Review Your Website Design Now - Or Be Penalized by Google

Review Your Website Design Now - Or Be Penalized by Google

April 21, 2015

Is your website mobile-friendly? If not, you might find your website has gone down in Google’s search rankings… You might need to contact ClickseeDesign TODAY!

Many companies and organizations rely on their websites to attract customers for their products and services. Whether it is a simple website that directs people to a bricks and mortar establishment, or a sophisticated ecommerce site that takes customers’ payments online, the overriding commonsense philosophy executives take to their websites is simple:

“If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”
Although this approach has generally paid dividends, changes at Google that occurred on April 21, 2015 mean that unless you have done a systematic review of your website design since that date, your website may indeed be broken, and might need fixing.

So what is this all about? Why do we need to review our website design?
On April 21, 2015 Google updated its search algorithm. That in itself is nothing special – Google regularly updates its algorithm and makes minor tweaks on almost a monthly basis. Traditionally though, such updates were very well-kept secrets and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts invested considerable time and effort in trying to predict when the next update would take place and what it would involve. What occurred on April 21, 2015 was so important that it broke the Google’s mold – not only was the date the changes would occur publicized weeks in advance, exactly what those changes would be were also publicized beforehand.

So what were the changes and why are they so important?
Google's April 21, 2015 algorithm updates represented not just a tweak, but a complete paradigm shift. Known as “Mobilegeddon”, this change was spurred by the reality of how people use the Internet in modern times.

Prior to 2014, the bulk of people accessing websites on the Internet used Personal Computers, or PCs. PCs have big screens, powerful processors, and in general, it is possible to access any Internet website, regardless of how it is designed. As a result, the bulk of websites utilized ‘static’ designs, meaning people visiting the site saw the site exactly what the designer intended. But in 2014, something changed…

In 2014, for the first time, the number of people accessing websites from mobile-devices (mobile phones, phablets, tablets, etc.) was greater than those using PCs. Mobile-devices by their very nature have limited size screens and limited processing power. As a result, they are not ideally suited to viewing the large, ‘static’ websites.

Static websites don’t look good through mobile devices, they operate slowly, and with links, etc. designed for use with a mouse, they are difficult to navigate. To overcome these issues, website designers came up with websites that had ‘responsive’ or ‘mobile-friendly’ designs.

What is a ‘responsive’ or ‘mobile-friendly’ design?
Simply put websites with responsive/mobile-friendly designs look good and operate well on mobile devices. Here is an example of what a responsive website looks like through a PC screen:

Review Your Website Design Now


This is what the same website looks like using a mobile device:
As you can see, the information has been rearranged for the smaller screen area and links have been reorganized to make them more accessible using a mobile device. In addition, screens are lighter and can load more easily into a mobile device.

Why is this so important to Google?
“Mobilegeddon” is all about user experience. Google aims to provide the ‘best’ websites to meet a user’s search query. Of course, that means sites that they contain the information a Google user is looking for. But if Google users access static websites using mobile phones, they might not be able to read the information they are looking for because it isn’t clearly laid out. In addition, static website pages might load too slowly to be effective using a mobile device, and although a user might eventually find what he or she is looking for, it might not have been a pleasant experience getting there. 
With more people accessing websites using mobile devices, this could potentially mean that the majority of people are not happy with the experience they receive using Google. As a response, Google now recognizes whether websites are mobile-friendly and manages them differently.


So how does this impact my bottom line?
If you have not looked at your user statistics recently, Google’s April 21, 2015 change might already have impacted your bottom line. This paradigm-shifting update means that the Internet is now split into 2 camps: websites with responsive, mobile-friendly designs, and those without. Those that aren't responsive and mobile-friendly are penalized, and this might mean that whereas your website was once on the front-page of Google, it is now listed far below page one (page 100, etc.), where the majority of users never bother to look.

Obviously, for a business, this means fewer people finding your website and fewer finding out about your products and services… And that means fewer customers and reduced revenue.

So what do I do?
First, you should establish if your current website design has a mobile-friendly design or not.  Fortunately, Google has made this an easy thing to do. Further underscoring the importance Google is placing on mobile friendliness, the corporation has set up a tool you can use to get immediate feedback - the Mobile-Friendly Test. Add your website's URL and you will get a message:

"Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly" is what you are aiming for. 
"Not mobile-friendly" is what you are trying to avoid.

The tool will also generate a report that will establish what issues your website is facing.

Mobile-friendly Test

This page is mobile-friendly

Not mobile-friendly

I took the test… My website isn’t mobile-friendly or responsive… What’s next?

Fortunately, you have come to the right place…

From the simplest one page design, to extensive database driven ecommerce websites with all the bells and whistles, ClickseeDesign’s team of website developers offer the expertise and experience needed to address your organization’s needs.

We can offer a wide range of cost-effective mobile-friendly/responsive website designs from the ground up. Our expertise also lies in reviewing your current website and creating cost-effective redesigns that meet the paradigm-shift that ‘Mobilegeddon’ represents.

Call us now on (66) 02 651-5577 for an immediate quotation, or contact us today.