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Are You Prepared for Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm?

With the majority of the UK population now owning a smartphone, devices and the increased capabilities that they now offer have become an integral part of our lives. Daily tasks such as checking a bank balance, making an online purchase, or keeping up to date with friends via social media, are made easy and addictive with a smartphone. As a result of this growing trend, on the 21st of April Google will be rolling out its “Mobile Friendly” algorithm to help mobile users find more mobile-friendly content. In this blog Jon Southall from Digital Marketing company SOZO explains what this means for you, and how to ensure you’re prepared!

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For those of you who are not familiar with what a search algorithm is, it’s basically how Google determines which results are returned for a search query and how it ranks those search results.

Upon announcing the mobile friendly ranking algorithm, Google said it would have a “significant impact” on mobile search results.

So what does this mean for website owners?

Websites deemed mobile friendly by Google will rank better in mobile search results than those that are not. Making sure your website is mobile friendly and providing the best mobile user experience possible is now more important than ever.

How do I know if my website is mobile friendly?

The fastest way to check is using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Alternatively, perform a live search on a smartphone for your website, if its mobile friendly, it will be displayed in the search results with a mobile friendly label.

If you find your website not to be mobile friendly, and are receiving traffic from mobile devices, you risk losing that traffic and need to address the issue sooner rather than later.

How do I make my website mobile friendly?

How your website was originally built will determine how easy it is to make it mobile friendly. If your website was created several years ago, it may be the case that it is more cost effective to have a completely new website developed using the latest web development techniques that incorporate mobile design principles.

There are various approaches to developing a mobile friendly website with the most common being a responsive design. Responsive websites automatically adjust to suit any screen size whether that’s a desktop PC or smartphone.

Other benefits of a mobile friendly website

Of course having a mobile friendly website is not just about satisfying Google and achieving better mobile search rankings. People’s browsing habits are different on mobile devices and a mobile friendly website will offer a better user experience in the form of easier navigation and faster loading. These factors combined will lead to higher user engagement and ultimately more mobile conversions; for example, an online purchase, a contact form completion or telephone call.

Jon Southall is a Digital Marketing Specialist at SOZO, an award-winning digital design agency based in Cheltenham and London, specialising in web design, branding, and digital marketing.

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