We’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. April 21st will bring about some major changes in the way Google serves up websites on mobile devices. For a recap, head over to this earlier post. The long and short of it is that with this update, Google will reward websites that use design practices that render sites correctly for mobile screens, and penalize those that do not. From the Google Webmaster Blog:

“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.”

As a small business owner, you’re probably wondering “well, what do I do now? I’m not ready for this update.” Fear not, for you still have options. One of the first things you should do is head over to Google’s Mobile-Friendliness Tool to see if your website is up to date. If your website doesn’t pass the test, Google will provide you with some steps to take in order to bring your website up to speed. Just remember that the Mobile-Friendliness tool is binary — there is no “your site is 75% optimized for mobile.” Either it is or it isn’t. This may change in the future, but for now, the initial rollout of this algorithm change is very cut-and-dry.

In addition to the Mobile-Friendliness Tool, Google has also provided a guide to common mobile-website mistakes, as well as a guide to mobile-friendly sites.

You’ve run your website through Google’s tools, and you’ve determined that your website needs some changes implemented. What do you do now? Search Engine Journal has published a comprehensive guide that breaks down what you need to do, how it will affect your business, and roughly how much it will cost. If you don’t feel comfortable tackling this on your own, contact us! We’re ready to help you navigate this new algorithm change, and we’d love to help!

GTECH Designs is a Baltimore-based web marketing firm that is committed to helping impact-makers spend more time doing good. For more information, contact us at 410-775-4100, email us at [email protected], or get in touch with us via  Facebook or Twitter

About The Author

Bola Olonisakin

Bola Olonisakin

Bola is the founder and principal at GTECH Designs, a digital creative agency that helps small and mid-sized businesses launch, grow and succeed. Her research and work in web design, social media and strategic communication have been published in numerous books and articles, and she’s regularly seen on stage at events around the country. She’s responsible for teaching GTECH clients how to blend strategic goal-setting with great design to create effective online marketing strategies. You can reach her at [email protected]