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User experience (UX) and search engine optimization (SEO) can give your company website an advantage over your competitors. Often, these items have been considered two independent areas, with care taken to ensure one doesn’t negatively impact the other. However, beginning April 21, 2015, UX and SEO are officially married at the hip.
Search engine giant Google’s primary goal is to ensure users are getting search results they can use — which will now include particular emphasis on the fact that more and more users are performing searches using mobile devices. Google announced on their Webmaster Central Blog that, “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.” The bottom line is that pages optimized for the mobile user experience will have one more plus in their favor, and will be listed higher in search engine results pages.
One challenge business owners may face is determining whether their website is considered “mobile-friendly” by Google. The truth is, just physically testing in a mobile device isn’t good enough — even if the site looks good on your smartphone, this doesn’t definitively mean that Google sees your website in the same way. Fortunately, the company has provided a testing tool that you can use to verify pages within your website.
Enter the URL of the page you want to test and click the “analyze” button. If the page passes Google’s test, you’ll be shown a message confirming that the page is indeed mobile-friendly, and you’ll even see a screen capture of how your page is being interpreted (as seen above).
What, exactly, is Google looking for in a mobile website? Fortunately, they aren’t being secretive about that, either. A guide to mobile-friendly websites is available in the Developers area of Google’s website, and includes everything from technical details to mistakes to avoid and much more.
Google is used to perform, on average, over 70% of all web searches each month. When the company says that changes will have a “significant impact” on page rank, it’s a clear message to all businesses that neglecting the mobile user experience is no longer an option.
Do you need help upgrading your website for mobile phones and tablets? Call Prime Design Solutions today at (814) 248-3140.
Do you know if your website is mobile-friendly? If you’re unsure, check by entering your URL into Google’s testing tool. If you get a green confirmation message after performing the test as shown above, you’re in good shape — if not, it’s high time to consider a website upgrade. Exactly how much time and effort this will entail will vary considerably, depending on how your website is set up. A competent web developer will be able to let you know.By Brian Law. Read about Brian on our Meet Our Staff page.