Mobile-Friendly: A Search Ranking Signal

Mar 02, 2015 | 2  min
author Pyxl Development

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.  Google began including a mobile-friendly designation to indicate which sites were optimized for mobile devices.  At the time, Google had told us that this “friendly” designation was only going to be used to show a mobile searcher that sites were optimized for his or her device, but they also hinted that this factor might become part of the ranking algorithms in the future. Well, Google announced last week that as of April 21, 2015, “mobile-friendly” will be an official factor in determining your website’s rank in search results.

Though the news has been expected ever since Google started testing out the mobile-friendly tag, the official announcement may have many businesses scrambling to improve their sites. It takes a significant effort to make a site search-friendly, so ensure you follow Google’s recommendations and best practices. Some of the top pieces of advice Google has shared include:

Use Responsive Web Design:

Responsive web design uses the same HTML code for all devices, but uses the CSS to render things differently on different devices. Put simply, the site adjusts itself to optimal viewing regardless of the screen size. This not only reduces the need to maintain multiple URLs for desktop and mobile devices, but also reduces the chances of some of the most common technical errors on mobile devices.

Make Completing Tasks Easy on Your Site:

We’ve all been to those sites that had so much going on we weren’t quite sure where to click to get where we wanted to go. If you can’t figure it out on a 20”+ screen, how do you expect a customer to do it on a 5” screen? Provide easy to follow paths for your visitors to find what they are looking for with relevant calls-to-action in appropriate locations. Users will not spend a great deal of time trying to figure out your site before they move on to a competitor.

Sometimes Size DOES Matter:

There’s nothing more frustrating than clicking the wrong link…especially when you’re on the go and need the information quickly. That’s why sizing and spacing is so important when considering what your site looks like from a mobile device. Ensure that your visitors will be able to see all text without zooming in and that links are spaced out enough so that chubby fingers don’t press multiple links when trying to make a selection.

With the ever-increasing competition for the coveted top spots in organic search results, it has never been more important to optimize for mobile devices. This fact is only amplified now that Google will officially be using mobile-optimization as a ranking signal.

Interested in learning more about the importance of responsive website design? Download our eBook and read our blog post about 10 signs you might need a website redesign. Ready to take the first step? Contact us today.

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Updated: Jun 01, 2021

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