Non-Mobile Websites Hurt Your Rankings – Even Before Mobilegeddon

There’s been even more buzz around the importance of mobile-friendly websites since Google’s algorithm update. In April they announced that websites not designed for mobile will appear lower in search results.

However, despite all the extra buzz now, this has been happening to websites long before the update.

User Experience has Always been Vital

Remember that SEO and Google’s algorithm are a reflection of your sites “authority”. A major factor in determining authority is a user’s experience on your site. It’s for a simple reason: a bad user experience means users won’t read your content, share it, or come back. All of which damage your site’s rankings in the long run.

This is because when people leave your website due to a bad user experience, or UX, this damages its authority. Sites can only become authorities in certain areas when people are reading, trusting, and sharing their content with others. This can’t happen if a bad UX is driving people away before they even read it. Site rankings were suffering for this reason long before the recent algorithm change was even discussed.

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Over 50% of searches are done on mobile. If your not being found on mobile, you are missing out.

Don’t Wait, go Mobile Now

It’s obvious how critical mobile-friendly websites have been for a long time. The internet is being used on mobile more and more, and eventually mobile usage will outgrow desktop usage. A website not designed for mobile is like broadcasting a radio show on a television – not built for today’s most important medium, which is mobile.

Thankfully, there are many resources and options available for sites that have yet to go mobile. Just a few of them are:

  • Deciding whether your site should be responsive or adaptive. Both are good mobile solutions, but once you learn the difference between the two, you’ll know which one’s the most economical choice for your site.
  • There are many different practices to consider when making a mobile-friendly site. One of the most popular ones is designed a “Skeleton,” or grid, that reorganizes content in certain ways based on screen size.
  • You can also test how mobile-friendly and accessible any current website is with Google’s online tool.

In Conclusion

Google’s algorithm change is placing more importance on mobile-friendly design, but sites that weren’t mobile friendly were already being hurt in search results. A site that doesn’t respond to mobile was already hurt by a bad UX, a lack of authority, and fewer people sharing its content. Google’s announcement was just another reason among many already for sites to go mobile right away.

So if this change is what woke your website up to the importance of mobile design, don’t put it off any longer. Don’t wait, get mobile now!

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About The Author

Matthew Harris

Matthew began designing and building websites in 1995, and has since grown Harris Web Works (formerly Medium Well) into a full-service online marketing provider. He continuously adds expertise to become proficient in the evolving world of e-commerce, digital marketing, search engine optimization, mobile web, and more. Client work includes large corporate websites to comprehensive, customized services for small-to-medium sized businesses. He has worked as a designer, programmer, marketer and project manager. Matt is on the Board of Directors of Search Engine Marketing New England (SEMNE), and is a partner at Digital Media Sync in New Haven, CT.