Mobilegeddon!!! Sounds so serious, but what does it really mean? The short answer is that Google is going to downgrade your ranking in mobile searches if your site is not mobile friendly. The first question we often hear is, “How do I know if my site is mobile friendly?” Google has a tool that will tell you. Go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ or simply Google “Google mobile friendly test.” Type in your website address and, bam, the verdict will be in.
Uh-oh, you got this:
Well, until you fix it, Google is downgrading your search relevance on all mobile devices. If you were #1 in a search for “best restaurant San Francisco” you will now be #9 or #10 at best. And that could land you on page 2 or 3 on searches (a.k.a. Nowhere-ville.) This could hurt organic traffic to your site by up to 50%. Imagine the impact to your business with that kind of a hit.
To make sure your ranking does not slip, you have to do one of two things. Either hire a website company and redesign your site into a “responsive” site or make a separate mobile site. A responsive site is a website that changes depending on the size of the users screen. Think of a rubber band. You can stretch it as large as it will go, or compress it as far as it will go. Regardless, it’s still a rubber band. Responsive sites stretch and compress on any size screen and don’t lose any functionality. Tabs, images and forms reorient automatically depending on the device being viewed. They give the best user experience, which is what Google wants the most.
The second option is more of what I call a “Band-Aid” fix. That is, creating a separate site that will show when a search is initiated from a mobile device. This version will take your main site and make it into a pure text version that is easily read, but not exactly visual pleasing. You can contact your web provider and get one done fairly quickly and end up only paying a small monthly fee. The downside to this option is the user won’t get to experience your “real” brand. If you are not concerned about the impression your site leaves, this may be an adequate solution. But if you have spent any time building a brand on your main site, you owe it to your overall marketing effort to invest in something more. Responsive sites are investments in your future web presence. They position your company to be ready for whatever comes down the road from the “Almighty” Google.
Whichever you choose, make sure you do it as soon as you can. Each day without a mobile site means less and less traffic to your site.