Is Your Local Business Website Mobile Friendly?
I am sure you are aware that almost everyone has an Iphone or some type of smartphone these days. In fact, it is not just the young people that seem to have their faces glued to their phones. Many older people have also taken up this habit and not just to check their Email. Many people use their phones to keep in touch through Facebook and Twitter, and of course through texting as well. However, more and more people are now using their phone to access the internet.
In fact more people now use a mobile device such as an Iphone or tablet to access the internet than the amount of people that use a desktop or laptop computer. We crossed that threshold back in 2014 when people were using their mobile devices an average of 2.6 hours per day and that has only accelerated with 2.8 hours of use in 2015
Of course these facts did not get by the very smart people at Google, so last April they made a public announcement that all websites on the internet should be mobile friendly. What does mobile friendly mean? Basically it just means that a user can easily read the text on your website pages without having to use their fingers to squeeze and zoom in and out to read your information when they are using a smartphone. Click here to see a comparison of what a non mobile website and a mobile optimized website look like on an Iphone. Google even made a mobile friendly test website for the purpose of testing your website to see if it qualifies as mobile friendly.
Why should you care if Google doesn’t like your website? Because your website may not rank as well as it should for people searching on a mobile device. To put it another way, Google may be penalizing your website because it is not mobile friendly. It is important to note that whether or not your website is mobile friendly should not have any effect on the ranking of your website for people searching on a desktop or laptop computer.
We did some informal testing on several local business websites to see how they rank on a smartphone. Some of the sites were mobile friendly and some were not. We found that it was still possible to rank your website on page 1 of Google with a site that is not mobile friendly, but that may be because all their competitors were not mobile friendly as well. Regardless, you should immediately make sure that your website passes the Google test, so that your website does not suffer any penalties on mobile devices.
If your website is built on WordPress, you are in luck. There are several plugins that covert your website so that it passes the Google test. However, the plugins will only make your website look good enough to pass the test, but it still won’t look great on a phone. The best solution is to move your website to a “responsive” theme or platform. A “responsive” website can sense the size of the screen on the user’s device and resize itself to look good on that screen. This way the site looks good on all devices. There are many responsive WordPress themes that are available for free.