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Google’s Move to Mobile-First Rankings Affects 2017 SEO Strategy

Mobile-friendliness is now part of Google’s complex SEO algorithm

It’s a mobile-first world now – whether you actually use your own phone for web searches or not – and your B2B website needs to adjust to today’s reality if you hope for SEO success in 2017.

When the Internet was new, there were only desktop computers, and so all the search engines viewed and ranked websites based on how they looked and operated on a desktop computer.

But now, with most Google searches being performed on mobile devices, Google has decided to begin viewing websites from a mobile perspective, meaning all searches, even those performed on desktop computers, will return results that prioritize sites built in responsive design. 

It’s the next logical step after the search engine began giving ranking priority to mobile-friendly sites in its mobile search engine in April 2015. Mobile-friendliness is now part of Google’s complex SEO algorithm used to determine how the search engine ranks similar web pages targeting the same keywords.

Your own next step is equally logical: if your corporate website isn’t mobile-friendly, find a reputable web design and SEO company to have your site built in a responsive design. “Responsive” in this sense means that all the elements of your website, ie navigation, page layout, images, text, etc. will re-size  based on the size of the device being used to view it.

If you don’t know for sure, how can you tell if your site is mobile-friendly or built in responsive design? Google has provided a handy-dandy online tool that will assess your site and let you know if it re-sizes properly for mobile devices.

Once you get to the online tool, you simply need to type in your full website address (including the http:// part) in the field at the top of the page:


 


If your site is easy to view on cell phones and other mobile devices, you’ll get this response:


 


If it’s not easy to view on mobile devices, you’ll get this response:



It’s that second message that should be a concern and should be all the motivation you need to get your site rebuilt in a responsive design as part of your 2017 SEO strategy to improve your search rankings.

Even if you already have a mobile-friendly website, it would be good to go through the site on a mobile device to make sure that all of the most important content that appears when you view the site on a desktop also appears when you view the site on a mobile device.

Any content visible in the desktop view – even if it currently ranks well on the search engines – isn’t useful if it doesn’t also appear in the mobile view.

This is a complete reversal of how companies have traditionally approached their websites. Instead of a site’s desktop appearance and performance being paramount, the most important questions going forward will be:

  • How does the site look and perform on mobile devices?
  • Does the mobile view present all of the information a site visitor needs to understand my products and services?
  • Do all of the title, tags and behind-the-scenes coding that help my website perform well in a desktop view also appear in the mobile view?

Google says that if a website doesn’t have a separate mobile version, it will use the desktop view as the basis for how it ranks the site. That’s what makes having your site built in responsive design so important. You don’t want all your prior SEO efforts to be compromised by a B2B site that’s no longer playing by Google’s rules.  

With mobile-friendly websites getting a rankings boost and getting the first view from Google, it’s just a matter of time till desktop-only sites are relegated to second-class status.

If you need help ensuring your B2B website maintains its SEO rankings in 2017 with an updated responsive design, contact us via our web form or by phone at 1-877-799-9994, ext. 2102.