Is A Resonsive Website Important To You?
If you haven’t heard by now, let me be the first and last to tell you. You NEED a responsive website. If you don’t have one currently, Google is penalizing you in its rankings (1). Responsive websites have the upper hand when people search on Google…and let’s be honest…who doesn’t use Google. And if you’re a small business, you can’t afford to have anything keeping you from getting out there for everyone to see you. Some larger companies got a jump on mobile websites (you know…those annoying m.website.something). Sure that helps but Google has to work harder and send its spiders to two websites. Their thinking is if a customer has to work too hard to view your site, then they are less likely to make the effort. The higher the bounce rate, the site won’t rank on mobile searches (2). You pay good money to have a website built and maybe even pay to have your website promoted, just to have Google knock it down in the standings. “Resistance is futile!”
As I mentioned earlier, as of April 15th of last year, Google is ranking responsive (mobile friendly) websites through a change in its search algorithms (3). If your site is not mobile friendly, your competitor’s mobile friendly website will be seen on Google searches before yours will. It boils down to money (doesn’t it always?). Google sells ads. Ads are harder for Google to insert into apps on your phone. So the more Google can get you to search using its engine, the more ads work and the more ads they can sell (4).
Now that I’ve placed that flaming bag of dog poo on your doorstep, what are we going to do about it? First you need to see if your site is affected. Cross your fingers and go to the Mobile Friendly Test tool. Type in your URL and this will let you know if your website is compliant or not. You will see one of the two messages below:
The message on the left gleefully lets you know you still have your spot in the Google search algorithm and keeps you from having to redesign your website. Yes, I said redesign. The dreaded message on the right, however, is the kiss of death to your website. Well, sort of. If you have absolutely no reason for anyone to need to see your website on a mobile device, then you might be ok (I’m thinking the IRS doesn’t really get much mobile traffic…I could be wrong).
Google has the lion’s share of web searches. As of December 2015, Google’s search engine market share was just over 66%, while second place Bing was at less than 15% (5). Sure, we already kind of new that...Google is everywhere. But did you know that 64% of adults in the U.S. own a smartphone…that up 35% from 2011 (6). I’m no psychic but I’m pretty sure that number is only going to keep going up.
So here’s how it really boils down. If you have a website and want it to be seen on smart phones and tablets, then you need a responsive website design. If you’re paying for ads on search engines to promote your site, not having a responsive website could knock you down further in the rankings. People are searching the internet on the go and that means in order to increase your chances of being seen by these potential customers, you need to have your website mobile friendly.
If you’d like more information on responsive website design as it relates to your website, feel free to contact us below.