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Google mobile friendly update to penalize non-mobile friendly websites is out. Don’t tell me you didn’t see this coming. As more people used mobile devices to surf the internet, Google had to act. It was only a matter of time before Google started prioritizing websites that are optimized for mobile devices. The new algorithm came into effect April 21.
If you have an e-commerce store you should be concerned about all updates from Google. For a lot of online stores, the success of your business depends on Google. This update could destroy your rankings if your website is not mobile responsive. If ranking high in Google is a big part of your revenue strategy then this could be disastrous for your business.
What You Should Do
Use this Mobile-Friendly Test. If your website passes the test, then you have nothing to worry about. But if your website fails the test, you’ll be presented with suggestions on how you can resolve the problem.
If you have an e-commerce store using WooCommerce, there are a lot of responsive WordPress themes that you can use. These responsive themes are optimized for use on mobile devices. WooTheme’s own Storefront theme made especially for WooCommerce is responsive so that’s worth a look. We can also recommend Genesis themes from StudioPress.
How Much Will it Cost?
That question is a bit like. “I need a car. How much will that cost?” Of course, the answer is, “It depends”. But to give you an example, we have recently upgraded a few clients themes to the new Storefront theme for between $400-$600.
When upgrading a theme, you tend to notice things that you probably should have noticed on the original site, and need to update those as well. So setting a budget of $1000 – $1500 is probably more realistic.
Should You Have Made Your Site Responsive 12 Months Ago Anyway?
This update by Google might just be the thing that most store owners needed to push them into action. Non-responsive ecommerce sites are more than likely leaving a lot of money on table. There is some strong evidence to support this: 14-brands-that-increased-conversion-rates-via-responsive-design
For example, O’Neill Clothing’s redesign achieved some fairly spectacular results on iPhone/iPod:
- Conversions increased by 65.71%.
- Transactions went up 112.5%.
- Revenue increased by 101.25%.
Similarly, on Android devices:
- Conversions shot up by 407.32%.
- Transactions increased by 333.33%.
- Revenue increased by a whopping 591.42%.
Personally, we haven’t seen results this good on the sites we manage. But nonetheless, all responsive redesigns we have done have paid for themselves within 6 months.
The Mobile Friendly Algorithm
Like usual, Google’s algorithm remains a trade secret. It is now up to SEO experts to try to figure out what the algorithm considers in its ratings. Google is actually forgiving this time around as they did provide that tool that will let you check if your website meets their mobile-friendly standards.
If you want to see what your ecommerce store looks like on different mobile devices, you can use this mobile user testing tool. This tool emulates screen sizes of the most popular mobile devices so you can see exactly what your site looks like on a mobile device.
What Sites Were Affected
According to an article from USA Today, the algorithm update could affect as much as 40% of top websites.
Here is the test result of one website that did not meet Google’s mobile-friendly update.
A few weeks before the new algorithm came into effect, tech website TechCrunch tested the websites of Fortune 500 companies. Surprisingly, 44% of Fortune 500 companies’ websites did not pass the mobile-friendly test. So if your ecommerce store didn’t pass the test, you are not alone.
I Failed the Mobile Friendly Test. Should I be Worried?
Well, you should be worried. Still, according to an article from Search Engine Land, it’s not too late to act. You can still fix your website. While some changes in rankings were seen just a day after the update, these changes were not significant. This does not mean you shouldn’t bother doing anything. Sooner or later, Google could clamp down and bring harsher penalties to non-mobile friendly websites. Don’t wait for it to hit hard before you do something.