Is Your Manufacturing Website Mobile Friendly? Google Says It Better Be

Inbound Marketing for ManufacturingIf your manufacturing website isn’t friendly to mobile users, you run the risk of not being found.

But don’t take our word for it. Ask Google.

Earlier this year, Google announced that it would start giving more emphasis to a website’s mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.

“When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps,” Google said on its Webmaster Central blog in February.

In April, it made this change official.

Now we’re in August. Have you made the switch?

Why Going Mobile-Friendly Is Important

If you haven’t begun to optimize your website for mobile use, consider these factors:

  • There are more than a billion smartphone users in the world, a number that’s expected to grow by 42 percent every year. In the U.S. alone, 165 million people own and use a smartphone.
  • Most business-to-business websites haven’t made the switch to a mobile-optimized site.
  • Mobile-friendly websites have a good conversion rate for smartphone visitors: 60 percent of them will become a customer or lead if the website they visit is mobile-friendly. For websites that aren’t mobile-friendly, that figure drops to 24 percent.
  • Every day, 61 percent of smartphone owners use their device to search the web.

And mobile device use will continue growing. The past few years have seen smartphones give way to tablets, tablets to smart watches. As you read this, someone’s working on a mobile device so even if your business isn’t seeing a lot of search traffic from mobile devices now, it will in the future.

This isn’t just about making sure your website gets found. Having a mobile-friendly site is just good customer service. Think about people who buy from you and want to access your site from the road. Think about the people on your sales staff who want to show potential customers your latest products using a tablet or smartphone.

Here are a few hallmarks of the landing page on a mobile-friendly site:

  • A strong call-to-action.
  • Easy navigation, and limited distractions.
  • Uses content that is accessible on a mobile device.
  • Designed to be touch friendly, with big buttons.
  • Most mobile searches are local, so a mobile-friendly site will display your business’ address or phone number on the landing page. 

If you’re not sure whether your site fits the bill, Google has created a test.

If you’ve just plugged in your URL and passed the test, congratulations.

But if your website hasn’t passed the test, now is the time to start thinking about two terms: mobile friendly and responsive design.

Mobile-Friendly vs. Responsive Design

The two concepts are linked together, but not interchangeable. Think of it this way: all responsive sites are mobile-friendly, but not all mobile-friendly sites are responsive.

A website that’s responsive will orient itself based on the size of the screen you’re using -- desktop, tablet, smartphone, etc. -- making for an ideal user experience. It doesn’t matter the format they’re using, as they switch from desktop to tablet, from laptop to smartphone, your site will switch with them.

A mobile-friendly site is designed to display the same way across all devices. It will appear smaller as screens get smaller, but remain functional. However, these sites can be harder to navigate than a responsive site.

While both options will work for mobile users, responsive sites are considered more aesthetically pleasing and easier to use.

And Google recommends using responsive design for a number of reasons:

  • Responsive sites make it easier to share and link your content with a single URL.
  • Responsive design need less engineering time to maintain multiple pages for the same content.
  • With responsive design, Googlebot only needs to crawl your site one time, rather than multiple times to retrieve the various versions of your content.
  • Responsive sites help Google’s algorithms assign precise indexing properties to a page rather than having to signal the existence of matching desktop/mobile pages.

At IQnection, we can help your website make the transition from the big screen to the small screen, so that you can offer rich, engaging content no matter how people are getting to your site. You’ll make Google happy, but more importantly, you’ll make your potential customers happy.

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