Preparing your business website for Google’s mobile-friendly update.

Source: Creative Commons
Source: Creative Commons

Google GoMoMeter just rated the StartUp InfoPAD as 90/100 on User Experience, which isn’t that bad although the goal was, and still is, to make the site 100% user-friendly. There were recent changes made to facilitate the website’s easy access and usability on smartphones. I had to re-design it severally until my immediate need of making the website more “Mobile-friendly” was met. “Mobile-friendliness” is a term that has been around for quite a while. It recently just received a boost when Google announced that website rankings, on a mobile device search result, will be based on how mobile-friendly it is. Which means – “if a user searches for your business via smartphones or tablets, it should appear among the top search results if it is deemed mobile-friendly by Google.”

With mobile commerce transactions on the rise, as up to 2billion people are expected to make some form of transactions on their smartphones or tablets by 2017, optimizing your website now to become more mobile-friendly is your perfect opportunity to get ahead of others fast, especially some of the top websites, as 40% of them could be affected by this new Google update, according to Jefferson Graham on USA Today. Henry Kim on entrepreneur.com stated that, a retailer not on mobile can loose up to 50% of potential sales. Thats huge!

While it is important to optimize your website now for mobile friendliness, focusing on building a highly responsive and adaptable website is key to survive in this rapidly changing technology landscape. Enabling your website to be user-friendly on all devices is far more effective and by incorporating flexibility and adaptability into a website design, one can achieve this result. With the opportunities the IoT is creating, we don’t want to neglect other things such as fridges, mirrors, doors etc. that will be making their way to the internet soon.

As stated by Janine Warner on entrepreneur.com, “responsive sites are the best bet for most small businesses”. Responsive website design uses CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) technology to create a single form of a website that auto-adjusts and displays perfectly, depending on the devices you are using to access it. It is an affordable solution when compared to Adaptive designs which are usually used by big corporations. Adaptive design solutions generates a page according to a device capability.  As stated by Ryan Boudreaux on Techrepublic, “Using a predefined set of layout sizes based on device screen size along with CSS and JavaScript, the AWD (Adaptive Website Design) approach adapts to the detected device.” It is the high end of website design and as a result, costly to set up.

Finally, don’t forget it is all about the customer interface. Create great contents and make your site more interactive. Make your site simple and easy to use with appropriate guidelines for users to navigate easily to their destinations. Enrich it with video contents, games, maps and anything that can encourage a re-visit and make them stay longer, a strategy Warner calls “future-proofing your site”. These tips and more (click here to read 4 tips for passing the Google’s mobile friendly test) will prepare your website for today’s users and future opportunities.

I would love to hear your thoughts on Google’s new update and it’s impact on businesses, both large and small. Please do remember to share your comments, regarding this post or others on this blog, in the section below.

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