A couple months back, we touched on the topic of “Mobilegeddon:” one of the biggest and most important things to happen to the world of “SEO” in quite some time. In case you missed that one here’s a quick refresher on what you need to know. After reminding you about the basics of “mobilegeddon” we’ll dive a bit deeper into why you should care as a small business owner, and what you should do to make sure that you aren’t affected by the mobile-optimized website apocalypse.
Starting at the beginning, you need to have a grasp of what “SEO” is to understand what “mobilegeddon” changed. SEO stands for “search engine optimized,” and you can think of it as a rating metric for your website. The better your SEO rank, the better your site will do in search engine results. Which means that when someone types into Google or another search engine terms related to your restaurant, your website will be one of the first things that pops up. SEO is super important for small businesses because it relates directly to how easy it is for your business to get discovered. The better you do on search engine results, or the better your SEO rank, the more likely it will be for potential customers to land on your website, which means they will be more likely to eventually walk through your door.
To illustrate just how important SEO can be too small business owners, just think about some search terms related to your restaurant that potential customers might put into Google. If you run a Deli in Newport Beach, California, you should be pretty interested in seeing what comes up when someone types “Newport Beach delis” into Google. And if your SEO ranking is high, your restaurant will come up high in those Google search results, and that potential customer searching online may turn into a paying customer walking through your door.
So what does all of this have to do with the dreaded “mobilegeddon?” A few months ago, Google made some very major changes to the way it ranks sites. Sites that are “mobile friendly” now score higher in Google search results, meaning that if your site isn’t mobile friendly it will automatically score lower for any search terms related to your website. Even if everything else about your site is perfect and professional, not having a mobile friendly site will hold you back in search engine results in the post “mobilegeddon” world.
So what exactly constitutes “mobile friendly” anyhow, and how does Google know if your site is “friendly” to mobile internet users? Mobile friendly, or “mobile optimized,” is a label for sites that display well on mobile phones and other mobile internet accessing devices. Typically, websites will look different on phone and other smaller screens, simply because of issues with resolution and the fact that a phone screen is so much smaller than a computer screen. But a mobile friendly site won’t look bad on a small screen, and often will change entirely or look different to offer a “mobile friendly” presentation option for the site. So “mobile friendly” sites are really just those that look good and work well on mobile devices, and Google can tell which sites these are because they are written differently from a computer coding perspective.
If you don’t feel comfortable looking under the hood of your restaurant’s site, don’t worry: there’s a much more simple and straightforward means of determining if your site is “mobile friendly” or not. To determine if your restaurant’s site is mobile optimized, simply look at it on a variety of different screens. Look at your restaurant’s site on a cellphone screen, and on an iPad or another tablet if you can. Does your text get really small or unreadable, or does it shift to a different size to look good on your mobile screen? Are images and other things out of place, or did your site change their positioning to work on mobile devices? If your site looks like an exact, super small and zoomed out version of its desktop self, it probably isn’t mobile friendly or optimized. Even if you aren’t an expert, you can see pretty easily what an “unfriendly” site looks like on a mobile screen.
Again, this is important because it has a big effect on how many customers walk through your door. The most powerful way for you to get new diners in the digital age is for them to discover you on the internet, and if your site isn’t mobile friendly, it will be harder for customers to find you online. Unfortunately, there isn’t a switch you can flick to make your site mobile friendly overnight. You will need to talk to a web design expert about optimizing your site for mobile use. So call your website people today, and make sure that “mobilegeddon” isn’t affecting you.