hand holds touch screen mobile phone streaming images

While most B2C consumer-oriented companies have come round to the importance of providing a good user experience on phones and tablets, the B2B technology and engineering sectors have been a little slower. This is partly because many of businesses are yet to consider mobile when developing their websites. It is also down to assumptions that, so long as they can find the information they are looking for, those users that do choose to use a mobile device are probably going to tolerate the shrunken version that works well on the PC.

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But now there is a significant incentive to change in the form the latest pronouncement from Google that if your site doesn’t work well on mobile, they’ll knock your rankings.

If your site doesn’t work well on mobile, Google has decided it will adversely affect your website rank in the search engine result page.

That’s right, if your website doesn’t perform well on mobile, your ranking may drop, and it might happen as soon as April this year. Sweating yet?

Mobile or responsive?

Google is hoping companies this will be an incentive to upgrade to a ‘responsive’ website. What this essentially means is that your site pages will re-size depending on the device they’re being viewed with. Looking at it on the desktop will give a full, dynamic experience. Shrink it down to a mobile phone, and you’ll have a page that fits well, looks good and is just as usable.

You could, of course, still go for a separate ‘mobile’ site. Usually, this means redirecting viewers using a phone or tablet to a different site that works on mobile.

There are distinct advantages to responsive, the main one being that there’s only one site to update. Those fiddly mobile ones have to be updated separately in a lot of cases; it’s a pain and inefficient. You also have to be careful that you set up your canonical and alternative tags correctly.

What does this mean for B2B technology website owners?

It’s easy. Get in touch with your web developer and ask, nay, insist that they talk to you about updating your site. You could, of course, choose to just sit there and hope that nothing will happen come April, but Google is not likely to do the same.

Make your site mobile friendly, or Google is likely going to make sure your competitors, rank higher than you.