Last year I tweeted that an “Earthquake in mobile #SEO is underway!”
Here’s what Google announced last year on February 26, 2015 that started the tremors.
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
May not sound much like an explosive statement or the beginning of an earthquake but it is if you consider a couple facts.
186.3 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (76.6 percent mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in February , up 5 percent since November. - comScore
For Google, mobile comprised almost half of all traffic from June to November, with 52 percent coming from desktops and 48 percent from mobile. However, in November, mobile traffic surpassed the quantity of visits from desktop, marking the turning point on the way to mobile dominance for Google. - Clickz
We are fast approaching 80% of the US population owning a smartphone and more than half of all searches taking place on a mobile device.
Now that google is using mobile friendly as a signal to order the search results, if you have a website that is not mobile responsive your website may be ranked lower in search. This means less people will find your website through search and you will receive less traffic to your website.
This may be excellent news if your website is mobile responsive but if it isn’t, well, I would strongly advise you to look into updating it.
So how do you know if your website is mobile friendly? The easiest thing to do is use this tool from google. Just enter your website address in the form field and click “Analyze.”
What is mobile friendly or mobile responsive?
Here’s how I defined it on twitter @braddeforest
A responsive website queries the width of the device to determine how much space is available to display the website.
Here's how Linda Wu Pagano, Client Success Manager at Backoffice Thinking defined it in her blog post.
Responsive design is the layout of a website so it adapts automatically to the screen size of any device from desktops and laptops to tablets and smartphones.
To put a finer point on this in plain english, your website most likely is not mobile responsive if you have to pinch, pan, and zoom to view, read or navigate your website on a mobile device.
Here’s an example of a mobile responsive website from our own portfolio of work. Check it out on your smartphone.
If SEO was not enough here are 5 additional reasons to go mobile responsive with your nonprofit website.
- Mobile usage and search is skyrocketing! More than 50% of search traffic is from people on their mobile device. Heck, just look at your own use.
- First impressions are everything. The mobile visit is usually your future supporters' first touch or impression of your organization.
- Immediate access to your organization. There are hardly any barriers to learning about your organization via a mobile device's browser. Everyone knows how to use it and is often the first place people go to find or learn about something.
- It's a multi-screen world. People today are very likely to start a connection with your organization on their smartphone then jump to their laptop later in the day or on the weekend to dive deeper if you made a great first impression. A continuity of interface facilitates this screen transition.
- Social screen sharing. Many people will share their smartphone screen or video with their friends and family while out at parties, gatherings, or events. "Hey did you see this...?" A mobile responsive website makes this easy.
As Jay Baer said in his daily video podcast on April 21st "The age of mobile really starts today." Even though "mobilegedon" sounds more like the beginning of the end. It's actually the official start of a new age in digital. It's the beginning of the beginning. In other words it is not too late for your nonprofit to get onboard and "mobilize" your digital marketing and reach. Making your website mobile responsive is a perfect place to begin.
Contact us if you have any questions about whether your organization's website is mobile friendly.