Google’s algorithm has once again changed, and it has a direct affect on your business. This time around it is all about responsive websites. The importance of having a responsive site cannot be understated: Google will punish non-responsive sites by pushing down their search result rankings.
In addition, navigation issues are driving potential customers towards those that are following Google’s rules. Understanding what is happening if you do not have a responsive site will help your business make the changes necessary to maintain your organic rankings and win over new clients.
Why You Need a Responsive Site
In April 2015, Google changed its search algorithm, or the process in which Google ranks sites to favor those websites, landing pages, and blogs which were designed to be viewed with a mobile device. The change had massive repercussions: Search Engine Land, predicts that 40% to 50% of search traffic could be affected.
Why did Google change its algorithm? Because half of all searches are now performed on mobile devices. Google will now reward sites that conform to these trends. Failure to create a responsive website can have a negative impact on your online presence. For example, if your site receives 40% of views via mobile devices, having an unresponsive site risks losing that 40% forever.
Improving the Experience
It’s not just Google. If customers do manage to find you, not having a responsive website may drive them away or take your business less seriously. Responsive designs are an adjustment of the coding and layout of your original site, allowing it to adapt to the screen size and navigation of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This makes navigation easier while enhancing the quality of your images and logos. In addition, a responsive design can help you conquer the 97% mobile shopping cart abandonment plaguing online businesses.
Brad Frost sums it up nicely when he says that sites shouldn’t transition to a responsive design just to be trendy or high-tech. Rather, a responsive site should improve the user experience. Responsive websites acknowledge that searching and viewing is not just done in one static place anymore. It requires websites to have built in flexibility, especially when moving across or interacting with pages. If you are unsure if your mobile website offers that experience, there are many resources available to test and create responsive websites.
Google Loves the Competition
According to Moz, 67.6% of all searches result in users clicking one of the first five links on the first page of results. Sites with lower rankings, even on the first page, see a steep drop off : even #6-10 on page 1 have just a 3.73% chance of being clicked on.
Google could be sending potential clients to your competition’s responsive sites without you even knowing it. For example, e-shopping via a mobile device now accounts for 40% of all purchases; yet 97% of mobile shopping carts are abandoned.
Web Performance Today explains that this is largely because mobile sites are not designed with mobile shopping in mind, and therefore, nearly 50% of users will go to a competitor’s site if it has a better user experience. Not only are your competitor’s sites getting more traffic than yours thanks to Google’s new algorithm; they are also acquiring more business than you.
Fighting Back with Responsive Websites
If you want to your website to stay on top of the game, it is essential to understand the importance of having a responsive site. Google’s algorithm changes mean that businesses lacking a responsive, mobile-adapting site will be penalized. This can result in downgrading your site on search results or driving potential customers to your competition. That’s why it is vital that your website be optimized for all mobile devices.