For a couple of years now, we’ve been strongly encouraging companies to transition from desktop-only web design to responsive design, so as to make their websites as mobile-friendly as possible. Mobile friendliness has been growing in importance for SEO, mainly because mobile Internet users now exceed desktop users and Google wants to satisfy the growing majority of its mobile search engine users.
On November 4, 2016, the importance of mobile-friendly web design grew significantly, when Google announced its first implementation of mobile-first indexing. For all of the details about what this means and how to respond to keep your SEO strong, read the announcement from the Google Webmaster Central Blog here. In the meantime, here is a summary of the highlights.
- Google’s goal, as stated in the blog post: “(We) will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.”
- Companies with a responsive website or a dynamic serving website with consistent mobile-desktop content and markup are good to go.
- For now, companies with desktop-only websites will continue to have their pages ranked as is.
- For now, Google recommends sticking with a desktop-only site if it is strong, rather than replace it with a hastily assembled mobile/responsive website.
The Future Is Here, And It Is Mobile
Of course, there are plenty of reasons beyond SEO why mobile-friendly design is important.
- Turning off mobile users with a desktop-only website is throwing away sales leads — possibly the majority of potential leads depending on the desktop-mobile mix of your company’s traffic.
- Mobile design makes it easier for customers to interact with your business on mobile devices, increasing inquiries, appointment setting and add-on sales, along with improving customer retention and engagement.
- A good mobile website, in and of itself, adds credibility to your business by enhancing your image as a technically sophisticated, forward-thinking organization.
Are You Really Ready for 2017?
Google recognizes the value of mobile web design — and the fact that this value is certain to grow — and will thus continue to reward mobile-friendly content with greater and greater organic visibility.
This is definitely not the time to rest on one’s laurels with website design or SEO strategy. If you’d like a fresh look at your current situation for either or both, please contact us: We specialize in lead generation SEO and responsive website designs, with solid programs for middle-market and large organizations.