The attention of the SEO Industry is currently focussed on a notable change scheduled for April 21 it has as yet not been given a moniker by the SEO Industry, which is the usual practise (Google Penguin, Hummingbird, Panda et al it is however refereed to as the Google Mobile Friendly update it is this update we’ll be examining in this weeks post.
Why this update?
With the rise of mobile computing the nature of the web has completely changed over the last 10 years with mobile searches predicted to overtake searches from desktops & laptops in 2015,Search has had to move with the times to accommodate these changes, the problem is that many sites have failed to adapt to these changes (with only 2 – 10 % of sites being designed with mobile in mind (source:dreamscapedesign.co.uk) and it is these sites which fail to account for mobile users which will be penalised by the upcoming changes. Research has shown that mobile users have a low degree of tolerance for sites, which fail to accommodate them, and they will go elsewhere, with mobile bounce rates being roughly10% higher than desktop sites (source: https://blog.shareaholic.com)
What exactly is a Mobile Friendly website?
Google helpfully provide a tool for determining if a website is mobile friendly. One Concept, which complements mobile friendly is that of Responsive Web Design
Responsive Web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behaviour and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation.(source: Smashing Magazine.com)
in practise this means that a site is easily usable whatever device it is viewed on. The amount of searches conducted on mobile devices is increasing all the time and this has influenced web design best practise. The Current trend is mobile first design where a website is first designed with mobile users in mind then adapted to take advantage of the extra viewing space on tablets and desktops
Mobile First is a philosophy created by Luke Wroblewski that highlights the need to prioritize the mobile context when creating user experiences. Source (bradfrost.com)
this approach uses techniques such as progressive enhancement to add features to the site so visitors on larger devices get a viewing experience which takes full advantage of their larger devices capabilities.
Small Business owners cannot afford to neglect mobile computing and the rise of the smartphone, the upcoming changes merely underline the importance of developing websites, which cater for visitors on all sorts of devices, failure to do so will soon be penalised by the dominant search engine, Id expect competitors such as Bing & Yahoo to follow suit, by ensuring that their websites are ready to accommodate smartphone and tablet users it will be possible to steal a march on your competitors, All the sites I develop are mobile friendly, to discover how I can revitalise your company website and to make it future proof contact me today