Optimisation: How Google ranks mobile-friendly sites

Even small businesses that operate their own websites will have been incapable of ignoring the news that Google now takes mobile optimisation into account when ranking sites with its search algorithms.


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This is a step taken in response to the rocketing number of smartphone and tablet users who browse almost exclusively from their portable devices rather than using desktop or laptop computers.

In short, if a site is not capable of being displayed properly on a mobile device, it is unlikely to appear on the first page of Google’s SERPs for its target keywords. And this is a big deal for businesses that rely on traffic from search engines to make sales.

Companies offering web design in Hemel Hempstead like http://www.24-7website.co.uk/web-design-hemel-hempstead/ can help advise small businesses on the steps they need to take to make peace with Google’s algorithms. But how deep do the change go and are there flaws with the search firm’s fresh approach to ranking?

Disruptive dissonance

One issue that has been identified in the aftermath of the algorithm update is that many sites have only undergone a superficial degree of mobile optimisation; dig any deeper than the home page and you will find that supplementary pages are not optimised for touchscreen devices in the slightest.

Small businesses can get the upper hand here, because even companies like Apple and Barclays have been shown to be lacking in the depth of their optimisation attempts.

This means that web design efforts to embrace mobile audiences cannot stop at the homepage alone, but must stretch to every part of a site to avoid other pages getting ranking penalties and losing out on Google’s mobile-friendly tag.

Take the reins

Mobile optimisation is not something businesses should consider just to appease the automated systems deployed by Google to assess a site’s worthiness; it is also a great way of ensuring that people who visit casually are more likely to be converted into paying customers.

It has got to the point that there is an expectation among internet users that when visiting a site, it will have the ability to scale its interface, media elements and copy to fit the display of the device they are using. And by catering to this desire a company can increase sales and carry out an exercise that will ensure any marketing exercises designed to drive traffic to the site are not in vain.

Responsive web design is an excellent aid in this respect, since deploying it allows an entire site to stand up to scrutiny no matter the browser or gadget that a visitor happens to own. Companies may not be able to adopt it on their own, but third party agencies are able to help make a site more mobile friendly and competitive so that it does not slip down the search rankings or disappoint visitors.

Treading water online is fine for some, but businesses that take a proactive approach to web design are more likely to succeed.