By Alex Gladu, Independent We Stand
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: It’s no longer enough to be a small business with a website. In the increasingly interconnected and wireless world, a small business needs a website with mobile compatibility. Fortunately, a new tool from Google could make mobile traffic more attainable.
According to Search Engine Journal, 60 percent of Americans use a mobile device to search for local products and services. No matter what type of device people are using to search, they’re getting mobile-friendly results. In searches related to e-commerce, the first result is a mobile-friendly website 83 percent of the time.
In other words, mobile traffic is booming, particularly when it comes to searches relevant to small businesses. Having a mobile-friendly website can help drive that traffic to your business, rather than to the local big-box store that almost definitely has a competitive, mobile-friendly site. Google recently ensured that mobile websites would perform better in search results by factoring mobile-friendliness into its complex and ever-changing algorithm. Now, the web giant has thrown a bone to the businesses and website owners who have struggled to keep up with the mobile revolution.
In May, Google launched Mobile-Friendly Test, an easy-to-use tool that quickly determines if a website adapts well to mobile devices. To use the tool, a small business simply has to enter its website URL and click “analyze.” In a matter of seconds, Google will report back with a determination of the site’s mobile-friendliness, including a screenshot of how the website appears on mobile to Google’s robots. Google’s analysis and the screenshot can help small businesses identify any problems that could be keeping their site from checking the mobile-friendly box and populating high in search results.
Google has previously indicated its criteria for ranking sites by mobile-friendliness. The algorithm favors sites that resize content automatically on mobile devices and use text that is readable on a smaller screen without zooming. Additionally, Google looks for sites that place links far enough apart so that the correct one can easily be tapped. Meanwhile, sites with non-mobile software components, such as Flash, may have a hard time placing near the top of Google search results.
Mobile-Friendly Test helps website owners and managers visualize and understand the problems, if any, that Google finds with a particular site. Consider it a peek into Google’s coveted algorithm and a must-use tool for anyone trying to drive local searches to a website. To get started, try Mobile-Friendly Test for yourself here.
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