Get a Responsive Website – or Disappear?Leave a Comment (1) ↓
If you think your current site, designed quite recently, is performing fine – and your Google ranking is OK – then you could be in for a shock.
For the biggest algorithm change in years from Google has just been implemented. And if your site is not ‘responsive’ (meaning that it is optimised to serve up content easily and smoothly on any style of smartphone and tablet, automatically reorganising itself for easy navigation and the right type size and layout to suit the smaller screens, either held in landscape or portrait mode) then from now on the Google Bots – that trawl the Net checking out all sites – will rank you much lower and you can be cast into the outer darkness, onto search pages that scarcely anyone bothers to scan.
Is yours a Dodo site?
In a well-ordered world, all sites would have been made responsive two or three years ago, but there are large numbers of corporate legacy ‘Dodo’ sites that have not felt the need to change. It was a cost that just didn’t seem worth paying.
That was already a false economy, as mobile devices rapidly took over from desktop PCs as the conduit for searches – both B2C and B2B.
Now it has just become absolutely essential. Make no mistake: this is a game-changer. We at Hannon Digital have been routinely building mobile-responsive sites for quite some time, and now we are ready to take on any upgrades or total website revamps that clients may need.
Pick Up Your Phone
Don’t delay in establishing the status of your site – if in doubt, pick up your smartphone and search for it – does it:
- Load quickly
- Have smooth transitions between pages
- Focus on the key information
- Use the phone’s navigation buttons and its own navigation option
- Read easily without having to zoom
- Transition from landscape to portrait at will
- Display data without the need for constant page changing
If it is failing these tests, then we need to talk…
The last two Google algorithm updates were called Panda and Penguin: they affected some 12% and 3% of total search results and they cleaned up a lot of websites’ acts – the so-called ‘black hat’ practices that had previously worked to promote poor sites up the rankings were suddenly outlawed. Many businesses suffered or died as a result. No figures have been released for the effect of this update, but we and other digital insiders reckon it is considerably greater.
Google insiders have warned webmasters:
“We will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”
Mobile takes over
This move reflects the rapid change in consumer and buyer habits – a new eMarketer study predicts that for the first time UK adults will this year spend more time on their mobiles than on desktops. And that excludes the time spent using phones as – well – phones…
Google’s own studies reckon that about half of its searches are now being made from tablets and smartphones.
General internet browsing is still for now a predominantly PC-based activity, accounting for 62% worldwide. But mobiles are growing fast, now accounting for 32% of traffic, while tablets are pretty static at 6%. (April 2015 data). Compare this with August 2012 when desktops took 86% of the browsing market.
This news will prompt a rush of companies to put their internet affairs in order. If you are one of them, then consider this – is your website also a social site? Is it optimised to take advantage of all kinds of social media including the relevant social networks? This is without doubt the time to be ensuring that you cover all the important bases and equip yourselves to compete effectively now and in the near future – until the next Google (or Baidu, or Bing…) shockwave comes along. See our video to learn more.