Accordingly to the dental business statistics we collate on an annual basis, websites remain the second most successful source of new patients for UK dental businesses. Whether or not you generate a large number of new patients through your website, you can appreciate the need to have an attractive and effective online ‘shop window’ which represents your dental business 24 hours a day.
What you may not know, in an unusually transparent move, the dominant search engine Google recently issued an announcement of an update to its method of ranking websites. An amendment which may threaten your website performance.
The internet giant indicated that as of last week, Tuesday 21st April 2015 to be exact, it would no longer rank a website in mobile searches which it doesn’t deem to be ‘mobile friendly’. Mobile friendly being a site which automatically adapts to the dimensions of a particular mobile phone.
This relates to ‘organic’ searches, for instance, in the event someone looks up ‘dentist in Bristol’ or ‘orthodontist in Brighton’. A website will still appear when a user searches for a specific website address or business name using a mobile, but not when organic search terms are used.
The rise of mobile traffic
As you’ll appreciate, internet usage via mobiles has risen inordinately, alongside tablets. I have seen research reports which claim mobile search activity now exceeds that via desktop computers and others which say it is approaching a similar level. Whatever the case, we can be sure this activity is now significant.
So what can you do if you’re not completely sure your website is responsive?
If your website is new, it is likely it was built on a ‘responsive’ platform and will automatically adapt to whatever device is used when searching. However, it’s fair to say Google rarely makes such open announcements, so it will pay to take notice and review your situation at this time.
If you have access to your Google Analytics account (and I strongly suggest you get access if you don’t already), take a look at your typical split of searches via desktop, mobile and tablet. You’ll find this under the ‘Audience’ section, click on ‘mobile’ and then ‘overview.
Should you have a website which gets little mobile traffic, then this Google update will be less of an issue for you. More likely, like the majority of websites, yours typically gets a good level of mobile traffic. So you’ll want to take action…
Contact your website designer/administrator to find out whether:
- Your website is already ‘responsive’
- Your website can be updated to be responsive
- Your website needs redevelopment in order to be responsive
Older sites can be adapted for mobile use, so all may not be lost.
Just make sure you know where you stand in relation to this move by Google. You can then decide your next move.