Google Clarifies The Mobile-Friendly Algorithm – Your Site Needs To Be Mobile Friendly

Starting April 21 2015 Google will be using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.

From 21st April Google will be rolling out a significant update to it’s algorithm which will see mobile friendly websites rank better on mobile searches at the expense of those that are not mobile friendly. There are no varying degrees of mobile friendly anymore, either your site is mobile friendly or it is not.

This significant change will make it much harder for owners of non mobile responsive sites to rank in mobile searches. With 77% of people searching on a mobile from a location where they would have access to a desktop computer* this will have a huge impact on those companies whose website is not mobile optimised.

Google has made their stance clear in a blog post written back in February which states:

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

Google also added:

You either have a mobile friendly page or not. It is based on the criteria, which are small font sizes, your tap targets/links to your buttons are too close together, readable content and your viewpoint. So if you have all of those and your site is mobile friendly then you benefit from the ranking change.

Is my Website Mobile Friendly?

The quickest way to test if your website is mobile friendly is to head over to Google Mobile-Friendly Test Tool and enter the address of your site.

What should I do if my site is not mobile friendly?

If your site is not mobile friendly then speak to your web designer or digital marketing agency about either making your current site mobile friendly or refreshing the design of the site.

Look at your web stats

Ask your marketing department, web design company or digital marketing agency to provide you with web site statistics if you don’t have access to them yourself. Look at your current mobile traffic and how many potential clients / customers arrive from a mobile search. After the 21st keep an eye on your traffic levels to the website, have they dropped significantly? Have your sales dropped?

If so it may be time to look at a redesign of your current web offering.

Help!

If you need advice analysing web stats or help to update your online presence then please contact us for an informal chat.

*Source – https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com

Need a website? Things to think about before getting a quote.

So you’ve decided you need a new website.  Websites come in all shapes and sizes, and here are three key questions that you should ask yourself before getting in touch with a web design agency for a quotation:

1. What do you want it to do?

Your website is the shop window to your business.  What you include on it is ultimately the first impression that your customers will see – therefore, it’s really important to think this part through.

At a minimum, you’ll need a basic website that portrays who you are, what you’re about and what you sell.  You’ll also want to tell customers how they can get in touch with you, including links to your social media profiles.

This kind of website will be ideal for many types of business, but websites can also be designed to include things like:
[list-ul]
[li-row]Photo albums[/li-row]
[li-row]Videos[/li-row]
[li-row]Online shop with payment facilities (e-commerce)[/li-row]
[li-row]Online booking facilities for hotels/ restaurants/ dentists/ doctors[/li-row]
[li-row]Event listings and booking facilities[/li-row]
[li-row]Blog[/li-row]
[li-row]News feeds[/li-row]
[/list-ul]

The possibilities are endless.  Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think what they actually want to know about your business and what they’d like to be able to do on it.

2. What content will you need to provide?

Nobody knows your business like you do, so most web design agencies will ask you to provide some content for your new website.  This can include text, photos or videos.  It’s a good idea to prepare some of this in advance to help the web design agency give you an accurate quotation based on the required size of your website (the more content you have, the bigger the website will be).  A good agency will of course help you refine this content at a later date to be more search-engine and customer friendly.  Here are the basics:

  • About us – Here’s where you tell people what you’re about. You can include things like your history, what you offer and details of your team.
  • Services – What services do you offer? If you offer multiple services, it’s a good idea to write a bit about each one.  Don’t go overboard here though – nobody likes reading reams and reams of text!
  • Contact page – Your telephone number, address and any social media links should go here.
  • Anything else you’d like included – Just a brief description of what else you’d like would be sufficient here.

3. What is your budget?

Like most things in life – with websites, you really get what you pay for.  Whilst very cheap or free websites will serve their purpose to some extent, it’s really best to leave it to the experts.

Web design agencies know all about the current trends, the technical aspects of setting up your websites and getting you noticed online.  They can advise you on what to include on your website and what to leave out.  They can also link it all up with your social media channels and your email to give your customers a seamless experience.

The price you pay can vary depending on what you need on your website and indeed the agency who gives you the quotation.  By all means, shop around with local companies and decide who you would feel most comfortable dealing with.  Whilst price is an important factor, you should also consider whether you actually like the people you’re dealing with, as you are very likely to be in touch with them for years to come! Are they friendly and helpful, or is it all about the money for them?

Think of a budget that you feel is reasonable and affordable, and bear this in mind when you ask for quotations.  Costs can include:

  • Domain name purchase
  • Website design fees
  • Photography (professional or stock)
  • Logo design/ branding
  • Hosting & support (annual fee)
  • Email address
  • Security certificates (if you are handling sensitive data)

So make sure you ask if your quotation includes all of the above to avoid any nasty surprises.

I hope you’ve found this helpful, but if you have any further questions then please feel free to get in touch. Our advice is free!

Tip: Check with your local council if they offer grants for business start-ups. You could get help with the cost of your new website and any other start-up and marketing costs.

 

Forte Web Solutions August Update

Its been a busy few months here at Forte Web Solutions, having recently launched a new website for Mark Hodge at MH Exec Travel, and successfully pitched for three further web projects that are now well underway.

We are very pleased to be developing a site for Pamper Divas in Bridgend.  Pamper Divas  provide specialist beauty treatments from the comfort and the privacy of people’s homes, or a at venue of their choosing across South Wales. The Pamper Divas website is nearly complete and ready for launch during mid August.

We are also delighted to have been selected by Jeff Collins of Impact People Coaching in Barry, to redevelop his website, as well as devising an effective online marketing strategy for the company. We are very much looking forward to working with Jeff and are currently in the process of designing his new website.

Finally, we are also undertaking work for Passmores Solicitors in Barry to produce a sister website to complement the firm’s main internet presence. With the design now finalised, we are now working on the site and are well within schedule to deliver the project to the team at Passmores during August.

We continue to run successful Google AdWords campaigns for many of our valued customers helping to drive sales whilst being a cost effective sales channel and an excellent return on investment for our customers.

Watch this space for further updates!

UK is the ‘most internet-based major economy’

Image of Network Cables

A report shows that 40% of SME's in wales do not have a website

In a recent report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) published on the BBC Technology website, it was revealed that the UK is the ‘most internet-based major economy’ with the internet contributing 8.3% to the economy as a whole. This translates to the “internet economy” being worth £121bn in 2010, more than £2,000 per person in the UK. The study, supported by web giant Google, assumes that in four years 3bn people will be using the internet – this is nearly 50% of the world’s population.

These are staggering figures especially as the report predicts that the internet economy of the UK will continue to expand at a rate of 11% per year for the next four years, reaching a total value of £221bn by 2016. Some 13.5% of all purchases were made over the internet in 2010, according to BCG, and this is projected to rise to 23% by 2016.

This is great news for the UK in general but is it great news for the whole of the UK? Worryingly, Wales could well start to fall short of this rapid growth of the UK Internet economy.

According to Google, 40% of small businesses in Wales still don’t have a website and given that 97% of consumers are now using the Internet to research products and services in their local area, businesses in South Wales are missing out on this Internet boom.

This is a trend that needs to be reversed, and quickly if South Wales based businesses are to compete with the rest of the UK in this rapidly growing sector. If you own a small business and are looking to get online please feel free to contact us for some free advice.

 

Forte Web Solutions Update

We have been busy at Forte Web Solutions over the past month, with two websites close to completion as well as some highly successful Google AdWords campaigns that we are running on behalf ofour  clients.

Campus Associates

We are delighted to be developing a website for Campus-Associates. Campus Associates offers event management, training, business development and specialist consultancy to local, national and international companies.

The Campus Associates website is nearing completion and is on course to be released at the end of March.

Jonathan’s Flowers

We are proud to be developing a website for Jonathan Lloyd-Davies, an award winning freelance floral designer based in South Wales. Jonathan’s work has taken him to prestigious events such as Royal Ascot and “Glorious Goodwood” and high profile venues such as Wentworth golf club, the Lainsborough Hotel and Knightsbridge and Trinity College, Cambridge.

Jonathan’s Flowers is nearing completion and like our other project for Campus Associates is due for launch at the end of March.

Furniture Assembly Services

Furniture Assembly Services Logo

We have been working with David from Furniture Assembly Services to increase his online exposure through Google AdWords. The campaign has been running for two months now and has already proven to be a cost effective sales channel and an excellent return on Investment.  Find out more on how Google has helped David.