Google Will Punish You if You Don't Have a Responsive Website

Google Will Punish You if You Don't Have a Responsive Website pixelwork

Google Will Punish You if You Don't Have a Responsive Website

If your site is poorly configured for smartphone users or you simply don't have responsive website You may see a drop in your ranking if it doesn't comply with their mobile optimization guidelines.

Let's be realistic. Keeping up with Googs (Google it if you don't know what it means) is a challenge. Even when it comes to taking a stance like they did with their announcement of their preference for responsive design leaving people confused and asking a lot of questions because of some of the contradictory statements they have been making.

Sometimes it feels like even Google is trying to figure this out.

Now, I've dedicated an entire podcast episode to explaining what responsive design is but in the end there are some challenges with applying responsive design and how it affects the performance of your site.

So let's make something clear.

Google makes an announcement that says you should use responsive design. Most websites heavily use responsive design with slow loading times which inherently has negative consequences on SEO and means your rankings will be negatively affected.

To make matters worse there is a loading speed penalty for mobile sites according to Google's Matt Cutts. So, it seems that Google wants us to have a responsive site that loads quickly.

Now, I have to agree with Google that they are trying to put the mobile user first many companies should be doing this, but as far as has been experienced, they will not tolerate slow loading sites.

What does this mean for your business?

In an effort to help all of us navigate these new waters and avoid banging our heads on our desks, Google has shared, its rrecommendations and also some of the Most common mistakes in building mobile sites. After reviewing the most common mistakes, I wanted to highlight some that I think are most likely to affect you, a small business owner.

page speed

pagespeed-mobile-100We know that 74% of consumers will wait 5 seconds to have a web page load on your mobile device before leaving the site. We also know that the 71% of mobile browsers expect webpages to load almost as quickly or faster on desktop than mobile.

With these characteristics of the mobile user in mind and the likelihood that users will be on a 3G/4G network, performance is critical. For Google you must:

  • Make your mobile pages load in less than a second: Common delays are due to external JavaScript and CSS.
  • Make the mobile version faster reducing the number of requests and the amount of data transferred.
  • Optimize by deferring JavaScript loading until needed.
  • Use Google PageSpeed ​​Insights to check your website for page loading issues.

Unplayable Videos

A lot of videos cannot be played on smartphones. Google recommends the use of standard HTML5 tags to include videos and avoid content formats such as Flash that are not compatible with all mobile devices. Offering a transcript is also a very effective solution to be on the safe side.

Bad Redirects

Google shares three common examples of this but the one I see time and time again is when a desktop site server is configured to redirect all smartphone visitors to the mobile web version on the home page. This is obviously fine if the user was trying to get to the home page, but not when trying to access a deeper link within the site.

This even happens with sites that have a mobile equivalent of the desired page, but the redirect was implemented incorrectly. Ideally you want to ensure that there are a mobile equivalent to each URL if you are not using responsive design. Also, if you don't have a mobile equivalent simply let them go to the page they were looking for on the entire site from their mobile device.

Application Download

google-interstitial-adsMany companies try to promote their smartphone app to their mobile visitors by showing them a page inside to lead them to download. I find this very annoying and it's good to know that it is also annoying for Google.

If you want to promote your application to mobile users, use a banner. They came to your mobile website for a reason. Don't slow it down with stupid interstitials.

If you want to read more about the other common mistakes be sure to visit the site Google.


Now what?

I recommend that you make one audit of your website to identify if you are making these common mistakes. Obviously, it doesn't have a mobile website so you should start there.

Now, you also have to remember that having a mobile website is not a mobile strategy.

If you are confused and don't know where to start, our team would be happy to carry out an audit for your business. Our audits offer a comprehensive review of your current business, your competition and we will provide a roadmap of ideas and recommendations on what should be implemented first.

Although some of Google's announcements are contradictory and misleading, I hope that some of these new developments will lead more businesses to become mobile-friendly. It's what consumers want.

Source: Mobile Marketing Engine