Mobile Friendliness Becomes Explicit Ranking Factor

News, SEO

How We Went From Web to Mobile Surfing: A Decade Difference

Back in November 2014, Google issued a warning: if your website isn’t already mobile-friendly, the time to do so is now. In February 2015, Google issued a last call: you have until April 21st to transition to a mobile-friendly site.

What does that mean? Beginning on April 21, 2015, mobile friendliness will be a ranking signal used by Google’s algorithm to judge your site’s position on its search engine. In other words, if your website is not mobile-friendly, you will be at a competitive disadvantage, and your internet presence will suffer.

Is your website mobile-friendly? If you’re not sure, Google provides an easy tool that will tell you whether your site meets relevant requirements: the Mobile-Friendly Test. You can also call our San Diego, CA, office at (858) 333-8950 to speak to one of our representatives at Now Media Group.

What Does Mobile Friendly Mean?

A mobile-friendly website caters to web surfers using a device other than their desktop — cell phones, tablets, et cetera. This doesn’t mean you need two or more websites, one for each device. Today, we can take the same website and issue a set of instructions as to how the layout should be organized depending on the viewer’s screen size.

If your site is mobile-friendly, the way it looks will be different depending on whether you’re visiting on a desktop or a cell phone, but they’re both still the same website. This is what a mobile-friendly website looks like across different platforms:

What a responsive website looks like across different platforms.

Why is Having a Mobile Friendly Site Important?

The value of a mobile-friendly website extends beyond meeting the standards imposed by Google’s ranking algorithm. A mobile-friendly website reduces the amount of work the visitor has to commit to extracting the information they’re looking for.

Why should you care about the amount of work your visitors have to do? If the person, when visiting your website, has to zoom out because the images are too large or the site is too wide for their screen, they’re going to leave and find an alternative website.

Consider that over 35 percent of web users in the U.S. do so on a non-desktop device and that this number is growing. Actually, worldwide, mobile search has outstripped desktop search. If your website is mobile-friendly, you can get a significant chunk of web traffic.

Mobile Usage Statistics and Trends

The importance of mobile-friendly design has only grown in recent years. As of 2022, over 59 percent of global web traffic came from mobile devices. In the U.S., the mobile share is even higher at 63 percent. Millennials are now over a third of the U.S. workforce and overwhelmingly prefer mobile browsing. Catering to this mobile-first audience is crucial for businesses.

Mobile Page Speed

In addition to responsive design, page load times are critical for mobile rankings and user experience. Slow-loading pages lead to higher bounce rates. According to Google, sites should strive for load times under three seconds on mobile. Optimizing images, implementing AMP, and leveraging browser caching can help improve mobile page speed.

Voice Search Optimization

With virtual assistants and voice commands becoming more popular on mobile, optimizing for voice search is also important. This means using more natural language patterns and question phrases in your content. Writing in a conversational style and targeting common mobile voice queries can help you rank better for voice searches on virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa.

Google’s Mobile-First Indexing

In 2018, Google shifted to mobile-first indexing, which uses the mobile version of a website for ranking and indexing. This further underscored the importance of optimal mobile experiences. If the mobile version is lacking in quality, structure, or content compared to the desktop version, it can negatively impact rankings.

Mobile Commerce

For e-commerce businesses, having a mobile-friendly online store is absolutely essential. Over 72 percent of online shoppers used a mobile device for purchase decisions in 2021. Creating a seamless mobile shopping experience with easy browsing, checkout, and payment flows on both the mobile web and apps can boost conversions and sales.

If My Website Isn’t Mobile Friendly, Do I Need a New One?

If your car breaks down, do you need a new one? Not necessarily. Sometimes, you can simply fix what’s broken and leave it at that. Other times, you’re better off buying a new car.

The same is true for websites. You can convert your existing website to a mobile-friendly platform, or you can simply go with a new website altogether. Which option is best for you depends on the specifics of your case.

Have a Question? Contact Your Consultant at Now Media Group

Going mobile-friendly is no longer an option because the costs of not going mobile-friendly are greater than those of making the transition. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly and you have any questions regarding the transition, contact your consultant at Now Media Group. We’re more than happy to assist you with any problems relating to your website and internet marketing. Reach out to us at (858) 333-8950.

Related Resources

Now Media Group

7777 Alvarado Rd.
Suite 706
La Mesa, CA 91942

Office Hours

7am - 3:30pm
7am - 3:30pm
7am - 3:30pm
7am - 3:30pm
7am - 3:30pm