Google Made RWD a Necessity. What Should You Do Now?
Brace yourself! The life changing April 21 is coming, the day when mobile search rankings will change. Are you ready? The time is short, so do you really have to redesign your site to pass the test for mobile-friendliness? Well, there’s a secret, but more on that later. First, let’s talk about Google’s recent big announcement.
Google: Breaking News – Mobile-Friendly Sites Will Rank Higher
When Google releases a statement about a change to their algorithms, it tends to be a big deal. After all, Google has the potential to make or break your business, and if you’re not ranked well it could cost you dearly. Yikes!
Their latest announcement has highlighted the importance of having a mobile-friendly site. Simply put, if your site isn’t optimized for smartphones and tablets, it will be ranked lower in mobile search results. Just to instill further panic into companies across the country, these changes come into effect on April 21. That gives you just a few days to act.
Obviously, it’s important to stay well ranked on search engines, but it’s also important to remember your customers. After all, they’re the ones using your site, and they’re the ones who will be making inquiries and purchases. How is your target audience accessing your site, and is Google correct to place such high value on responsive sites?
Some Useful Stats on How People Search Online
It’s nothing new to say that smartphone usage has exploded in recent years. The big question is, by how much? Let’s examine the statistics:
- How many people in the US own a smartphone? Obviously, it’s difficult to determine exact figures. However, according to a Gallop poll, the amount of people in the US who currently own a smartphone stands at around 62% of the population. That’s a lot!
- How many use search engines on their phones? According to this study, Google is the fourth most popular app among US smartphone users, right after Facebook, Youtube, and Google Play. This can be great news for your business, especially if you’re not a major enterprise. If you make your site as mobile friendly as possible you’ve got every bit as much chance to make that sale as a major brand! Sounds good, huh?
- When are people using their smartphones? You’d expect that users would be tapping away on their phones when they’re on their way to work or on their lunch-break. However, surprisingly, the most popular time for smartphone use is 9pm. This is quite surprising, and reveals one thing very clearly — even though your target audience are sitting next to their laptops and PCs in the evening, they’re choosing to use their phones instead.
Are You Ready to Get Mobile-Friendly?
…But There Is a Short Cut
As promised, here’s a trick to help your non-responsive site pass the Mobile Friendliness test. It might buy your business time until you can get your site completely mobile-friendly, but remember — this is only a temporary measure. It’ll fool the Google bots, but it won’t fool your customers. If they see that your site isn’t mobile friendly, they might be disappointed.
All you need to do is add this one line of code:
<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0″>
That’s it! However, you don’t want to leave this in place for too long. Google is not stupid, and sooner or later, webmasters may well be penalized for cheating. Again, for the short-term future, it’ll help stop your site from sliding down the rankings.
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As always, PSD2HTML is coming to the rescue! We’re offering a 10% discount on responsive HTML5/CSS3 projects*. If you want to play by the rules and do things right, we’d be happy to help you out. The offer is valid through May 13**, so hurry! Go ahead and place your order today!
Let’s make the web a mobile-friendly place!