Google just announced that on April 21st they will be making an update to their algorithm to include “mobile friendliness” as a significant ranking factor. This means that if your local business website does not have a mobile version or is not mobile responsive, your ranking on Google may drop significantly after April 21st for people who are doing mobile searches.
Why is Google doing this?
As more and more people browse with their mobile devices, Google wants to serve up mobile friendly websites to those people. Google feels that if they return a website that is not mobile friendly as a search result on a smartphone then that is a poor user experience. Therefore, they’re making an upgrade to their algorithm that will predominantly show mobile friendly websites to searchers that are searching through their mobile device.
What does this mean for me?
If you’re a local business without a mobile website, you need to move quickly to get one. Preferably before April 21st. You can get one after the April 21st deadline but your ranking will suffer until you do. You might as well act now.
People use their smartphones for everything these days, especially search. If you want to be on the 1st page of Google when they’re searching with their mobile device, Google is more or less making it a requirement to have a mobile friendly website.
How do I check if my local business website is mobile?
To check, just do a search for your website on your mobile phone. If it’s mobile friendly it will show the “mobile friendly” snippet in your search results next to your website:
If your website shows this snippet, you’re good to go.
If your website does not show this snippet, you’ll need a mobile website if you want to retain your mobile traffic & rankings on Google after April 21st.
How do I take my local business website mobile?
There are a few ways to go about getting a mobile website.
If your website is built on WordPress, you’re in luck because mobile websites are relatively straight forward.
You can buy a plugin (we highly recommend WPTouch for $60) that will automatically make your website mobile-friendly and install it yourself if you’re a DIY person.
If you’re not a DIY person but do have a WordPress website, you can have someone else install it for you and pay them to do it. You’ll still have to pay the $60 for WPTouch and then pay that person for their time to install it.
You can also find a company that specializes in WPTouch installation and pay them. Chances are you won’t have to pay the $60 WPTouch costs and you’ll get a professional installation to boot. Of course, you’ll have to pay for the professional installation but it would probably save you time and money to get it done right the first time. The University actually provides such a mobile upgrade service.
If you built your website yourself on a different platform besides WordPress, just Google mobile options for that platform. For example, if you used Wix, Google “make my wix website mobile-friendly”.
That should give you some pretty good tips and ideas on what to do.
Oh, and once you figure it out, come back to this blog post and share what you decided to do 🙂
A Website Company Built My Website
If you had a website company build your website and it’s not on WordPress, you might be up a creek unless you’re willing to shell out a good amount of money.
If you still have contact with the website company that built your website for you, you should ask them how much it will cost to take it mobile. Hopefully they have something very cost effective for you, since it’s their website and they’re familiar with how it’s built. Plus, you’ve done business together before so there’s that in your corner as well. Get a quote from them and it wouldn’t kill you to shop that quote around either.
If you don’t have a way to contact your website company anymore, you’ll probably need to get in contact with a few different website companies in your area and get some quotes. If the quotes you get back seem to border on outrageous to you, it might be time to just get a new website (WordPress recommended). I know some mobile/responsive website prices being floated around out there are 1k+ and for just a little bit more, you could actually just get a brand new, beautiful WordPress website and not have to worry about the mobile update or any other updates ever again because of how cutting edge WordPress is. The internet isn’t getting any easier on websites and WordPress constantly stays up to date and is on 1 out of every 5 websites on the internet, with some pretty high profile companies using the platform. Plus, most WordPress websites are mobile-friendly out of the box.
If you decide to just get a new site, you need to be prepared to shell out anywhere from 2-3k for a quality WordPress website. We actually recommend a company called Heath Creative if you’re serious about having someone build you a new website.
If you just want a new website but price is an obstacle, you can actually build your own WordPress website pretty easily for less than $70 initially. In fact, the Weekly Coaching Calls has 4 videos on how to do just that, that anyone with any level of tech knowledge (or no tech knowledge) can follow along with.And that about covers all of your options.
Your next step is to act.
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it needs to be by April 21st. That’s pretty much the bottom line.
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below. We always reply back to our comments! Also, share this article around so your local business friends don’t get caught behind Google’s mobile update.