But for businesses, it’s also a big opportunity to gain an edge over competitors’ websites in the search rankings.
How to Tell if Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
If you’re not sure whether your site is mobile-friendly or whether it needs an update, there are a few easy ways to tell how your website will be affected.
- Type your URL into Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. It will tell you directly whether your site is about to be penalized, and what specifically needs to be updated.
- Check your site on Google Pagespeed Insights. If your mobile speed score is in the red, users may be navigating away from your site before it finishes loading.
- If your site has been set up with Google Webmaster Tools, check out the mobile usability report. Any errors will be listed there, and you can check out whether your site’s mobile traffic has risen or fallen in response to this update.
These tests will give you a clear impression of whether this Google update will affect you, but it’s also important to browse your own website with a client’s perspective in mind. Think about whether these points are true of your site:
- Your contact information, business hours, and other relevant information is displayed prominently.
- Your text is large and easy to read without zooming in.
- Links and buttons are large, easily visible, and not too close together.
- Your content fits the width of the screen without scrolling horizontally.
Once your site has been updated for mobile usability, your rankings will return to normal (or better!) as soon as Google re-indexes your site. If you have any questions about how this update will affect your site, send us a message or call us at 406-837-3334.