Sounds terrifying right? In actuality, it’s been far from it – at least for now.
I won’t dive into much detail about it because it’s pretty straightforward. Basically, Google is rewarding websites that are mobile optimized and look consistent across all platforms and devices.
The update all comes down to quality control.
Google doesn’t want to penalize sites that aren’t mobile-friendly. What it actually cares about is providing its 3.5 billion daily Googlers with the best user experience possible, so searchers keep using it.
To be Responsive or to not be Responsive… That is the Question.
Should you make a responsive website or not? That’s the million-dollar question right now.
There’s no definitive answer, but here are a few factors that may help you decide.
First, try this tool out: Google Mobile Test. If it’s as bad as this…
Then you might need to look at your options.
Next, dive into the Analytics of course.
You can find this data or information in more than one way. Here’s the first. Jump onto the “Channels” section of Google Analytics:
All Traffic >
Next up go to the segment that’s labeled “All Sessions.” Click it, and remove or untick the all sessions’ box. Scroll down, and you should see “Mobile Traffic.” Simply tick it, and click apply.
Once you’re looking at the data you can assess which channels send you the most mobile traffic. If organic search is right up there then I’d advise you keep digging.
Analyze the bounce rate, exit rate, entrances and all of the other metrics to see if there is a strong argument for a mobile site.
Here’s another way to check it out. Jump into Analytics again and go to:
Here you can see the mobile traffic as a whole, with no additional channels or further data.
It shows you how much mobile traffic your website is actually receiving.
If you do the same path again, but this time visit “Devices,” you’ll see which devices perform well.
This is incredibly useful for businesses who might be debating if they need an iPhone or Android app.
I’d begin with these tools because it provides you with fantastic insights into the channels mobile searchers are using, how many of them there are and what devices they’re searching on.
Your site(s) is also tracking events, conversions and ecommerce clicks, which allows you to attribute a monetary value to it as well. Pretty handy when you’re debating whether to go responsive or not.
The Burning Question
Clients and site owners have been asking me the following two questions repeatedly.
- If I’m not mobile friendly will I lose any traffic?
- If I’m not mobile friendly will it affect my desktop rankings?
According to Google at the recent SMX Munich Zineb event, no and no.
In fact, there’s a fantastic article on Moz which covers nine valuable points that might answer some of your lingering questions. You can find it here. It’s worth a read.
So to answer your question on whether you should update your website so it’s responsive, my answer is: I honestly don’t know. I would need to analyze some of the data first.
If you choose to ignore the warning signs then you’re probably not going to do so well. But if you’re making an effort to serve the best experience on your desktop site right through to your mobile site you have no reason to worry.
The first point on Google’s Ten Things We Know to be True states: “Focus on the user and all else will follow.”