We’re a little under a week away from the April 21st mobile search deadline and we know that you’re thinking, “This is the end!” And if this was Penguin/Panda, we’d be right there with you, screaming that the sky was falling and everything (non-mobile) was coming to an end. However, It’s not.
Yes, if your website isn’t mobile, then its search engine rankings will take a hit. But as long as you launch something new soon (that’s done right) you should be okay. The algorithm change is going to be on a real-time, per-page basis. This means that Google will pick up your changes almost as quickly as you make them.
I bring up the importance of doing it right because of this: like most users, Google cares about quality. Do you want a site that meets the bare minimum for being a “mobile” website, or do you want something that can deliver a solid user experience? Quality content, lightweight load times and a sensible navigation are going to be the long-term deciding factors on a mobile website’s search rankings.
Don’t be surprised if we see a lot of these sites that slapped together a mobile UI in time for April 21st get hit down the road due to the fact that the site wasn’t developed in a way that is agile and can perform well over time.
So, if you know your website isn’t going to be able to make this deadline, use this as an opportunity to go ahead and scrutinize your work. If you were in the process of building a separate mobile site, assess the possibility of being able to go back and make your existing desktop site responsive.
We recommend a responsive website because the google search bots will only have to crawl one site and your content will be easier to manage since you don’t have to keep up with two separate sites. It’s a best practice that is really important for the success of your website, especially because it will help you get the cleanest and highest performing code.
Now that you have a responsive site: test, test and then test some more. Every phone, every tablet and every screen size are going to interpret your website differently. Make sure you’re testing on a wide array of devices and screen sizes to ensure that your site can perform in any environment.
Of course, this is a ton of work, and that’s why NetSource is the team to help you reach this goal. Bring us your site in need of a redesign and we’ll take a mobile-first approach to making sure that your site is not just the best it can be, but that it performs better than your competition.
If your website isn’t ready for the big change next week, give us a call. We’ll help you work through areas for improvement on your site, and make sure you’re put in a position to best match your competitors.