Responsive Web Design, SEO, Google in 2015, you have been warned
This is the year that mobile web design or responsive websites are going to count heavily towards your SEO. In the past having your website mobile friendly has really been for the aesthetics, the ease of use and the whole consumer experience. But Google has since started to look at websites that are not responsive and will start to rank sites that are mobile friendly over those that are not. This is something very recent and I feel that it’s going to play a very significant part of the SEO ranking process. If you have a website ( and ranking on Google is a big thing for you) that is not responsive and does not render properly for mobiles and tablets then I urge you to read this.
So What is a Responsive website?
Simply put, when you are on your mobile phone and you find yourself pinching and scrolling on the screen to see the tabs, the site is not responsive. If it is mobile friendly you will find that when it displays on your screen it fits neatly on the screen. All buttons are visible and easy to tap on. Once hit they then go to another internal page. You will know what I mean when you arrive at a website and you are on your iphone and you think ‘ what a pain’ cause you can’t use it properly. The navigation looks miniscule and the text is tiny. Most people will simply exit a website that has not been optimised for the iphones and androids.
This is where Google has stepped in and thought, why should we rank a website that offers this bad experience for our users. Remember, Google wants to display and showcase search results for their users that are not only relevant for the keywords but also for the experience. Sure a website may have high authority and may be ranking well on desktops, but why should Google rank this site on mobiles if the whole end experience is poor.
The proof is already there and the wheels with Google are in motion. Here’s an experiment. Pick up your iphone and search for anything. You will see that in the description next to each individual result the works ‘ mobile friendly’. Now I am not saying with 100% certainty that this is going to have an effect on the rankings moving forward in 2015, but Google doesn’t do anything in half measures.
They have even contacted webmasters via their web master tools to alert them that their web site has been indexed and is not mobile optimised.
By connecting the dots I can say with a certain level of authority that 2015 will be the year that if you have not got a responsive or mobile site, then watch out. The consequences can be dire. Whilst you may rank well for the desktop version of your site, your rankings are likely to tank and be hit hard for all other devices.
OK, before you panic, I would say you have a bit of time up your sleeve. Cause, Google will give businesses ample time to make the necessary adjustments to get the designs and coding sorted. I would say that you have until May, June or July to get your house in order. After this period, who knows what will happen. But as a business owner myself all I can say is that when it comes to Google and SEO, prevention is so much better than the cure. So act now – get a responsive site asap!
So What Do You Do Next?
The best thing is to get in touch with your web developer and see if they can convert your website to responsive. If you have an open source CMS, like WordPress, Joomla or Magento, then this may only take a couple of days. For example we have been able to make sites responsive in a couple of days. It was a quick fix. If on the other hand your website has been built using a proprietary or some obscure CMS, you may be in a bit of trouble if you cannot get in touch with the people that built your site. In any case its best to deal with someone who can make all this happen so that the end result is all very search engine friendly.
This is where a company like Hopping Mad Designs can help. We can manage this whole process for you with a minimum of fuss and hassle. It’s really a no brainer, putting aside the whole SEO aspect, why would you not want your website to be consumer friendly? After all the mobile search market is only going to get bigger and either you are going to go with the tide or swim against it. It’s your call but you have been warned well in advance of the ramifications of ignoring this.