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Google: Mobile-Responsiveness is the New Black

April 29, 2015 • 4-minute read

Google: Mobile-Responsiveness is the New Black

Google just dropped a new rule for its search engine ranking system, and it’s quite a game-changer.

Ever since Google released its search algorithm update on April 21  - geared towards putting businesses with mobile website design optimization higher up on search engine results pages - businesses have been scrambling to make sure that their websites can be properly viewed via mobile devices.

A big boon for small screens

Google’s updated algorithms affect global search results, searches in all languages, and even searches done via mobile devices. It applies to search results for individual site pages, meaning you’ll need to have your entire website checked, or you’ll risk letting a couple of non-mobile responsive pages slip under your radar. The criteria for mobile friendliness includes font sizes, the spacing between links, and how well your content fits (read: is displayed on) a typical mobile screen.

Google claims this move is intended to provide consumers access to “content that’s not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens.” This does make sense - after all, the average person needs to stay updated and informed no matter where they are, and what better way is there to do that than through their mobile devices? In fact, recent statistics show that 94% of smartphone users use their devices to search for information.

Is Google’s latest push for optimized mobile web design really necessary? And perhaps, more importantly - is it a move that would benefit your business?

The smart money’s on smartphones

Mobile responsiveness has indeed become a critical factor in keeping your business competitive - and truth be told, it’s not only because Google said so.

  1. Good mobile web design improves the user experience. Can you imagine how irritating it would be for a smartphone user to hold their phone three inches away from their face and squint, just to read your website? An optimized mobile website design means easier access, better navigation, improved readability, and an overall pleasant user experience - an excellent incentive for users to visit your website instead of someone else’s.

  1. Mobile-friendliness means big savings (and better visibility). Would you rather maintain two websites - your main site, plus a made-for-mobile version that costs extra and doesn’t offer the same functionality - or just optimize your existing site? Furthermore, keeping a single site eliminates the need to repost your content across different low-level sites just to boost your online visibility. Mobile responsiveness is the funnel that directs your target audience to just one site - the one that actually matters for your business.

  1. Mobile responsiveness leads to better conversion rates. Ensuring that your audience is treated to the same navigational functionality and performance of your website no matter what platform they use to access it will make them feel more comfortable, greatly minimizing the obstacles that stand between them and the decision to avail your product or service.

  1. You’ll have an easier time with reporting and analytics. Many site analytics tools are equipped to handle reporting for responsive sites. This means you won’t have to put too much effort into tracking your customers’ online journeys - you just have to look at one report, even for data gathered across multiple devices.

Moving towards mobile-friendliness

If you’re wondering where or how to begin, don’t worry. Google recommends taking the following steps to ensure your site is mobile-friendly:

  1. Take a Google-developed test to determine if your site has a mobile-friendly design.

  1. Use third-party software to make your site mobile-friendly, seek help from a developer, or learn the basics yourself.

For businesses with a tight budget or no time to spend closely supervising or coordinating with in-house developers, the best option is outsourcing. A skilled outsourced specialist be able to complete the work that you’d need to hire a full-time employee for, at a much lower cost.

StraightArrow’s team of mobile developers is more than up to the task of turning your existing website into a search engine-optimized, mobile-responsive powerhouse. Let’s start working on getting your business website back on top—get your website's SEO performance audited for free. We'll provide an analysis of its current strengths and opportunities for improvement.


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This entry was co-authored by Mikael Angelo Francisco and Knick Muriel.

Knick Muriel is a Communications Specialist at StraightArrow Corporation. She dreams of fangirling and singing at karaoke joints for a living.

Mikael Angelo Francisco
Mikael Angelo Francisco
Kyle is a Communications Senior Specialist at StraightArrow who also contributes to the SciTech section of GMA News Online and reviews movies and comic books for pop culture blogs. He is into sports climbing, running, and other related activities, and may or may not be Spider-Man (he refuses to give us a straight answer).



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