How does your website appear to you? Perhaps you’re looking at it on your office PC, or your laptop and you’re perfectly happy with it. But in the wider world, the majority of people now access websites on a mobile device.
The plain fact is that in 2017 your site will have to be mobile-friendly because Google is changing the way it indexes websites.
The Great Divide
Google has had a single index of documents for searches, which the search engine uses for responding to queries. However, it is now creating a separate mobile index.
In a recent statement, Google emphasised that while its search index will continue to appear as a single index of websites and apps, its algorithms will primarily use the mobile version of a website’s content to analyse and list it.
In other words, the mobile index will be Google’s dominant index, and the challenge to webmasters, website designers and developers, and their clients, is to ensure that current and future websites are ready to respond to this change.
What are the Implications?
If your website is not properly optimised for mobile devices, it could suffer in search results. Web designers and developers have stressed the need for websites to be mobile-responsive for some time, but now it appears this will no longer be a choice – if you want success on Google searches you will need to have a mobile-friendly website.
Google is not currently saying outright that websites without mobile responsiveness are going to be penalised, but clearly if Google is positioning its mobile index as the dominant way searches will be read, then if your desktop-only site is competing with a competitor’s mobile site, you’re likely to come off
If you currently have an older desktop site with a separate mobile site, you should think about ensuring that the mobile version is the full version of your site – simply having links to the desktop site may not be sufficient.
Some mobile versions of sites may not contain the same information as the desktop site, limiting the content. It’s important that the mobile version uses structured data, and that your mobile site is accessible by the Googlebot.
What to do Next
Change is coming and you need to be ready for it. If you have an older website and you’re unsure of its mobile-responsiveness, then you should consider updating your site.
WordPress is the perfect platform for creating a mobile-friendly website. It understands how integral mobile-responsiveness is to web design and with WordPress you can also manage your site through a mobile device.
You don’t have to worry about having a separate mobile site, and whether it is up to date with your main site; nor do you have to be concerned that your desktop site isn’t optimised for mobile accessibility – with WordPress it’s all done for you.
Reform Creative is a Manchester-based creative design agency. We help businesses get and stay ahead with expert web design. We run WordPress training courses so that you can easily get up and running with your own WordPress site.
The future is coming and you need to be prepared to meet it with the right website for your business, where people can easily find you and discover what you can do for them.