One of Google's tests for ranking your website is whether you have a truly mobile website. If you do not have have a responsive or separate mobile site, you are probably asking yourself, how does this affect my website rankings?
As more users continue to increase searching on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, they are most likely searching your website on those devices as well. If they are, and if your website is not mobile friendly, it will rank lower than any of your competitors that have a mobile friendly site.
What does Mobile Friendly Mean? Mobile friendly is more than just having your site display on a mobile device. Mobile friendly means:
Your text is large enough to read on a mobile device as is without having to zoom.The code you are using is supported on mobile devices. (Avoid Flash and other unsupported products.)The screen is sized or resized so that users can read the content no matter which way the screen is held.Pictures need to be optimized in size for mobile devices and the pages need to load quickly on a mobile device just as they do on a desktop.Links need to be far enough apart that they can be distinguished when they are selected. Questions you may be asking yourself: How do I know if my website is mobile friendly and how will this impact my rankings?
What are my options if my website is not mobile friendly
Google Tools Google has tools available that can be accessed through your Google Search Console / Webmaster Tools. They allow you to run your website through the tools to understand whether it will pass for mobile friendly.
In order to determine how important this might be to you, you may want to look at your Google Analytics and determine how many people are searching your website from mobile devices. Our mobile traffic on our website is 30% of all traffic, so it was extremely important for us to convert our websites. That number has steadily increased over the last year and will continue to increase over time for most websites. If I just think about myself, the majority of searches I make for products, services, or for information when I am not sitting at my desk at the office is on my Samsung smartphone or tablet. Think about who your potential customers are and that will help you determine how you will be affected by this change.
If your website is not compliant and you have purchased a website in the last year or two and your web developer did not discuss mobility as an option with you, it may not be as easy as going back to your current web development company. You may want to consider looking for a web development company that advertises development of responsive or mobile sites and make sure that after you make the investment, that your site conforms. Be sure to ask for reference sites.
Options If you are looking to upgrade or make major changes to your website, you might consider looking at having a responsive website developed for your business. A responsive design is one that conforms to whatever device the site is running. If you just invested in a new site and were not looking to spend a lot of money right now on your website, you might consider going the mobile site option. This option provides a separate site for mobile devices which contains only the most pertinent information. There will still be a cost and in most cases an extra hosting fee, but it will cost as much as a responsive site. An example of a responsive site can be seen in the picture above. There are products such as Go Mobi that allow developers to create a separate mobile site for you business. I find a lot of businesses like restaurants use this option as they do not need the same content on their mobile site as their desktop version. Even if you do not have a lot of traffic today for your website on mobile devices, this is something you will want to think about over the next while as moving to mobile is inevitable for us all.
The key question is is just on how long it will take before mobile users outweigh desktop. I don't believe this time is very far off - don't have your website lose out. In some cases depending on the type of business - this already is the case.