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Google change puts emphasis on being mobile-friendly

By now you’ve probably heard the buzz. Google updated its ranking algorithm to favor mobile friendly sites on April 21, which makes sense considering there are 1.5 billion mobile Internet users and 60 percent of Google search queries come from mobile devices.

Because of the change, mobile search engine results pages will be impacted by a website’s mobile-friendliness. So, if your business has been holding out on implementing a mobile marketing strategy, now is a good time to make it a priority.

Here’s what you need to know to get started:

Test your site’s mobile friendliness: Thankfully, Google understands the bomb it just dropped on businesses with unresponsive sites and provided them with the ability to determine whether or not their site is up to par with its Mobile-Friendly Test (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/). To take the test, open the page, enter a URL and click “analyze.” The results that follow will give you a hint to your next plan of action with regards to taking advantage of these changes.

Bring your site up to par: So, you’ve tested your site’s mobile friendliness and everything is good. Besides taking a quick look at the suggested adjustments Google recommends, you’re probably ready to move on and bask in the glory of your mobile Web dominance. If your site failed the test, however, it’s time to get to work. You can start by reviewing the specific issues that led Google to deem your site mobile-unfriendly.

Understand that the issues that Google reports may not be the only factors influencing your website’s mobile usability. Google’s official recommendation for solving these issues is to make your site design fully responsive. Talk to your developer or designer about doing this; he should be able to tell you whether your site uses this protocol or if you need a redesign.

Things to consider when designing your site with responsiveness in mind: Once you’ve decided to take your site to the next level, start with the smallest screen. It will keep your design team focused on simplicity and bringing the most important information to the beginning of the user experience.

Not every device will interpret your website perfectly, but you can prepare for that. Ask yourself what is the most important thing to tell users when they come to your site via mobile device. Once you figure out what that is, ask yourself what action you need them to take to properly patronize your product or service. As long as these two things exist along with some simplified navigation elements, your site will serve you well as a mobile conversion tool.

Adam Porsborg has been a strategic communicator for 10 years and is founder of Unser Communications in Las Vegas. Connect with him on Twitter:@AdamPorsborg.

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