Awakened this morning by my alarm clock set to a French radio station, as it’s programmed to do every morning, I usually take a couple of minutes before I start my day.
As I’m lying in my bed, on the radio they talked about Google: how they changed its algorithm (on the 21st of April 2015) once again (DADADA DAAA BOOM).
Now it’s time for me to get out of bed.
Inside of me I started to giggle: why?
Because, it was broadcast as if it’s the NEW LAW of the town.
It reminded me of the movie Judge Dredd. In the movie, Dredd is an American law enforcement officer in a futuristic city. He is a « street judge », empowered to summarize arrest, convict, sentence, and execute criminals. He goes around in the film saying: « I am the Law. You’ve been JUDGED ».
I laughed and bursted out : “OK GOOGLE LAW; you’re now going to be JUDGED “.
What was broadcast was NOT something new that nobody had known about for years now. Other web professionals and I have been saying why people’s and business websites should be Responsive (i.e., mobile-friendly).
So, what’s the NEW GOOGLE LAW (you might be saying)?
Since November 18, 2014, Google added a “mobile-friendly” label to their mobile search results. If your website meets the GOOGLE LAW (Googlebot) criteria listed here on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog
Last GOOGLE LAW states on their website:
Starting [April 21 2015], 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.
The primary reason why your site needs to be Responsive (i.e., mobile-friendly) is so you can deliver a great user experience to everyone who visits your site.
If a potential client has to repeatedly pinch and zoom in order to read your microscopic text or is unable to tap on a link or button, that visitor is going to leave (bounce from) your site.
That potential client will end up associating his or her poor experience with your brand or business.
Heck, the other day in my bank I overheard a new start-up opening a business account and the person was advising them to have a Responsive website for their e-commerce website.
Whooo hold my horses.
Sorry Sorry; let me slow down, maybe you don’t know what this shiny little word Responsive (i.e., mobile-friendly) means.
You’re probably saying to yourself “What the HECK is Responsive?”.
It’s industry-speak (jargon) for one website for every screen size (Small + Medium + Large).
Behind a website you will find matrix code (HTML, CSS and some media queries etc..) to make it adapt to every screen size (i.e., wherever people can access the internet).
The next time you hear someone say Responsive (i.e., mobile-friendly) just think of the Matrix* like the code you saw in the movie.
(Note*: whenever anyone talks to you about your website in industry-speak (jargon) just think of the Matrix, this will hurt your brain less.)
So, what does it look like?
Who is doing it?
Everyone. Check this out:
The Boston Globe
Target Corporate website
Even the president of the United States,
…and plenty more
So let’s be frank, why aren’t people doing it ?
It’s all about Time & Money.
It takes time to re-design for mobiles, to reorganize your content, create marketing strategies on small screen to largest. Lastly, testing out the matrix code on different screen sizes.
A couple of my clients whose brands I’ve built, designed and developed their website, didn’t want a Responsive (i.e., mobile-friendly) website. Why? They felt their target customers were not using the cell phone and they wanted to save money.
Boy oh boy did I put a lot of time into two different marketing strategies, content for both of these websites, not counting building the matrix code by myself. The key problem here for me was TIME.
I can understand my clients and like them, I still have one more website to work on and that’s www.formations-ardephwerk.fr, my training and continuous education website, in France. It’s about finding the TIME for me to work on the marketing strategies, creating GA GA GOOOOD content and modifying the matrix code.
Here is the thing, don’t wait until google says:
I am the LAW.
- Avoid software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
- Use text that is readable without zooming
- Size content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Place links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
And if you don’t! I’ll hit you over your head with a broom stick then penalize your website.
You can go wee wee wee all the way home to your mama until you get your act together.
YOU’VE BEEN JUDGED
Your website is apart of your brand and business, it grows with your brand and business.
Remember it’s like a house. If you forget to repair or ignore it, things just start breaking down.
Therefore, create your plan action on your terms, but don’t put it off nor wait too long, as in next year.
Still not convinced? (I might have thought that)
How can you understand? When you don’t know the impact.
If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. The key thing here is not to control it but to adapt it and then you can improve it. Like everything else on earth it adapts to its environment” -Rachael Hampton
Cue the numbers!
Mobile Usage by the Numbers
64% of Americans now own a smartphone, up from 58% in early 2014 (source)
80% of internet users own a smartphone (source)
53% of emails are opened on mobile devices (source)
Mobile platforms account for more than 60% of time spent consuming digital media (source)
Here are some tools that GOOGLE LAW have put in place for you:
- If you want to test a few pages, you can use the Mobile-Friendly Test.
- If you have a site, you can use your Webmaster Tools* account to get a full list of mobile usability issues across your site using the Mobile Usability Report.
*Please note you might need someone like ME (a web professional) to parameter your webmaster tools account.
Remember your website is the house and store
front of your brand and business.
If you walked by a shabby store or house, would you go in?
Your website works 24/7 for you.
Don’t ignore it, forget maintenance updates, updating the content, waiting for Google LAW to judge your website or pass the advice that you have already received as LAW.
Your website is an extended virtual vision of you, your brand and your business.
Eennie Meenie Miney Moe
Catch a tiger by the toe
If he hollers let him go
Eennie Meenie Miney Moe
TAG your turn!
In the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.
So, please share:
Have you already changed your website to a Responsive ( (i.e., mobile-friendly) layout?
How did you feel afterwards, and what changes happened in your business?
If you are a web professional (i.e, web designer, developer, like me) Have you adopted the mobile first concept, and what headaches did you go through?
I love learning about new techniques and experiences. Please share yours!
If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook.
Next week I will blog about (drum rolls please…) what personal branding and self development have in common.
Thank you for reading and adding your perspective to the conversation!
See ya in the comments down below .
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“Commenting is a great way for the two of us to get to know each other, to spread ideas, a fantastic way of putting yourself out there, and a brilliant way of being found by others online. “
Allez! Do it!