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Do you have a mobile-friendly website?

If not, you might be in trouble. Google’s “mobile-first” update could see mobile websites appear earlier in the search results.

Google is rolling out a new algorithm update that could see mobile-friendly website appearing higher in Google’s search results than desktop-only websites.

The update will rank webpages based on the quality of their mobile content, so if your mobile content isn’t up to scratch, your ranking in the search results could get hit, along with your website traffic, website enquiries and website conversions as a result.

You might think, “Most people visiting my website aren’t using mobiles.” 

The bad news is the change is going to update the search results for both mobile and desktop users.

What does mean for your business? Basically, having a quality mobile version of a website will be more important than ever. The good news is that the new index isn’t likely to come into effect until early- to mid-2018, so you have time to make sure your site is up to scratch.

Here’s what you should consider when evaluating your website:

1. Your website should be mobile responsive (mobile friendly) : If you don’t already have a mobile responsive website, get one now! A responsive website contains design elements that adapt to different screen sizes – from the widest desktop down to the smallest mobile and every size in between. That’s how you know if your website is mobile friendly? Check your website on your smart phone or tablet. If it looks, works and is readable on a smart device you could be safe. 

2. Optimise your website’s speed : Website loading speed has always been important for SEO. Now it’s even more important with Google’s mobile-first update. Try using Google’s free mobile site speed tool to see how your webpage is performing. 

3. Create content for mobile devices : Make the written content on your website easy to read by using short sentences and and easily digestible paragraphs. The layout of your website should also be clean and minimal wherever possible, with good use of white (blank) space. 

4. Say NO to pop-ups : Google is planning to penalise websites with intrusive mobile pop-ups. If you have a pop-up on your website (an offer sign-up box, for example), consider integrating this into the body of the page instead.

5. Test, Test and Test : To some this may seem obvious, but one of the most important things you can do to ensure your website is ready for Google’s mobile-first index is to test extensively on mobile devices. Keep an eye out for site speed, ease of navigation, and general layout and usability on mobile devices. Use tools like Screenfly to test your website at different screen resolutions – which you should do any time you make changes.

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