If your healthcare organization doesn’t have a mobile-friendly website yet, it may be time to rethink your web presence, especially considering Google’s recent announcement. The search engine giant is adjusting its algorithm for ranking mobile search results – and starting on April 21st, mobile-friendly websites will rank better in mobile search. Websites that aren’t designed for mobile will lose search rank and become harder to find.
This announcement comes as no surprise, as Google has been sending emails to webmasters for some time now, urging them to make mobile-friendly enhancements to their websites.
Here’s an example message sent by Google via Webmaster Tools:
“Google systems have tested 127 pages from your site and found that 100% of them have critical mobile usability errors. The errors on these 127 pages severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website. These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.”
The biggest incentive to make the switch is in the numbers. According to research from the Pew Research Center, 63 percent of adult cell phone owners use their smartphones to go online, while 34 percent of mobile internet users perform most of their online searches using their phones rather than a laptop or desktop computer.
Mobile traffic is growing each year, and businesses that want a share of the pie need to take note. Google is making sure that businesses that go mobile are rewarded with higher search rankings, which means that a healthcare web design that is not enhanced for mobile is going to under-perform.
Will your healthcare organization heed Google’s warning, or will it get left behind?