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Business Bits

Mobile: The April 21 Deadline is Fast Approaching

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M-Day…April 21. That is the day Google is waking businesses up to the mobile revolution. Mobile has been growing for years, but the pace is picking up. In 2013, searches on mobile devices outnumbered searches done on desktop computers. Businesses should have taken notice then (if not before) and made their websites easily viewable on phones and tablets. But, many businesses missed the memo or ignored it.

The memo is coming out loud and clear now from a source that should be paid attention to….Google. Google’s “memo” was published on February 26, 2015. It included on April 21, 2015 Google will be implementing algorithm changes that will cause websites that are mobile optimized to be displayed higher in search results. Google’s announcement states, “ Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal…Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” In lay terms this means that if a business wants it’s website to come up early to people searching on a phone, their website needs to be easy to read on a phone. This means that a person should not have to zoom in or pinch and pull the screen to read the content. To see if a website is mobile friendly, use this tool https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/?utm_source=wmc-blog&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=mobile-friendly

There are two ways to have a mobile optimized website. The first is a “bandaid” solution. It is having a separate mobile companion site. It is usually an abbreviated version of the desktop site. It typically has the most commonly viewed information, such as address, hours, and click to call function. The better long-term solution is having a responsive design. A responsive website is a site that adjusts the content to be viewable on any size screen. The advantage is having all of the content on a website available to people viewing it on a mobile device.  

Unless a business wants to see a decline in traffic (and more importantly potential customers) to their website, it is critical to have a mobile friendly website. If Google penalizes a website for not being mobile optimized, it will definitely result in less visits because more than half of searches are taking place on a mobile device and over 90% of people searching do not go past the first page of search results.

Shaw Media is committed to providing effective marketing solutions for our business partners. Please give me a call or send me an email with questions or comments. rwalker@shawmedia.com 630-427-6227

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