There is a direct connection between the imminent, soon to be implemented, new Google algorithm update and the importance of having a mobile-friendly website.

Google has announced that from 21 April this year, it will penalise websites in mobile search which are not mobile friendly. The keywords here, forgive the pun, are “mobile” and “search”.

Working with a new website already?

If you have introduced a new website into your business recently the chances are high that your website will be mobile-friendly; this is simply because most web developers have long recognised the importance of delivering a good “user experience” (or UX) for website visitors coming from mobile devices like smart phones and tablets.

However, if a website has been sitting in your marketing budget’s “wish list” for some time, now might be the right time for your business to give that spend a nudge and make that investment. For a while, in mobile search, Google has been indicating in the search results if a website is “mobile friendly” but, from 21 April, Google will visibly reward mobile websites with higher rankings in mobile search.

Next steps?

Look at your Google Analytics to understand how much of your website traffic is arriving via mobile and how that figure may be changing; it’s likely that the volume of your mobile traffic is increasing and this will bring home to you the importance of investing in a mobile website – if you haven’t already done so.

Triggered by greater use of social media and review sites in all areas of hospitality marketing, often accessed by mobile devices, the importance of a mobile-friendly website is probably greater than for other industry sectors; for many, particularly B2B businesses, desk top search continues to securely hold on to the lion’s share of search but not for much longer.

Google’s mobile-friendly website test

Try the Google test which has been made available as part of the online tools for website owners, this clickable “mobile-friendly test” is very quick and easy to use.  Simply enter your domain name, click and wait for the results. “Awesome” is the word you are looking for! Seriously, if your website is sufficiently mobile-friendly the Google test will deliver the word “Awesome”.

Need more information? Here is a helpful article from Econsultancy and another from The Moz Blog both have a strong message of “do not panic”, you may also like to speak to your own web developer and SEO team about these Google changes.

By Carole Luck (Twitter: @caroleluck)

Carole is a digital marketing consultant with over 20 years’ experience working with great hotel brands including Hilton Worldwide, and is a Hotel Marketing Association committee member. Carole offers digital marketing consultancy, including social media training, via her own company www.caroleluckmarketing.co.uk

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