Can I ask a quick question before we start? How are you reading this blog post? On a desktop device such as a laptop? A tablet? Or maybe via your mobile phone as you sit waiting for a friend in a café or the bus to take you home.
We cannot escape the fact that the mobile device is here to stay and has quickly become the norm in how we access the internet and the associated social and business interactions that we now enjoy online.
Most of us don’t even consider how the page looks and the accessibility. It. Just. Works! Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, our favourite news channels and big brand online shops are all mobile responsive, or mobile ‘friendly’ and adapt to whatever we demand of it in terms of our viewing experience.
Wikipedia describes responsive web design in a very wordy sentence as follows - ‘Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience – easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling – across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones)’. Or put simply, the site reacts automatically whenever you change the tablet from portrait to landscape or makes it readable on a smaller mobile phone display screen.
The number of people using a mobile handset to access the internet rose from 57% in 2014 to 61% in the first quarter of 2015 (source: Ofcom) and this represents a large number of the UK population who will want to view your website in the best way possible so it’s vital to ensure your website is mobile responsive. These figures are only set to rise on a daily basis.
In February 2015, Google announced plans to introduce an algorithm that would give priority in listings to websites that were deemed to be mobile responsive. This algorithm was implemented on 21st April 2015 and web designers and developers soon named it ‘mobilegeddon’ due to the expected effects on rankings of web pages. Early studies reported loss of position on Google and decrease in traffic to sites affected by the algorithm.
Google have developed a simple app that can check whether your site has a mobile friendly design which can be found at https://www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ Simple enter your URL in the search box and click ‘analyze’. Within a few seconds the result will appear.
If the results aren’t good then please get in touch – we can make a few simple changes to your current site that won’t be noticeable to the viewer, but just may preserve all the hard work you have put in to both the design element and getting your site to where it was back in April 2015. Check your analytics (if you are unsure whether you have these installed we can help you add the necessary code to your pages) - and see if your position on Google has been affected in the six or so months since the introduction of the algorithm.
It may have been labelled ‘mobilegeddon’ but it’s not the end of the world if your site isn’t currently mobile friendly. In fact, the introduction of the algorithm is seen by many as an invaluable opportunity to ensure that websites continue to function in just the right way so as to encourage more people to access information and services from your company. Which can only mean one thing! More sales. And who can resist those?