November 2015

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Google Demands your Responsiveness

Is your own website driving customers to your competitor by being non-responsive?

Manny MandrusiakManny Mandrusiak,
Managing Creative Consultant,
4 Bravo Marketing

Contributing Editor

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One of the really cool things about working as a consultant in the tech sector is that I get to work with a lot of people who keep their eye on the latest internet trends as they impact digital marketing and consumer buying patterns.

The latest discussion that I was able to sit in on was regarding the impact of the April 21st release of Google’s latest algorithm. Nicknamed “Mobilegeddon” the algorithm focused on rewarding websites that have taken the time to be optimized for mobile devices, and decrease the ranking of those that are not responsive. Now that is an extremely scary statement as websites are now the new face of businesses all over the world. The question to ask next is “What does having a responsive website mean”?

What is Responsive Website Design?

Responsive Website design is an approach of designing webpages that respond to a user's demands to “look good” or resize themselves (be responsive) on a variety of screen sizes. A website should look good and have functionality on a 4 inch smartphone screen or on a 23 inch desktop monitor. 

Essentially the purpose is to have one website with different elements that respond differently when viewed on different devices.

Why is this important?

I did some research and a company named conducted a study to determine what devices users were using to access the internet, and what they found was that nearly half of Google’s traffic came from mobile devices for the period of June to Nov 2014. In November 2014, the study indicates that mobile traffic to Google surpassed the number of visits from desktop users accessing Google. This means that people looking to purchase products, or services, are more-than-likely going to search for that product, or service, on a mobile device (mobile device defines as smartphones and tablets).  If a website is clunky and unresponsive, then end-users will leave and navigate to a site that is optimized for mobile devices.

What that means to business is that if their website does not look good and provide adequate functionality on a small screen customers will leave and search for websites that do.  That is a scary thought for any business.

Is Google punishing me for not having a responsive website?

Punish is a really strong word....I suppose a better term would be “forced evolution”.  Companies can’t ignore what is happening with this algorithm.  If you know that half of your traffic to your website is possibly coming to your door via a mobile device then you need to ensure that it is as easy as possible for your customers to find you.  Plain and simple.

I mean not only is your site possibly dealing with decreased visibility on search engines, but a non-responsive design means that the website is looking at fewer page visits.  If your company sells into an internet based market, and you are reading this article, you should be seriously looking right now to fix your site before you start losing sales.

We live in the time of the millennials and mobile devices mean convenience and that an individual can make buying decisions from anywhere at anytime.

In the age of the millennial it is also about an equal user experience. They demand the same user experience no matter what device they are on, and that expectation has been passed on to the rest of us and now we demand the same experience.

If you own a website and you want to know if it has a responsive mobile-friendly design you can test it for free using Google’s mobile-friendly test tool.  Just follow the link, and input the URL that you want to test, and wait for the results.

Do not panic, but understand the warning signs

When people read an article like this, and find out that their website is non-responsive they have one of two reactions. Reaction one is that they want to start spending money without a plan to get their website optimized.  The biggest step to take is to get quotes on what it will take to optimize and make a site mobile-friendly. If anyone wants a free site assessment email me at and I’ll get you one and a quote.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]The second thing that people do when they read an article is nothing.  They do some research and find articles stating that the new algorithm only affects the ranking of a website on mobile devices.  That information is correct, but what it fails to state is that over half of your website traffic is probably coming from mobile devices.  There is going to be an impact to your site traffic at some point, you just won’t know when.

I always tell clients that you need to know who your audience is, and know how they find you.  Once you know that, then you make sure that it is easy for them to find you. Once your customers have an easy way to find you, then you provide exceptional customer service so that they don’t ever want to find anyone else.  That is the purpose of digital marketing, to provide your customer with the opportunity to engage with your company easily on any device, and then receive the exceptional customer service your company is known for.

Don’t let the new Google algorithm cost your company money by not seeing the signs.  Be proactive, see the signs, and make your website responsive while you can, and not when you are forced to.


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