If your business doesn’t have a mobile site, now is the time to take action. Google seldom announces their intentions in advance, but just recently they came out with an announcement:
On April 21 they will begin ranking websites based on whether the sites are mobile-friendly. This is in addition to the dozens of other factors they use in their rankings.
Here are answers to some questions you may have. If you have other questions feel free to use our contact form. We answer all emails.
What does mobile ready mean? What is “responsive”?
Mobile-ready and “responsive” mean essentially the same thing. A mobile-friendly website is called responsive because it responds to the device on which it’s being viewed. When you access a website on a tiny screen the site adapts to that screen; not by making all the text and pictures teensy but by intelligently re-formatting the content to be readable and attractive. Responsive sites adapt to all the other computer sizes too: tablets, minis, netbooks, etc.
How do I know whether my site is responsive?
Visit this website and type in your website address (URL). Be sure to use your exact address with the dot com or net at the end.
Who needs a mobile site?
If you own a business that’s involved with tourism, entertainment or leisure, there’s no doubt you should go mobile as soon as possible. Restaurant menus can be posted very clearly on your mobile site – in fact many people know what they’re ordering before they even arrive. Attractions are viewed by customers looking for tickets, pricing and schedules. . . often on their way to your location. (Hopefully the driver is not the one looking at the website.) Golf courses? Definitely.
But really every business should have a responsive site. Think real estate, construction, festivals and events, services like towing, equipment rental, excavating, car washes. Lodging: hotels, motels, cabins, resorts. Organizations: chambers of commerce, non-profits, churches.
I recently attended a breakfast sponsored by a local business where the main speaker was the lieutenant governor. The first thing she did when she took the podium was ask us to take out our phones and look up a certain website. I immediately noticed two things: there were very few people in the crowd who didn’t have smart phones and the site she directed us to was beautifully easy to read. It was a responsive government site with all pertinent information front and center.
I like my website. Can I keep the design?
Most website designs adapt well to mobile. But keep in mind that we need to change all the underlying code so the responsiveness can work its magic. Our designers know the importance of branding, so they’ll be sure to keep the look and feel of your current site if you want.
So, will the sky fall if I don’t get a responsive site by April 21?
Nope. But if you want to remain competitive you need to be available to your customers where they are spending time. Having a mobile site can only help — especially if you’ve been unhappy with how your site performs in searches. The sooner you make a move the better.
More questions? Here’s my mobile number. Barb: 262.492.3150