Durham Website Design & Google Maps™ SEO


If you haven’t heard by now, Google dropped the hammer last April on all the websites in their search index. Specifically, all the websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. Meaning, if your website does not ‘render’ (appear) on a mobile phone or tablet properly; it will be pushed down in the search index results.


Many of the uninformed in the SEO world say that it’s a rumor. We can dispel that notion right now.
Here two links to Google’s own Webmaster Central blog with what they have to say about it:

FAQ’S: April 21st Mobile Friendly

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Finding more mobile-friendly search results

So why the big push for getting everyone’s websites mobile-friendly? It’s simple. Google says 94% of the people with a smartphone, in the US; uses it for searching local businesses and information. 77% of all mobile searches (in the US), are done at home or at work, where a desktop computer is likely to be sitting unused!

Another eye opening study found that “62% of smartphone users are more likely to take action right away” toward solving an unexpected problem or new task because they have a smartphone and near instant ‘local’ results. Before, they had to do that search from home or work, on a desktop computer; and than save that info to followup at a later time.
Welcome! | Mobile Friendly Websites | Google Developers

So what is a ‘properly rendering’ mobile site look like?

A website is considered mobile-friendly if the following things are true about your site:

1-Does your website load fast without much hesitation?

2-Can you see the main page of your site (or mobile version) without having to swipe your phone or scroll?

3-Are your ‘clickable’ links easy to see and, more importantly to Google, easy to tap to click without getting ‘fat finger’ syndrome.

4-Is your websites navigation easy? Can those coming to your site find what they were looking for easy?

There are a number of other things that factor in, but these are the most important.

Below are some examples of a mobile friendly site versus a non-mobile website. The one on the right is mobile-friendly and only shows the essential elements of your site (the ones YOU decide are essential). The navigation is easy and you don’t have to scroll, swipe or pinch to read the content. The old style (on the left), was fine on a desktop computer, but it looks terrible on a mobile phone.


Here are two of my own websites. One is mobile-friendly, one is not. Can you tell which one is NOT mobile-friendly?


The one on the right is my Mobile Web Design business site. It better be mobile-friendly!

The implications of the new mobile search environment for business is undeniable. If you want to be found in search today, you need a mobile-friendly website, and be sure it’s on Google’s radar.
This means you will have to add ‘content’, get reviews for your business, and be sure to have a presence on the major social media sites. All of these things are what’s it’s going to take to make it in the new digital business world that is emerging rapidly.

There are many things one can do to improve their visibility in the search engines. But, there’s one thing that every business can do today. Either for free by themselves, or by hiring a qualified web marketing consultant. This person should have a strong knowledge of local search trends and the tools needed to take full advantage of the changing landscape.

So what’s the one thing every business MUST do?

They must get their Google Business page verified. It doesn’t take much time or effort to do this, and it can have an immediate effect on your business’s ranking in Google.
Getting verified allows a business to ‘prove’ to Google they are, in fact; a real business. It also tells Google that your are an ‘active participant’ in the listing and management of your Google Business page. This can also dramatically help your ranking as well, since many businesses in every niche; simply do not know that this tool is available, free; from Google.

That gives every business that does take advantage of this tool, a big jump on their competition.

Finding out if your business is verified in Google is not quite as simple as doing a quick ‘mobile-friendly’ check of your website. There are a couple of ways to do this, each using a different ‘search string’ to root out unverified businesses in any niche, city or state. An experienced SEO consultant, with local search experiences, can not only determine your business’s status, but advise you of the other things that you should do, after verifying.

Things like building “back links” to your listing. Getting citations from the big search aggregators, such as Yelp!, Yext and YellowPages.com.

Having a mobile-friendly website, linked to a properly verified business listing in Google, can provide a big jump to getting your business found in local search.

Chris Garvey is the owner of Business Mobile Web Design. We specialize in simple, mobile-friendly websites, linked to a properly verified and optimized Google business listing.
I can be reached at 919-885-0030 to answer any questions.

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