Once again Google is driving small business owners into a panic. Webmaster for Hire is working to help business owners separate fact from fiction.
Google will release one of its largest algorithm changes on April 21, 2015. It has been years since Google announced when they were releasing an algorithm, or what impact the algorithm would have on small business websites.
The big question is, ‘How will this impact my website?’
The biggest misconception is that a mobile friendly website simply looks good on a cell phone. The mobile friendly concept is actually quite confusing. A website might look good on a cell phone, or ipad, and still not be mobile friendly.
A real mobile website has an easy to follow navigation. One trend that is catching on includes large, brightly colored buttons. The home button is no more than 3 clicks from any page on the website. And, the user doesn’t have to go looking for the information they need.
Mobile Template: Elasticity
Google expects the same ‘experience’ on every device. It can be difficult to determine whether your website passes the test. There are online testing devices that will show you what your website will look. But these are PC based. They do not show how the website will load on 3G, or lower quality mobile service. A website that looks good on a PC iphone mock-up may actually skew or load slow when on a real device, using 3G, in a rural setting.
Two notable success stories are WordPress and Bootstrap. Both have made excellent strives at creating a good experience on any device. The foundations make it easy for template designers to create websites designed to keep visitors happy and engaged. A website that is easy to use and easy to navigate.
Will My Website Survive?
“Sixty-seven percent of the 1,088 smartphone users surveyed by the tech giant in July said they were more likely to make a purchase when visiting a business’s mobile-friendly site, versus 61 percent who said they’d most likely leave a site that wasn’t optimized for mobile. Translation: if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website then you’re probably losing customers to the competition.”- entrepreneur.com
The survey, “What Users Want Most From Mobile Sites Today,” was conducted for Google by the independent market research firms Sterling Research and SmithGeiger.
It is very likely that Google’s new algorithm will be based on the information generated in this research. If so, then there will be three elements that drive it.
- The website loads in less than 5 seconds.
- The website has mobile-friendly features like large buttons, easy to use navigation, limited scrolling and pinching.
- Quick Access to Business Information. Page features like directions, contact numbers, product information, and buy now features are easy to access on a smartphone or tablet.
This means ‘responsive’ may not necessarily make your website mobile friendly. Take your time to learn what is needed. Discuss any changes with your webmaster before jumping on new gimmicks.
For further information on how Webmaster for Hire can help you renovate or redesign your website to meet with these 3 key elements, and to keep up to date on the ever-changing search algorithms, please contact us.