On February 26 Google announced on its Webmaster Central Blog that,
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches 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 has two tools that you can use to test your site for mobile friendliness.
The PageSpeed Insights tool helps to better understand page load times and basic user experience scoring for both desktop and mobile.
The tool will give you a score of 0 to 100 points and suggestions how to improve your performance.
Click: Google PageSpeed Insights to access the tool.
Just put in your website URL and run the test.
Google also offers a Mobile-Friendly test which checks to see if your site has a mobile friendly design.
Click: Google Mobile-Friendly test to access the tool.
Once again, just put in your website URL and run the test.
The Importance of Mobile
Google’s announcement and testing tools emphasizes the importance of mobile to any business.
Google has a vested interest in delivering the best search results.
When users are searching for information on their mobile devices Google wants to make sure the search results are mobile friendly and deliver what the customer is looking for.
Google is implying that if your site is not mobile friendly and the page speed is poor then you will most likely NOT be included in search results when users are searching from a mobile device.
Showing Up in Local Search – The Challenge for Restaurant Chains
Even if your site is mobile friendly there are additional challenges to showing up in search.
When customers are on their mobile device searching for where to eat, they usually are looking for locations that are close to them.
Just run a Google search and look at the listings provided by Google. All of the search listings will be location specific.
Showing up in search can sometimes be easier for a single location restaurant with a website than it is for a location that is part of larger chain.
That’s because it is much easier for the single location website to feed the restaurant’s name, address, phone, and menu to Google in a search friendly format.
It’s not quite as easy for Google to see location specific information for locations that are part of chains. Generally these websites need to be recoded to pass each location’s information to search engines in a recognizable format.
The Fastest Way to Mobile Friendly
Long term you will want to recode your website so that it is mobile friendly. As a matter of fact, the focus should be on mobile first and then desktop.
In the near term you can add your locations to our FansRave® listing and marketing site.
FansRave® was built from the ground up to be location specific, mobile friendly and search friendly.
We feed your location information to the search engines and give your customers everything they want to know on one mobile friendly page.
You can find more details about establishing a mobile-search friendly restaurant location listing on FansRave® on our website at: www.thatsbiz.com.