Google’s always tinkering with its search engine algorithms, but some changes pack more of a punch than others. Last April, Google released an update that did more to bring site design into 2015 than any motivation to upgrade possibly could. Now, if you’re not mobile-friendly, your rankings are lower than your more responsive competitors. And that translates to a big loss in traffic – up to 5% of organic visitors.
Not only does Google penalize a poorly-responding site, but new visitors are far less likely to put up with a difficult to use interface. If they’re visiting on a phone or tablet and struggle to find the information they’re looking for, they’re going to restart their search and avoid your practice in the future.
Instead of worrying about how additional updates could make this traffic loss even worse, take action. With device traffic continuing to outpace desktop, there’s no reason to cling to an old design or a separate mobile site (which can also harm your rankings if it’s not set up perfectly).
Google offers a quick, simple tool that immediately tells you how it’s seeing your site pages. But that’s not super in-depth – although you can check and see if different pages are more or less responsive than one other by inputting a variety of URLs into the checker.
Even more simply, you can just click and drag the edge of your browser when visiting your site – as you make it smaller, a responsive design will adjust the element size and placement to fit with the new window size.
Depending on your CMS, you may be able to find fast, low-effort ways to improve responsiveness. Plugins, themes, and other modules need to be updated (especially on WordPress) to adhere to current design guidelines.
While some pages might look great on your cell phone, others buck responsive prompts. This might have to do with the type, size, or alignment of images, videos, and other elements you’re using within site pages. Take the time to consider what types of content are displayed on your site, and which pages might be behaving strangely. If you have your site set up in Google Webmaster Tools, you can also check their guide to which pages show errors during crawls.
Not sure how to approach a less-than-responsive design? We can help. Request a free website evaluation to learn more about getting to that happy, responsive place!