Google is updating their search-ranking algorithm “expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.”
Basically, if your site is not optimized and responsive to mobile devices as of April 21st, it will not rank as well when someone is searching on their mobile devices for your products or services. Google has assured everyone that this will not impact rankings for desktop, laptop or PC searches, only searches performed on mobile devices.
As time moves on, more and more web traffic and searches are being performed on mobile devices. Many business owners will notice that 30-50% of their traffic comes from mobile devices. Do keep in mind that a mobile device is a smartphone or tablet, and may also consist of smart watches, smart TVs and gaming consoles.
Will this mobile update affect your business? You can answer this question by checking Google analytics for the number of viewers that find your website via mobile methods. You should be regularly checking your website traffic, but if not, this would be a good time to log in and check. An overview can be found in the left hand menu of Google analytics, under Audience -> Mobile -> Overview. This will show you the number of user sessions from a desktop device, mobile device and tablet. Add together the percentage of mobile users and tablet users to determine how much traffic you risk loosing by not considering a mobile friendly update to your website.
What is a mobile responsive website? A mobile responsive website has been developed with a theme that automatically shrinks and resizes itself to best fit with the screen it is being displayed on. This is a very specific concept that would have taken extra time and probably money to design and develop when your website was being built. But if your site is more than 2-3 years old there is a possibility it was not designed this way, as a mobile responsive site is a newer way to design and develop.
How do you make a website mobile friendly? There are many ways to determine how to make your website mobile friendly. The best solution is to reach out to your developer and have them run some tests on your site to determine what needs to happen to make it mobile friendly. Depending on the CMS behind your website, there may be ways to adjust your site without too much trouble, especially if you have a relatively simple site without merchandise or a shopping cart. Ultimately, having your website designed and developed with a true mobile responsive theme is going to be the best option moving forward. But if that is not an option there are other possible solutions that can be done to help keep your site moving forward with the time and the new Google updates.