Google announces penalising websites that are not mobile friendly as of April 21st 2015
There are important changes Google has implemented recently where websites that are not mobile friendly will not be displayed in search results of mobile devices.
25% of all searches come from mobile devices, 34% of consumers have made a purchase using their mobile phone, and adding a mobile friendly site results in an overall traffic increase of 18% (Nielsen).
As of the 21st of April this year, if you do not have a mobile friendly website, your website will not rank well or will no longer appear in Google search results when using a mobile device!
While the website may look good on a tablet or smart phone, the website may not be mobile friendly! To confirm this, you can take a 'Mobile-Friendly Test' by entering your website address at;
A poor or no listing in Google mobile search results will mean a decrease in the opportunities you have to get visitors to your website, and a definite loss of sales opportunities.
We are committed to ensuring our clients do not lose any sales opportunities combined with ways of improving the way customers interact with our clients website.
We have some cost-effective mobile solutions that will ensure your website remains listed or improves its ranking in mobile searches.
Even 1 year can be a lifetime in computing, and there are definitely some other opportunities worth investigating such as;
- A Mobile Presence
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Google Adwords
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM for short)
All of the above are aimed at improving sales through the website by increasing visibility and market share.
If you are interested in development or discussion of any of the above, please do not hesitate us.
Here are some frequently asked questions on how we are dealing with the Google Mobile Friendly situation using our systems...
>> Can you confirm what is required with our website to make it mobile compatible as required by Google?
There are 2 points to clarify first;
1. Google Mobile Friendly
2. Google Mobile Compatibility
Currently your website may be Google Mobile friendly because a previous provider possibly made a mobile version that works whenever someone uses a mobile device to view the website. Visit Google Mobile Friendly Test page to confirm.
A mobile friendly template is a separate design to the desktop design specifically for mobile devices so it satisfies Googles Mobile friendly criteria (unless the design is Responsive). It may not however show any of the content directly from the desktop website, nor may it have the same SEO benefits.
What this means is that all of the category and product pages on the desktop version may not be currently picked up or viewed by Google Mobile searches.
With only an advertorial presence and no substantial mobile presence of product pages, you could be unable to take advantage of having your whole product list or site accessible by mobile device (smart phones and tablets) users.
The desktop website still displays ok in mobile devices if it were browsed to so is therefore Google Mobile compatible, however it may lack the usability of a distinctive mobile design, and does not pass Googles 'Mobile Friendly' test.
Google recently changed their algorithm to benefit mobile friendly websites, so nothing would change for the desktop version of the website if you were to do nothing.
To address the issue of Google Mobile Friendliness for our clients that did not have any mobile friendly site, we needed to come up with some cost effective options, and some of these newly developed options could be extremely beneficial for increasing sales.
The most important Mobile upgrade we could provide would be to have a mobile design that utilised the desktop site database. The result would be a mobile presence that make accessible all products from the desktop site displayed in a Mobile Friendly design that also met Googles Mobile Friendly criteria.
With all product available and piggy backing our desktop SEO algorithms, mobile users would be able to enquire directly from their mobile device.
Unless you opt for a Responsive Design, the investment required to create a mobile template is one-off.
>> So is Google Mobile different from your typical Google?
Short answer is yes. Google and the net in general detects what device is looking at it then serves up either the desktop Google or the mobile Google.
For example, if you look at our mobile website, its the same data but different design as our website is mobile and Google Mobile friendly.
It is however a completely different design automatically detected by browsers, but runs off the same database a the desktop version of the website.
You should monitor mobile device access to your site through Google Analytics which is free to set up.
Alternatively, we can set it up for you, add an account for you, and set up monthly reports pushed straight to your email.
Your website probably enjoys good mobile traffic so it would be an important update.
>> With Commerce or Bespoke designs, is the monthly service / hosting cost going to be what I am paying now, it’s not another monthly costs of the same amount again for the mobile version of the site on top of the cost for the desktop version?
Unless the design is Responsive, you would not expect to pay any more that ProDevs standard hosting and Service Plan rates.
Its only if you add modules like the Blogging Module which integrates with Facebook, or Email Marketing called Informer, that you would see an increase for our entry level package, otherwise there are typically no additional recurring costs.
WebCommand does have a higher Service Plan of $60 +GST per month, and while Blogging does not increase the monthly Service Plan, Informer or our Customer Relationship Management software called ALO would should these modules be added.
So short answer is no ;)
>> Do the quoted costs include copying of content from the existing and loading on to the mobile site?
Our Simple Mobile Design automatically takes content from key areas to create one mobile friendly page.
The Commerce Mobile Design may include adding content, however, only the Homepage is configured to be mobile-friendly. Any additional content management on our part is at our standard rate. Some content like images may work off the bat, some may not. You may be able to convert some yourself, or some might require our expertise. For the most part, text wouldn't be a problem. The issue would be around oversized images or tabled content. This option for the most part involves a template automating the mobile-design under a format we designate.
The Bespoke Mobile Design has the majority of content converted and included by us, however, any content well outside the mobile-friendly spec would be excluded and a separate quote given to convert it. Again, its an unknown until we actually make the mobile-friendly template and start switching the content. Design and display of content would be quoted for review prior to development.
The Responsive Design has a Content Management labour component typically 4 times that of a standalone desktop design.
>> Does the SEO work done on the existing site get copied to the mobile site or am I to start again?
The majority of SEO is copied across, however its affect on the mobile site may differ because there is a difference between the mobile and desktop versions in content. Its more closer than not if that is what you are asking. Its impossible to guarantee the same results because it is not the same site. Only a Responsive Design gives you the same SEO outcomes.
Please note that any mobile option other than the Responsive Design OR a complete design update of the desktop version will have an effect on the current desktop version. The only common ground is sharing of the database housing the content.
>> I can’t see the point in disrupting rebuilding our existing website for a non-responsive design. Would it not be possible to build a mobile only website where each page is mobile friendly and still works with our main site?
>> Would a new Bespoke Design change the landscape of both mobile and desktop because it is a new site for both formats? This would suggest that the Bespoke design does create a a new website for desktop formats?
The Bespoke Option is for a new mobile design only. It is a template developed specifically for one resolution (non-responsive but mobile-friendly).
Only a Resposive Design would change the way a desktop design behaves making it more dynamic and viewable in many desktop resolutions.
With the Bespoke Option, the desktop design continues as is. This is true of options a Simple or Commerce Design also.
The difference is the Bespoke Option displays all pages for mobile, and all pages are mobile friendly as far as Google is concerned.
>> I’m still not seeing how a Commerce option with one Mobile Friendly page can be optimised for the wide range of products / services that we offer?
Our Commerce option guarantees a Google Mobile Friendly homepage. The other pages and their content are displayed in a mobile friendly template, however there is no guarantee they will register as mobile friendly because the content may need to be converted.
>> Is there any drawback to a responsive website, apparently this is Google’s preferred option but there may be some problems with responsive designs?
Responsive designs are more labour intensive from the developer / designers perspective. Consideration has to be given to how content is added including image sizes. You also can't use tables. Design of tabled content is best done by a developer. There could be ongoing costs to ensure content plays with all resolutions in a Responsive Design if the client is unfamiliar with editing software.
>> Would the Bespoke mobile design be in anyway less effective than the Responsive design or would it be in any way down ranked by Google’s 21/4 changes?
The Bespoke Mobile Design is a separate design that runs off the same database. Our mobile designs use similar automated SEO concepts to that of its big brother desktop version. Given they are different, there will always be the possibility of different outcomes, however, the current performance of the desktop version is unaffected.
A new Bespoke Design will change the landscape of both mobile and desktop because it is a new site for both formats. We would take every care in the new site with tricks we know how to employ to help point old links to new pages. There are no guarantees with ranking position, but no-one can give you this.
>> With the bespoke design is there a CMS in place to enable ease of loading new information within Google’s restrictions (although I understand you do not guarantee new content loaded)?
Yes there is, but as mentioned before, some content may need to be entered by a designer to meet full design compatibility and Googles Mobile Friendly status.
>> How are the non-responsive designs designated on the web? Is it with an extension to the web address for example?
The short answer to this question is that any design is triggered by the device calling it provided code exists to help the browser distinguish what in environment the website is being accessed from. With a Responsive design it doesn't matter as the same design is in every device but displays based on the resolution or screen size.
>> How does a non-responsive design link back to our main website, is it seamless for a potential customer to find our main website from the information they access on their mobiles?
Yes. A link to the desktop version of a website is provided in all of our Mobile designs. Non Responsive also doesnt necessarily mean it isnt Google Friendly.
>> Is there any danger of the mobile version of our site coming up on PC based searches?
No. Our code detects the environment and the mobile display is then triggered depending on the device.
>> Can you explain the advantages of the Commerce design please, I’m a bit confused with regards to it’s benefits over the Simple option if only one page passes the mobile friendly test but the others are optimised for phone / tablet?
Our simple option is one page made automatically from a combination of headers, homepage info, and contact info with a link back to the desktop site. It automatically pulls in Search Engine Optimisation code from the desktop version.
The Commerce design has access to all pages through the mobile design, although some pages may not be mobile-friendly by Googles definition, it will still show in a mobile device. The homepage however is mobile friendly guaranteeing a listing in Google Mobile searches.
>> The previous question also leads me to wonder if optimisation works differently on mobile sites, for example each page of our website is optimised for different products or services, if for example we tried to optimise a single page for our keywords, it would weaken the SEO, is that not the case with a mobile website?
They are 2 separate site designs, a desktop and a mobile version. Only the Responsive site design is shared across all devices and resolutions on that device.