Why Small Businesses Need to Be Mobile Friendly Now

St. Louis BizTalk editors found this article from Silive.com to be very informative on the importance of being mobile-friendly and how to get your website updated today.

St Louis Biz Talk Is Mobile Friendly

Google will now be ranking websites based on how mobile-friendly a website is. This means companies with an “unfriendly mobile website” will suffer as far as their local SEO rankings are concerned.

But consumers who search on their smartphones that view sites with a good mobile experience, those websites will be ranked significantly higher.

Savvy business owners understand how important it is to be listed in local business directories like Yelp and Google’s My Business. But for now enjoy this informative article that we enjoyed reading and feel you will too. (Article begins now…)

By Shane DiMaio | dimaio@siadvance.com
on April 11, 2015 at 10:00 AM, updated April 11, 2015 at 10:03 AM

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Small business owners who don’t have a mobile-friendly website may want to consider getting one.

On April 21, Google will be unveiling a new algorithm for browsing its search-engine with a mobile device (cellphone, tablet, etc.). The revised formula will promote websites that are deemed “mobile-friendly,” in terms of mobile viewing and interaction, while equally concealing non-mobile-friendly sites.

“When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results,” said Google in a recent blog post. “As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns.”

The worldwide update is considered to have a “significant impact” on mobile users’ search results, according to Google.

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WHAT ACTUALLY CHANGES

After the update kicks in (which could take up to a week after April 21), general searches on Google from mobile devices will no longer yield the most popular, organic results; instead, the most popular, mobile-friendly websites will appear, in ranked order.

For example: If a consumer wants to purchase a new pair of shades and searches for “sunglasses” on Google from his or her mobile device, the websites Zappos.com, 6pm.com, and Ray-ban.com are listed in the #2, #3 and #4 results spots, respectively.

After April 21, that hierarchy may very-well be shaken up.

Why? At the time this article was written, 6pm.com was not listed as a “mobile-friendly” webpage. Therefore, when “sunglasses” are searched on Google from a cellphone or tablet after the mobile-algorithm is enacted, 6pm.com will more-than-likely not show up as a front-page top result — as long as the company chooses to forgo updating its webpage.

BUSINESS OWNERS CONCERNED

Local businesses — whom have yet to update their desktop-style web-pages — fear that this change to mobile searches may hurt future sales.

“Is it upsetting? Is it annoying? Yeah,” said Justine Campitiello, who heads up operations at the newly opened third location of Alfonso’s Pastry Shoppe in Richmond Valley. “[People] are going to be searching on their phones and may not find us.”

Ms. Campitiello said she believes that while her newly opened bakery on Page Avenue can still compete through word-of-mouth business promotion, fixing her online webpage is a priority nonetheless.

“It’s concerning because it’s a new store,” expressed Ms. Campitiello. “I didn’t hear anything about this … I’ll definitely be reaching out to my [website advisers] to see what can be done.”

Jon Goldstein, owner and broker of Hometime Estates, LLC., in Westerleigh, believes it is “imperative” to have a mobile-friendly website — especially in the business of real estate in a local market.

“I get calls from people all the time on the weekends who are looking us up on their cell phone while they’re driving around looking at properties,” said Goldstein.

Goldstein’s website is currently non-mobile-friendly, but according to him, it won’t be for much longer.

“I’m extremely concerned and I’m going to make sure I address this problem right away,” he said.

WHY ‘MOBILE-FRIENDLY’ MATTERS

In 2015, the number of mobile users worldwide surpasses desktop users by approximately 200-million people, according to ComScore.com — essentially making a mobile-friendly website a necessity for business owners around the globe.

An independent study released by Google in 2014 focused on local businesses and the search activity of potential customers while on-the-go:

  • 72 percent of consumers who searched for local information on their smartphone visited a store within 5 miles.
  • 50 percent of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day.

“Having a great mobile site is no longer just about making a few more sales,” stated Google. “It’s become a critical component of building strong brands, nurturing lasting customer relationships, and making mobile work for you.”

FIXING THE PROBLEM

In order to avoid a setback in online revenue streams, business owners can take preventative and/or corrective measures to assure their sites do not leave their current place of prominence during Google mobile searches.

Tom Carnesecchi, local director of search engine marketing and optimization, as well as social media optimization, at SILive.com, said he believes Google is focusing on promoting mobile-friendly sites due to the company’s focus on the user-experience.

“Google wants the user search experience to be the best,” Carnesecchi explained. “If a mobile-user is out and on a mobile-friendly site, the intent and interest to do something is much higher.”

He added that the majority of the websites on Staten Island are not mobile-friendly.

A website can be tested for its current mobile compatibility by copying and pasting the web address into the Google mobile-friendly analyzer.

If found “not mobile-friendly,” certain tactics can performed which may help to pass Google’s test: Increasing text-size, decreasing page width and spacing out in-page links will improve a site’s chances of getting recognized as “mobile-friendly.”

For those businesses that don’t make the switch to a mobile-friendly site until after the new Google algorithm goes into effect, Carnesecchi said the good news is that once the change to mobile-friendly takes place, Google will pick it up immediately. (End of Article.)

***FREE SOLUTION:

There is a free way to make your mobile website friendly. Any company, business or blog writer that hosts their website on a WordPress.org platform can download a free mobile website plugin and once uploaded will make their website mobile-friendly.

A solution that is free and easy.

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