Google Won’t Let You Get Away With a Non-Responsive Website

It’s Official: Google Won’t Let You Get Away With A Non-Responsive Website Any More

In our ever-changing, technology-driven world, most business owners have accepted the fact that smartphones and tablets are now leading desktop for online searches. People are looking for products and services from their phones, people are making financial decisions based on mobile content, and small business owners are working hard to keep up with this trend by ensuring that their websites meet Google’s standards for mobile.

…or are they?

Business Owners Have Been Slow To Adapt To Mobile-Friendliness

In April 2015, one of the biggest Google Algorithm updates in history was released: mobile-friendliness is now a ranking factor in mobile Google search results. This update, also known as Mobliegeddon, had business owners around the world scrambling to retrofit their websites to make them responsive.

Google itself has stated that “mobile is changing the world” – and this update is just one of many in recent years that has business owners investing in their most important advertising tool.

More than 60% of Internet Traffic is now Mobile.

In this world where information is consumed primarily on mobile devices, one would think that the average business owner would be on top of important changing trends in SEO (Search Engine Optimization). However, just earlier this year it was estimated that nearly half of small businesses do not yet have a website – and moreover, of those that do have websites, nearly one-third do not perform well on mobile devices.

Many business owners saw significant traffic changes from the algorithm update, though many companies noticed little difference in their traffic, even after refusing to go mobile-friendly. But this is all about to change.

Google Isn’t Taking No For An Answer Any More. 

If you are in the group of business owners who decided not to update your website, or if you were sold an inexpensive “separate mobile-friendly option”, things are about to change for your Google rankings. And this time, it’s for real.

Google will now check your mobile website’s content before your desktop website’s content when ranking.

What, exactly, does this mean? In a nutshell, it means that if you are delivering two websites to your customers (separate Desktop vs. Mobile websites), the mobile version is what Google will use to determine where to place you among your competition. When a business has two separate websites (mobile and desktop), more often than not the mobile site is a simplified version designed only to lead visitors to contact the business and not to rank on search engines. These small mobile-only websites lack the content that is needed to rank on search engines – and this is going to affect the placement of the full (Desktop) version.

The days of Desktop vs. Mobile are gone – today Google recommends a responsive website, where the exact same website and set of content are delivered to desktop and mobile visitors alike. 

Buying a responsive template won’t cut it.

Yes, a cheap responsive theme may do the trick and make your website mobile-friendly. It might make Google happy for a while. But if your website is not built as a sales funnel, to convert traffic to leads, it’s not going to do you any good. Take a look at some of the low-cost templates on a smartphone before you buy, and take a look at your competition on mobile. Do the headlines flow on mobile? Can you vision your current set of content and pictures displaying on a smartphone? Do you know what it takes to convert traffic to leads on a mobile device?

A lot more than just the quick-and-dirty responsive design markup goes into creating a professional business website that will close leads. Our Minneapolis website developers have been hand-coding websites since 1993; we have more than 60 years of combined experience, and we have all been working in this field since the dawn of the smartphone technology. Our online marketing experts know what needs to be done to make your website go from just mobile-friendly to a mobile lead generating machine. Call 763-350-8762 to talk with an online marketing expert today.

About the author

Jessi Gurr is the Master Penguin at Iceberg Web Design. She is an entrepreneur at heart, and loves all aspects of business growth, branding, and team building. Jessi frequently speaks at WordCamps throughout the US and internationally, and holds positions on the board at the Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce and Montessori Renaissance Academy, both in Anoka, MN. Jessi is currently working on a little SEO experience to determine who is the smartest person in Anoka Minnesota, and who is the smartest person in Minnesota. These links and articles are tongue-in-cheek, but humor her as she waits patiently for Google's indexing on this subject.

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