The increased use of smartphones around the world has put the Internet and everything that comes with it within the palm of our hand.
Calgary, AB -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/06/2015 -- In April of 2015, Google began implementation of its "mobile-friendly" search algorithm update, and soon thereafter revealed its mobile phone search volume now exceeds desktop/tablet search volume in the U.S., Japan and eight other countries. These incredibly important data points demonstrate how mobile Internet usage is changing the rules of the game for company websites. Responsive Web design is a set of techniques used to make a website adjust for optimum display on any size screen. For small businesses, responsive design is a must. Without it, small businesses will lose ground in SEO and paid search campaigns, and perhaps even worse, alienate the growing ranks of mobile users who visit — and quickly exit — the company website.
Affects only search rankings on mobile devices
Affects search results in all languages globally
Applies to individual pages, not entire websites
While the mobile-friendly change is important, we still use a variety of signals to rank search results. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal -- so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query.
To check if the site is mobile-friendly, we can examine individual pages with the Mobile-Friendly Test or check the status of the entire site through the Mobile Usability report in Webmaster Tools. If the site's pages aren't mobile-friendly, there may be a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search. But have no fear, once the site becomes mobile-friendly, we will automatically re-process (i.e., crawl and index) the pages. We can also expedite the process by using Fetch as Google with Submit to Index, and then the pages can be treated as mobile-friendly in ranking.
Here is how a small business can shift to a responsive design efficiently and without enormous expense:
The key to shifting from a desktop-only website to a responsive website is simplification. Start by simplifying navigation. If the current top line navigation has 10 or 12 links (this is typical; the number of links tends to grow over the years), get it down to four or five. Simple and straightforward links appeal to mobile users; something like: Products, About, Testimonials, Contact. In a responsive design, this top line navigation will be sticky; i.e., it will be fixed at the top of the page, always in view no matter how much vertical scrolling the user does.
Simplify content. Most company websites say too much. Eliminate unnecessary content: remember, if we have a lead generation website, the content isn't supposed to sell the product, only get users interested enough to call or submit a form. Use frequent, descriptive subheads to facilitate scanning, and keep paragraphs exceedingly short.
Prioritize page content. In responsive design, page content is organized into discrete chunks and then "stacked" for mobile scrolling. We must decide the order in which content elements — introductory text, images, calls to action, informational text, credibility elements, etc. — appears. This can be laborious, but it's a terrific exercise, since it forces we to really think about how to present the company, products and services for maximum user impact.
Test and get user feedback. A convenient aspect of responsive design is that the new website can be built "live" online, so the staff and customers can try it out before it goes live. This is an opportunity we should embrace. Users testing the site on their mobile phones can tell we very quickly whether the site is easy to use, confusing or somewhere in between. Since responsive design is new, content and design assumptions may not be correct; testing allows us to launch a credible responsive website rather than one that is seriously flawed, despite the good intentions.
A solid responsive website will help keep the organic search engine visibility strong, and possibly give we an advantage over competitors that have yet to adapt, in terms of SEO and lead/sales conversion.
A final tip: When we look for an agency or freelancer to do the build, make sure to select one with experience and a demonstrable track record of success with responsive design. The techniques and processes used for responsive design have several fundamental differences from desktop-only design. Responsive design is an emerging field, but fortunately one with plenty of skilled participants.
About Red Cherry
We are a digital marketing and software agency that stands out from all other agencies. Our team of talented and creative individuals work closely with us to deliver rich and engaging solutions that drive qualified traffic to our website and convert that traffic into sales. Red Cherry has offices in both Kelowna, BC and Calgary, AB. We work closely with them to develop a comprehensive digital marketing campaign for Facebook, Google, Twitter, Re marketing (largest ad network), Pay Per Click, SEO, and more. Providing website design in Calgary for over 10 years.
We are also a full scale software development firm specializing in web development and apps development.
Let's chat 888-401-6668 or visit http://www.redcherryinc.ca/