Despite the lack of warning from the Mayans, Mobilegeddon has occurred. Don’t run off to your bunker just yet! It may not be quite the collapse you’re expecting. In fact, if your business is mobile friendly, you will very much enjoy meeting your maker. As will your new and existing customers… The mobile ones, anyway.
With technology constantly changing and growing, we’ve become a fully mobile culture. People love the convenience and ability to Google on the go. According to pewinternet.org, as of January 2014, 64% of adult Americans own a smart phone, and 7% of them are “smartphone dependent”. We love being connected. We depend on it.
Therefore, in an effort to bring business websites up to date, Google has created, yet another new algorithm. Sigh. Now per Google, when performing a search on your mobile device, you will first be brought to mobile friendly websites vs. websites that have yet to make the change. Businesses are fearing a loss in web traffic thus causing a drop in sales. There’s you’re virtual Armageddon.
What exactly does it mean to be mobile friendly? Basically, you want your website to load on your phone as easily as it would on a desktop. The page has to load quickly and not lag. Once loaded, the page must adjust to fit on a smaller screen. The link buttons must be large enough for a finger to easily click, and of course, the page must contain readable text. It’s all about accessibility, and happy users. There are even some select companies which offer a full website in addition to a separate mobile website.
However, this isn’t specifically called for. Nitin Gupta, GoDaddy’s senior director of mobile product management, thinks this is a good opportunity to redesign websites anyways and was quoted saying “Small businesses should be thinking about what their customers need to do (online). Even sites that are mobile-friendly, they may want to consider a redesign.”
Unfortunately, there are still sites out there that are not yet mobile friendly at all. According to techcrunch.com over 40% of them, surprisingly, are Fortune 500 companies.
You aren’t totally out of luck if your entire site isn’t “up to par”. If the relevant page is mobile friendly, odds are, you’re in the clear and will still reach surfers of the web. The update as a whole may take weeks to fully roll out.
Google made the announcement in February 2015 giving businesses over two months to research, and reconstruct their websites. There’s great tips and advice on what makes a site mobile friendly, how to fix it if it’s not, and a test to see if your site passes here at https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6001177?hl=en
See? No need to duck and cover! But if you are hiding under your desk, now you can use your phone to surf the web with the greatest of ease.
Megan Flanagan has been in the customer service business for over ten years hand in hand with several companies, large and local. She is a native of Syracuse New York where she lives with her fiancé, step daughter, and new addition, baby Eloise. New to the business blogging world, she has always had a passion for writing, communications, and the art of entertainment.
Top photo courtesy of Matthew Pearce @ flickr CC.