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Mobile compatibility will soon affect your search engine rankings

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Late last month Google made an announcement that mobile-friendly sites will soon start ranking higher than their non-mobile competitors (all other things being equal). As a website reseller, this update presents an excellent opportunity to provide immediate value to your clients by letting them know about the upcoming changes and the improvements they may need to make to maintain optimal search engine positioning.

Here are a few talking points to go over with your clients:

This change only affects mobile searches.

Obviously a desktop visitor will not need to see the mobile site, so it becomes a less important factor for ranking any searches from a regular desktop web browser. Note: it’s suspected that desktop results already get a small boost from increased mobile compatibility, but an un-optimized site will not fall in desktop search results the same way it will from mobile results when the switch is flipped on April 21.

This doesn’t mean your site will disappear from search results.

Thought it may drop in mobile search rankings, it will still be available somewhere in the results. This change is simply meant to present mobile searchers with the most relevant results, and a site with better mobile compatibility is deemed to have more relevance than a site that makes no effort to optimize the mobile browsing experience.

You may not need to do anything.

Although having a mobile site is generally considered a best practice, the decision to optimize for mobile is unique to each organization and will be based on many factors. Before investing in converting a site, it may be prudent to at least take a quick look through a site’s analytics data and see what percentage of users are coming from mobile devices (and especially the total percentage of mobile visitors who arrived via search engines). Though we generally expect that this number will only get larger, there are certain sites and even entire industries where mobile visitors make up a very small portion of visitors. In that case, money may be better spent elsewhere.

Upgrading your site has a multitude of benefits.

The purpose of most websites is to disseminate information, generate leads, or make sales. It should be our number one priority to make these goals as easy as possible no matter what device a visitor is using. Though it will soon be true that increasing mobile compatibility will help boost your search rankings, it’s probably more important that it also makes the browsing experience more enjoyable for visitors who would’ve found you anyway.

Check your compatibility today

Fortunately you don’t have to wait to see if your sites will fall in mobile search rankings. Google has a convenient tool that will give you a quick look at where your mobile compatibility stands. If you hook the site up to Webmaster Tools, you can also use the Mobile Usability utility to see a full list of issues.

Did you find an issue you don’t know how to fix? Get in touch, I’d be happy to help out.

About Denny

I'm a developer who specializes in working with agencies, freelancers, and website owners to take their LightCMS-based sites to the next level. Get in touch if you'd like to learn how I can help with your next LightCMS project.