Since 21 April 2015 Google began the roll-out of their “mobile-friendly” update whereby it will be “boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results”
This means for any business if your site doesn’t pass the google mobile-friendly test then it may go down in the search result rankings for searches made on mobile devices (it won’t affect rankings on other devices).
For tourism businesses this may therefore significantly reduce your total website traffic because travellers are more likely to be using mobile devices while they travel to research their next destination and to book accommodation, activities, rental cars, flights and so on.
If you ever monitor your website traffic then you probably have noticed a significant growth in the number of visits made from mobile devices in recent years. It’s therefore a no-brainer that your website needs to be mobile-friendly, and if it’s not currently then you need to do something about it.
What does “mobile-friendly” actually mean?
The google test will look for the following key aspects to ascertain whether it passes the test:
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
- Uses text that is readable without zooming
- Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
How do you make a website mobile-friendly?
- First of you all need to establish what aspects of your site aren’t meeting the criteria using the mobile-friendly test above, it may be just one of the things on the list or all of them
- Then you need to get in touch with the website person that set up and manages your site for you to find out what it will take to make it mobile-friendly
- Best case scenario with a site that doesn’t pass the test is that it is a simple fix e.g the site is set up with a CMS like wordpress that just requires a plugin or updated theme to fix the issues
- Worst case scenario is that the site needs to be rebuilt – get quotes and ask for different options on how to do it
Regardless of how much work is needed you should get it done – don’t panic your site won’t drop out of google completely but do make a plan to have it updated soon. If your site is old enough that it doesn’t meet the test then it’s probably time to modernise it anyway. Don’t forget your website is now a vital marketing tool that needs regular attention.