Changes in SEO: Google Requires Websites Be “Mobile-Friendly”Google is now making the lives of mobile users easier. Chances are you’ve done an online search from your smartphone and landed on websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. It makes it difficult to find quick information when you’re zooming in and scrolling left to right.

Google has heard the cries of mobile users and is responding by rolling out new changes this month.

Upcoming Changes

Google recently announced they’re making another big change starting April 21st which will have a significant impact on mobile search results. On this date, websites worldwide will be required to be mobile-friendly to rank higher in mobile searches.

This widespread move by Google isn’t a surprise (they hinted at this back in November).

It makes sense when you see statistics on millennials where 50% use their smartphones to research products or services while shopping and 41% purchased products while using their smartphone. Online searches via cell phones topped desktop searches in recent years and will continue to rise.

The good news is mobile searches and shopping will become much easier for all of us. The bad news is some of us might have extra work to do to keep up.

Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?

Google has taken out the guessing by providing a handy Mobile-Friendly Test to check if your website is mobile ready. Simply enter your URL and Google will scan for errors.

If your site passes the test, congratulations, you have nothing to worry about! If your site doesn’t pass, Google will let you know what errors need to be fixed. Don’t be surprised if you receive an error listed on their common mistakes list.

What If Your Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly?

If your website comes up with errors, your ranking on mobile searches will be affected starting April 21st. It will be important to address these issues as soon as possible. Current Mobile-friendly websites may experience an increase in mobile rankings after April 21st while those that are not ready will notice a decline.

If your website is built on a template, make sure your template is updated with the most current version. Updates may have been made to your template to fix mobile issues.

Or, if your website is built or managed by a developer, contact your developer for more information on how to get your website ready. Google has provided tools to help including a Guide to Mobile-Friendly Websites.

Just as the Penguin and Panda updates made us improve how we do business, this change will bring improvements to support the growing mobile community. Google is leading the way and giving us a good reason to keep up with the increasing amounts of mobile users.

The April 21st deadline will be here soon. Is your website ready?