On April 21, 2015, Google announced their latest search algorithm update which relates closely to mobile friendliness. On this very day, it was a date that many remembered as the birth of “mobilegeddon”.
The update was fairly simple. The significant new
When you have a non-mobile friendly website, you’re going to get the above results. Obviously, it is going to create a negative experience for your visitors and they might not even bother continue reading through.
On the other hand, mobile friendly websites are also known as mobile responsive websites.
According to Wikipedia, responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).
Here’s what will happen with a mobile friendly (or responsive) website:
Did you notice that the layout of the website changes accordingly based on the device you are using to view the page?
#2. The question that worth a million dollars: Does mobile friendly websites affect search ranking?
A case study done by Moovweb shows that 83% of the top Google search results were mobile friendly. On Google mobile search engine ranking, 77% of the websites ranked on the first page of Google mobile were mobile friendly.
Take a look around you the next time you are using public transportation. At least 8 out of 10 people who you come across are constantly checking their mobile devices. This is an absolutely no-brainer that mobile devices are the most preferred tool for daily search and web browsing activities.
Important takeaway: If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you could still rank on Google but it just gets harder.
#3. Solving confusion: The differences between mobile friendly and responsive websites
I know this discussion topic will arise one day and therefore, allow me to explain below.
As for the record, there are many debates going on between mobile friendly and responsive web designs. Some say that they are the same and vice versa. Leave a comment at the bottom of this post to discuss further!
Here are some quick explanations between both of them (just to clear the air).
A mobile friendly website happens when the web hosting server delivers a mobile optimized version of the page which is smaller, easier to navigate and fits the entire mobile device screen. If you are using WordPress CMS as your blogging platform, there are plugins such as JetPack and WPtouch which will automatically change the layout of your website to be mobile friendly without strings of code.
The below is an example of a mobile friendly website:
On the other hand, a responsive web design is slightly different. Instead of the servers doing the job, the website theme will automatically adjust and change based on the device’s screen size. This can only be achieved using mobile responsive web designs such as the ones from StudioPress. In most cases, the website theme will look similar (in most ways) on a mobile responsive theme.
Take a look at the image below:
Question: Did you notice any differences between mobile friendly and mobile responsive websites?
#4. Question: Why is mobile friendliness important for your business?
There are many advantages that mobile friendliness can provide to you and the most important one (for me) is to create a bridge to penetrate the mobile markets.
In other words, having a mobile friendly website allows you to reach to a larger audience; namely those who are constantly on the move and using technological devices to search for information on the web.
If you are undecided about this move, there are two things that may change your mind:
- A research done by ComScore which is based on the total multi-platform web searches shows that there are approximately 5% increase of mobile (tablet and smartphone) users compared to desktop
- Google responded to the above information saying that the growth of mobile search is happening much faster than the 5% as stated by ComScore
This leads to just one explanation – mobile users are increasing dramatically and you should be getting your website ready for it by focusing on mobile friendliness.
#5. Take action: Getting your websites optimized with responsive/mobile designs
The last part of this post is getting your website ready with either responsive designs or mobile optimized theme.
There are two ways to go around this:
- Getting your in house web developer to do the job
- Hiring freelancers or agencies to perform the job
However, designing a mobile friendly website takes a lot of time and manpower. If you are getting your in house web developer to do the job, provide him with sufficient time to avoid any delays in completing the job.
For businesses who are smaller in scale or those who don’t have an in house web developer, you can hire freelancers based on per project or per hour basis. For example, 99designs is one of the most popular market places to submit your projects and freelancers around the world will bid for the project.
Wrapping things up
Mobile friendliness is no longer a need; it is a necessity in today’s world. If you are serious in Google search ranking or providing a better experience for your website visitors, it is highly recommended that you ensure your website is fully mobile responsive (or mobile optimized in this matter).
Do you have any questions about mobile friendliness? Let’s discuss this further in the comments below.
Images: “Author’s Own”
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