Approximately 18 months ago Google hinted in different ways that it would at some point give preference to “responsive” websites. These hints were pretty obvious to some in the web design industry, but went un-noticed by the majority. As the hints continued to drop, many web design companies and IT professionals warned business owners of the eventual changes. Sadly the warnings were mostly ignored, or not taken seriously. But why?
I’ve noticed that society seems to have (more or less) become one that doesn’t take warnings seriously until the proof of such trouble materializes. In other words most of us typically have little reaction until there is physical evidence of trouble. Sad isn’t it? It’s a huge problem. It’s a problem because lack of attention in this area inevitably results in “Loss of income”, plain and simple.
So what exactly is a responsive website? A responsive website is one that is coded and formatted to fit any screen or mobile device. This includes smart phones, tablets, notepads, etc. A responsive website actually shrinks to fit the screen one uses to access the site. A responsive website will condense information on a website so that it can be easily found and accessed from any device. With un-responsive sites the visitor will normally have to tap the screen twice to enlarge text, or photos. Then the visitor has to scroll over, up, down to find the information they seek. With a responsive website information is easily available, there is less time taken, and (Provided the developer had decent skills when they created the site) people usually find what they’re looking for when they arrive. For this reason Google gives preference to responsive websites. Think of it as a reward for giving Google what they need in order to provide a great experience for those using their search engine.
In reality Google is NOT trying to make your life harder, or force you into doing something unnecessary, or for their benefit. They’re really not. Google is trying to improve search engine user experience! Google wants to make it as easy as possible for your potential customers/ clients / patients to locate your business / practice for all the products and services it provides. Honestly. That is their intent. So why the lack of movement? Do people resent Google? I have VERY few complaints. I know that what they’re doing makes it easier to find the best pizza in a town I am unfamiliar with, or the best, fastest shoe repair place in the middle of nowhere, or an attorney who can see me at a moment’s notice!
One thing we see on our end is that Google is looking for as much information as possible on every business listed online. This includes what people are saying about that business. This is done so that when one searches for particular services or products, he or she has a greater chance of having a favorable experience once they eventually arrive. Pretty cool huh? We think so! And lately Google seems to have come out of their shell in terms of “Willingness to Understand” business owners and now offers help in the way of “Live” contact!
Now in reality everyone benefits from the recent algorithm change. Those who search have an easier time finding what they’re looking for, and businesses with responsive sites are in a sense “rewarded” in the form of better ranking for simply giving Google what they are asking for. Is it fair? Sure it is! After all, it’s all about the experience and efficiency of your search, isn’t it? Today you have a better chance of finding a great Italian Restaurant in an unfamiliar area than you did just three short months ago.
You may not have known a particular business existed if not for these changes. Remember, it’s all about the experience!
In terms of what this means to YOUR business, you must keep in mind that over 65% of those searching for your products and services do so via smart phone. When one is searching for information on their smart phone they want access to the information quickly. If that visitor has to make an effort to scan your home page for what they’re looking for, you’re going to lose them. This in turn also affects what we refer to in the web industry as “Bounce Rate”. So if visitors arrive, and they don’t find what they’re looking for easily and without much effort, or you don’t compel them to take action quickly, they leave. This affects rankings because Google assumes that the person hit your site, didn’t find what they were looking for, and thus assumes you’re basically irrelevant. Based on the key words they searched you didn’t provide them with what they were looking for quickly and easily enough and down you slip in search rankings. Oops! You were warned weren’t you?
Again this comes back to Google’s sincere efforts to create a better search engine experience. And they’re doing it!
On April 21st 2015 Google’s algorithm changes took place. Here is that announcement: http://goo.gl/lnKHRW
While the intent is clear and the announcement “authentic”, many business / practice owners STILL pay little attention until they see the change affect their business directly and in a negative way. This is very unfortunate, because by then it’s a bit late to react. Google has also provided a way for you check YOUR website for responsive capability. Click the following link to test yours: https://goo.gl/oE3r1M
Once you have done this I strongly suggest looking at your website on a smartphone. I’d like you to imagine that you’re a potential customer / client / patient and that you’re looking for specific product or service information YOUR business offers. How did it go? How easily were you able to find what you were looking for on YOUR site? How long did you wait for that information? Statistics show that if you don’t engage your visitors within 3-5 seconds, you lose them. If a page takes too long to load (This often happens with FREE website templates) your potential will leave and find a faster site that loads, gives them the information they are looking for quickly. This again WILL affect your rankings! If your website is not responsive and your basics are lacking (Google, Yahoo, Bing business listings, Social Media set up), and your website has sparse content, it is highly likely you are to a greater or lesser degree “Invisible” online, or at the very least “hard to find”.
Are your visitors seeing an outdated relic when they arrive at your home page? This can waste advertising dollars because again, even if you’re found for all the services and products your business / practice / firm offers, what people see will be their first and almost always their most lasting impression.
There is good news! Unlike most companies Aeon Internet Marketing offers one hour of FREE consulting in the area of web design. We also have dozens of helpful tips we will share to help you create a more profitable business / practice / firm. We’ll start with walking you through set up of your basics absolutely free. We’ll explain things in simple terms so that information is easily understood.
We will coach you on social media and instruct you on the best ways to begin building your brand and company image. You’ll receive an honest assessment and professional analysis of your website at no cost to you.
Aeon has provided web design, SEO/SEM and small business consulting services to business owners across the United States since 2012. We offer web design, SEO/SEM and small business consulting services at competitive pricing. In terms of web design, whether you simply want a fresh new look, a hobby site, or you want to get “current” in today’s internet world. Don’t your potential clients / patients / customers deserve the most pleasurable experience possible? Of course they do! So drop us a line, or call us today. We offer service that is unparalleled in the industry. Most of all, we really do care about your success.
Call us today. We’re here for you and we’ll prove why we are rock stars in the field of web design. For the field of web design has too many amateurs to count! There is however only ONE Aeon Internet Marketing, and we get it right EVERY time.
Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, I hope you all flourish beyond your dreams!
7 thoughts on “Google’s Recent Changes; What Web Design Means To Your Small Business:”
Hola! I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and finally got
the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Dallas Tx!
Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic work!
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There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate
your content. Please let me know. Many thanks
Excellent post. I’m dealing with many of these issues as well..
Thanks so much, Cornell. Feel free to reach out to us, if you need any help with those issues. We’re always at your service.