Google recently announced a new change in its algorithm that ranks mobile-friendly websites higher in search results. What does this mean for your business? It means you need to optimize your basic old-school website to be more mobile-friendly and you need to do it now.
Doing so will also open new opportunities to communicate with potential customers by creating an interactive experience through a sleek, user-friendly mobile interface.
Granted, most websites today are already inherently mobile-friendly, especially if you’re already using webhosts such as Squarespace, WordPress, Bigcommerce or Shopify. If your webhost doesn’t have a mobile layout editor, or it’s tough to navigate, I suggest you hire a professional web designer. Consult with your webmaster into creating a smartphone and tablet version of your website.
If you’re still not convinced or think it’s too much of a hassle, check out these figures:
- 52% of the U.S. population owns a smartphone, or about 165 million people, who are constantly tapping way on their screen, searching for products and services.
- 60% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase if the website they’re visiting is mobile-friendly.
- Currently, almost 50% of Fortune 500 websites are not mobile-optimized, and 94% of small businesses don’t have a mobile-friendly site.
That last statistic is startling and should motivate you to optimize your website for mobile and tablet to jump ahead of the competition. This is another benefit, though perhaps unintended, of Google’s new algorithm update; that it relatively equalizes the playing field in terms of business competition—at least on the web.
The internet is the greatest form of democracy ever conceived, in the truest definition of the word. Sure, giant corporations like Google, Facebook and Yahoo dominate the web sphere, but it also means that your company can tune in to the global exchange of conversations, ideas and products, and in turn contribute.
Another way you can use this paradigm shift to your benefit is by strategizing with your marketing department on how to effectively implement your new website’s mobile-friendly design. For instance, you can design and distribute mobile apps that could feed more traffic into your website. In fact, your entire mobile website could even be an app itself. Think of Instagram, which became a global phenomenon despite being an exclusively-mobile app website (to use it).
That exemplifies where web technology and, in turn, society as a whole, is headed. It’s the same reason why Google decided to be more mobile-centric. After all, the Ford Model T and lightbulb of our generation is the smartphone. It is a part of our life, whether we like it or not. And it is why your business should embrace this palm-sized revolution.
So if you’re still using an old HTML desktop layout, you should seriously consider optimizing it to be more mobile-friendly, and then use it effectively to its full potential—from launching apps, or creating an official company Instagram page, to simply giving your customers a more user-friendly experience.