Smartphones are the bane of technology naysayers across the globe, taking the blame for our shorter attention spans, lack of personal interaction, and over-reliance on spell check. One thing that cannot be denied, however, is the effect they have had on human behavior, especially when it comes to marketing. Smartphones are everywhere, being used almost constantly, and companies are expected to keep up. Starting April 21st, Google’s search algorithm will take into account whether a website is mobile-friendly or not, affecting that site’s rankings in search results.
But why should a company even have a mobile website in the first place? Having a mobile-friendly website expands the company’s reach, increasing the number of potential customers who will be able to view the website on any device. In fact, sales increased for 62% of companies who developed their websites for mobile platforms and for 64% of companies who developed the websites for tablets.
There are many simple changes a company can make to optimize their website for mobile use. The easiest way is to build a responsive website. Responsive websites adapt so they can be viewed optimally on any device, and do not require additional, unique URLs to work with each type of device. Responsive sites are easy to maintain and tend to perform better than mobile-only sites.
Simplifying navigation and streamlining the checkout process are two quick fixes to help a website during its transition to mobile optimization. Reducing the amount of unnecessary links cluttering up the home page will help mobile users find the products they are looking for, and a seamless scrolling checkout will allow them to make their purchases without waiting forever for pages to load.
Google’s new search algorithm is not being implemented to punish companies that have yet to optimize their websites for mobile use. Rather, Google is attempting to create a better browsing experience for consumers by giving them relevant links that will be easy to navigate, no matter which device they are using. By keeping the mobile shopping process simple, you will retain existing customers and attract more.