In 2015 searches on mobile devices will exceed desktop searches for the first time.
For many customers the first place they look for a new restaurant is on their smartphone.
A common search is “best ????? in CITY”. For example “best pizza in Detroit”.
With Google’s new search algorithm change starting on April 21, 2015, sites that are “mobile friendly” will be listed in the search results if the person is on a mobile device.
The announcement strongly implies if your site is not mobile friendly it will not be listed in the search results or at a minimum significantly drop your rankings. It should not affect desktop searches.
Understanding What Needs to Change
Several blog posts from reputable sites have published what you need to know about the update.
9 Things You Need to Know About Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update published by Moz
Everything You Need To Know About Google’s New Stance On Mobile published by Search Engine Land
Detailed Guide on Mobile SEO [Infographic] published by InstantShift
Google rarely uses the term “significant change” in announcements. In this case Google is making it clear that mobile friendly is not optional if you want to show up in local search.
Test Your Current Site for “Mobile-Friendly”
I published a blog post that included Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Page.
You can go there and find the links to test your current site to see if it is mobile friendly and also test your sites load speed.
What To Do Today
Check where you show up in search rankings on mobile today before the changes on April 21.
Search for “Best ?????” and fill in the ????? with your type of food or cuisine.
If you are not on page one of the search results today it probably doesn’t matter what happens after April 21.
After April 21
If you are on page one today then do the same test after April 21 and see if things change.
You may even be pleasantly surprised if your site is already mobile friendly and see that you have actually moved up in the rankings and some of your competition has dropped.
If Website Coding Changes Need to be Made
Most web development firms are familiar with how to code a responsive website. In many respects the website design is much simpler or at least it should be.
The key is simplicity and making sure your site includes the information a customer wants to know if they visit your website for the first time.
Your menu, hours, address, map, phone, and online ordering links should be mobile friendly and quickly accessible.
Lastly your web development company must feed the information to the search engines in an understandable format. That allows Google to provide your address, phone and hours information in the search result.