Get on board with the update asap ’cause Google’s mobile-friendly update is rolling out like a freight train.
Starting April 21, Google has announced that their search algorithm will consider whether a website is mobile-friendly, and mobile-friendliness will significantly impact search results. Small businesses and nonprofit organizations should be paying attention for two reasons:
- Google's update will heavily favor mobile-friendly sites in search results. If your website is not mobile-friendly, Google will rank your site lower in search results, and your site traffic could decrease. According to Google, 48% of mobile internet users start in search. That means on average 48% of your website's traffic comes from mobile search - your business' mobile traffic could be higher, or lower.
- Google has announced this algorithm update in advance to give small business a chance to prepare. It is very unusual for Google to announce changes to their search algorithms in advance - typically SEO experts spend days if not weeks after each Google algorithm update trying to determine the impact of an update, and how to change their websites and content.
It is believed Google's update will impact smartphones, not tablets or desktops - this means Google's says mobile-friendly means smartphone-friendly, and impacts searches conducted on smartphones, not on desktops. Google's stated goal is to make information accessible and useful, and since so many searches are conducted on mobile - and the percentage grows every year - Google believes mobile-friendly websites are significantly more useful than mobile unfriendly sites.
How can you prepare for Google's new mobile-friendly update?
As a small business owner or a nonprofit organization, there are steps you can take to prepare for the Google Mobile-Friendly Update:
1. Find out if your website is mobile-friendly.Google's Mobile Friendly Test will tell you if your website is mobile friendly - or not. Just enter your website URL, press ANALYZE, and you'll find out in about 30 seconds if your site is mobile-friendly.
2. How much traffic does your website get from mobile search?Google Analytics: Audience > Mobile > Overview gives a breakdown of desktop v mobile v tablet traffic, so you can know if 75%, or 5% of your traffic comes from mobile search.
Once you know if your website is mobile-friendly, and what amount of your website traffic comes from mobile search, you then have enough information to make a decision:
√ my website is mobile-friendly and prepared for the April 21 Google update
√ my website is not mobile-friendly and I need to make changes to my website
If your website is not mobile-friendly, the two tests you performed above, combined with your business goals for 2015, will help you decide if you need to make changes to your website now, before April 21, or if you can add updating your website to your ongoing list of business priorities. Only you can understand and decide if mobile friendliness is important to the success of your business or non-profit.
For More Information on Google's Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update
Search Engine Journal: The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Google’s April 21 Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update
Fundraising Pulse: Google's Algorithm is changing: 3 Prep Steps Nonprofit Websites Can Take