Go Mobile or Get Left Behind: How Google is Helping

Image courtesy of MIKI Yoshihito/Flickr.

You’ve probably been hearing for quite some time now that if your business wants to continue to use internet marketing, it needs to go mobile. You need to target your markets through social media, mobile apps and a website that is functional and easy to use on a smartphone or tablet.

If you fail to meet your market through mobile marketing tools, you will be missing major opportunities to promote your business and build your online brand. As we move toward a more mobile-friendly world, you business needs to keep up if you want to continue to see success.

Increasingly, users are demanding sites that are easy to use from small screens. If your site is hard to navigate, view or load from a mobile device, people will quickly leave it, costing you your reputation and even sales.

Google’s “Mobile-Friendly” Tag

In November, Google announced that it was adding a “mobile-friendly” tag to sites that meet certain requirements, making things easier for people who are searching and browsing on mobile devices. The tag appears just below a site’s URL and right before its description.

What does this mean for your business? It means that users will now know while looking at a page of search results which pages will be easier to use on a small screen. If they do a search for a term that brings your site up and it doesn’t have the tag, they may tap on another website, which costs you business.

To compete with others in your industry, it’s essential that your site is mobile friendly. Before the introduction of this tag, sites that weren’t mobile friendly often had higher bounce rates. But, now they could see a decrease in traffic as users won’t even bother to visit them in the first place.

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Tools

Google has a list of requirements a site must meet in order to be tagged “mobile-friendly.” For example, it must have readable text that doesn’t require zooming and it must not use software that isn’t compatible with most mobile devices. You can see a list of the other things Google looks for when evaluating how mobile friendly a website is on this blog post on the Webmaster Central Blog.

Google offers some tools to site developers and businesses that are designed to help them make sure their sites are mobile friendly. Even if you think your site is mobile friendly, it’s a good idea to use these tools to make sure you aren’t missing anything.

Mobile-Friendly Test

The Mobile-Friendly Test allows you to enter your URL and find out whether or not your site is mobile friendly and if it’s not, what the issues are. It then helps you find ways to address the issues so your site will pass the test.

Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools can also alert you to issues that are preventing your site from being fully mobile friendly. It analyses all the pages on your website, so it provides a very in-depth look at your site.

Mobile Guide

This free guide is perfect for developers and business owners who need some guidance making a mobile-friendly site. It even includes tips for how you can use a platform like WordPress, Tumblr, Magento and others to make a mobile-friendly site.

Webmaster Central Help Forum

This online forum is a great resource for developers where they can connect with other developers, ask questions and solicit feedback. It can also be a good place to look for solutions to website issues.

All of these tools, and others provided by Google, can help you make sure your site is mobile friendly so you won’t get left behind. Start by checking to see if your site has any issues and then take them one at a time to improve your site’s overall look and function.