The time has come. If you have a website, having it mobile-ready is no longer a luxury. It is essential.
Google has announced that effective April 21, 2015, “mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal” will grow greatly and, as a result, have a “significant impact” in mobile search results. Marketers and developers have coined this date as “Mobilegeddon.”
While we don’t yet know what kind of “significant impact” we’ll see, it’s rare that Google announces these kinds of shifts in advance, so it seems to be big.
Is your site ready?
First, you should check to see if Google already considers your site mobile-friendly or not. You can check our their online tool to evaluate your website.
What can you do?
If you find that your site isn’t mobile-friendly, there are really two paths you can take to get ready. The first is to create a mobile version of your website. The second is to redesign your entire site so that it is responsive. Here’s a little more about the difference.
A mobile website is a separate version of your website with a different URL. For a main website of example.com, the mobile version might be m.example.com. Typically, this is the easier and less expensive way to go, but it comes with its own considerations. You need to make sure that your site is coded in a way that search engines don’t penalize your site for duplicate content, which could easily happen since a mobile website has mobile versions of the main site. And you also need to make sure that you update both versions of your website.
Responsive websites, on the other hand, provide just one website that adapts to different screen sizes and devices, making it easier to update. However, they are often costlier up front and take longer to develop.
You can read more about mobile-friendly websites, including more about both of these solutions. A good web developer can help you make the right decision concerning your website.
In the short term, it appears that mobile-friendly websites will perform better in mobile search results. However, as more websites get on board and more users turn to mobile devices for internet, just having a mobile-friendly website won’t be enough. The other factors determining your website’s success will still apply, and websites that do that, plus offer the best mobile experiences, will continue to thrive. Regular check-ups to your site will ensure that you don’t get left behind.