May 08 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

Mobile-friendly sites become crucial after Google ‘mobilegeddon’

On 21 April, Google implemented a major overhaul of its search algorithm, making it more compatible with mobile platforms in a move that online marketers and developers have called “mobilegeddon”.

The reasoning behind Google’s move is clear, as more and more customers use their mobile devices to browse the internet.

What is responsive UI?

From a marketing perspective, if a customer is having a difficult time navigating a website from their mobile phone, they may lose interest. One way of ensuring that their experience is as smooth as possible is by using a responsive user interface, or responsive UI.  

Developing websites with a responsive UI involves using code that can adapt to the screen size, resolution, and orientation of a device.

This means that whether a customer is browsing with their laptop, tablet, phone, or even their smart TV, they are having the same high quality experience. Consistency goes a long way when it comes to making a good impression.

Though the algorithm is likely to be put into place slowly over the coming months, businesses have rushed to ensure their websites are not penalised by the changes.

Anthony Tattum, the Managing Director of the Big Cat Group, said: “A key factor for all marketing materials, and one that is no different for a business’ online presence, is consistency. A consistent user experience will aid the increase of conversion rates, as users are comfortable navigating a site across devices.

“Responsive design creates real benefit in this area, as it removes many of the issues that multiple sites(for different devices can present - for example functionality, performance, and consistent look and feel.”

What are the other benefits?

As well as making websites more appealing to customers, using responsive UI can also help to reduce the workload for your software developers: instead of making different versions of the website for every screen dimension, they can make one version that will adapt itself.

Marketing departments - especially those working with search engine optimisation – will also have an easier job, as they will only have one website to manage. In addition, Google is now beginning to put more of an emphasis on the quality of user experience - so improving your website on all possible devices will help to improve your rankings on Google.

Lawrence Jones, founder and CEO of UKFast, said: “It’s not just conversion rates that could be falling because of poor design, as Google has rolled out a ‘mobile friendly’ algorithm to help mobile users find more mobile-friendly content. What this means is that having a responsive user interface for mobile devices as well as PCs will likely affect your search ranking.”

One thing is for sure: with the number of new devices coming onto the market, it is no longer enough to only design for one type of screen if you want to interact with your target audiences.

Helen Gould

Helen is a News Writer for LSBF who writes about education, careers, sustainable business, and women in business.

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