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Beware of the Vultures: Is Your Site Mobile-Friendly?

Being a marketer can sometimes be frustrating. As an example, frustrations increase dramatically with every reported Google algorithm change – Like the change happening April 21. Certainly these algorithm changes can improve search, but they also release the search vultures. Those predators who create a feeding frenzy in an effort to scare businesses into buying their services. We have received a plethora of messages promising that without website improvements, our company will experience the end of the world as we know it.

Google-Vultures-PWB

Before you buy into the hype though, let’s understand a few things. Most websites built within the last few years are mobile friendly. To a certain level. The trouble is, mobile has changed dramatically within the last few years. Responsive design and even how devices are used when searching has changed. So let’s take a step back and look objectively at the coming change.

The Google mobile algorithm change promises this – that mobile-friendly websites will appear in search results.

“Starting April 21, Google will be expanding the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

What does that mean exactly? It means this, how your website appears on a variety of mobile devices (iPhones, Android devices, tablets, etc.) may affect how your website is found to those searching for your products or services when they use something other than a laptop or desktop computer. That means that those sites that incorporate responsive design are likely to appear higher in mobile search engine results. In other words, this algorithm change might only affect a portion of those searching your website using mobile devices. To get a better idea of how your website will be affected, run a website analytics report; A very small portion of your website traffic may be affected.

Any time these changes are announced though, I get client calls and emails. To say that anyone can make promises though is foolish. One can ever truly know how a website will be affected due to Google algorithms being proprietary. For this next Google Algorithm change though, I suggest clients use the Google tools to run a mobile-friendly test.

If your site is not as mobile-friendly as it should be, then perhaps it is time to consider updates to change that. Web sites once had a shelf life of several years before needing updates, now however the ideal website needs to have constant improvements at some level. If you need help with making your website more mobile-friendly, PWB can help. Please contact us at dialogue@pwb.com or 734-995-5000.

Hot off the Press

Everyone knows that the web is the place to go to find a business. Any client that comes to us knows that to have legitimacy for their business, they’ree going to need a web site that looks professional and stands out in order to get them noticed on the web.

Some clients have a generous budget and want us handle their sites from concept to completion and beyond. Most understand that to deliver value and drive traffic, regular content updates are needed. This used to mean an expensive custom content management system (CMS), adding staff trained in HTML, or hiring us to do all their updates. But there are a growing number of clients with limited budgets and a desire to regularly add content. They’re looking to us to provide a one-shot solution that will give them not only a great looking site, but also the means to manage it on their own after it’s built.

For these clients that need sites they can manage on their own and a modest budget, our recommendation is to build them a WordPress site. You can get a custom looking site if you know what you are doing and you can work miracles if you are seasoned in HTML and CSS. Meanwhile, the client will be able to go in and add, or edit content, pictures, video, and whatever else tickles their fancy by using the rich text editor and never needing to touch any code whatsoever.

As a bonus of being built on a blog platform, you have a web site optimized for search spiders AND viewing on mobile devices. Though we’re early in the process of exploration, we haven’t yet discovered a downside to the WordPress platform for modest sites. Everyone wins – our clients get a functional site for a reasonable investment, and we;’re able to deliver a great web presence at a price point that was previously impossible. Stay tuned for more as we explore this platform!