On February 26, 2015, Google released an official statement about website usability standards with regards to mobile browsing on tablet and smartphone devices. This statement revealed that, as of April 21, 2015, mobile usability will significantly affect a website’s rank in search engine results. This means that websites with higher mobile usability scores will be given higher search engine ranking priority over websites that have not been built or optimized for tablet and smartphone usage.
“This will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”
SIf you have access to a Google Webmaster account, you may have already noticed that Google has been sending out warnings to people who manage websites with poor mobile usability scores. For people who do not have access to their website’s accounts, you can use Google’s mobile-friendly test to determine how “friendly” your web pages truly are. Click here to use Google’s mobile-friendly test.
These new mobile usability standards are being enforced by Google due to the exponential growth of mobile browsing. Today, mobile browsing can account for up to 50% of your website’s traffic. This means that you could be alienating 50% of your potential customers by not having a mobile-friendly website.
April 21 is quickly approaching. Now is the time to ensure that you have a fully responsive, mobile-friendly website.
What makes a website “mobile-friendly?”
There are a variety of factors that affect a website’s mobile usability score, but the primary one is responsive design. Responsive web design refers to the process of building and optimizing a website so that it “responds” or adapts to all devices. A responsive website automatically scales to the fit the size of the screen that it appears on. A fully responsive website will be optimized for all desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile devices.
Today, responsive web design has become a standard practice, but there are still millions of websites that are not mobile-friendly. Turning a non-responsive, static website into a responsive one usually requires a complete redesign and restructuring of the current website. Depending on your budget, improving your website’s mobile usability can be a great excuse to revisit and enhance your website’s overall appearance and your online corporate image. Contact Virtual Image today to learn more about our responsive web design services.