Mobile-Friendly Goes Mainstream
As you may already know, on April 21st, Google rolled out a significant search update that many professionals quickly dubbed, “Mobilegeddon”, due to the fact that it targeted mobile search results – specifically smartphones. News outlets and bloggers quickly seized on this news and ran with it, which has led to lots of questions from clients wondering what this means for them. The search term trend for “mobile-friendly” went through the roof on Google Trends as website owners collectively scrambled to better understand what this update meant to them.
The search term “mobile friendly” skyrocketed with Google’s announcement of its mobile friendly update.
Mobile Traffic Trends
If you have been monitoring the traffic on your site over the past two years (if you haven’t, you should be), I am betting that you have seen a significant increase in mobile sessions. Many of the sites that Sleeping Giant Studios has designed, built, and manage are now seeing the majority of their traffic come from mobile devices. According to analytics specialist comScore, over 60% of all digital media time spent in the U.S. is on a mobile device so it’s no surprise that Google has decided to prioritize websites that provide an optimized experience for mobile users (specifically smartphones). Just as we strive to provide a positive user experience for the target audience of all of our websites, Google looks to do the same. Browsing a website that is optimized for a smartphone is a far better experience than one that isn’t and the percentage of users doing so is most likely increasing rapidly for your site.
Graphical Breakdown: Below is one example of many that shows the mobile traffic breakdown over the past 12 months of one of our clients.
Responsive Design Now?
A responsively designed website is one that detects what device the website is being viewed on and “responds” to that device’s screen size and resolution. It automatically delivers a layout that is optimized for viewing on those different screen sizes and resolutions. Want to see what your website looks like on different devices? You can use Google Chrome’s native development tools to do so.
To be clear, the sky isn’t falling if your website doesn’t use a responsive design or isn’t mobile-friendly. Google’s update to their mobile search results only impacts users searching on a smartphone; users searching on desktops, laptops, and tablets will not see any change (yet). However, considering that smartphone traffic has been increasing at such a rapid pace, it’s only a matter of time before websites that aren’t mobile friendly will be affected. If you haven’t done so already, we encourage you to be formulating a plan to address a conversion or update to a responsive design.
Some Key Points To Consider
- Check your analytics to see if your website’s mobile traffic has increased over the past year or two. If it is like many of ours, it may have increased by as much as 300% over the past two years.
- You can find out if your website is considered mobile friendly by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to find out, (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly).
- If your website is built on the WordPress framework, updating your site to a responsive design can happen relatively quickly.
- The way we see it, you have a choice to make; you can get the ball moving and update your website now and be ahead of the curve or wait and play catch up. If you want to stay competitive and relevant in a rapidly evolving environment, it will need to happen.
How Do I Get Started With Responsive?
If you need help updating or designing your website to ensure it is responsive and mobile-friendly, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we are happy to help.