Google has been making big news recently in the web and digital marketing world due to its recent announcement about an update to its search engine set for April 21st. The search engine giant’s announcement indicates that mobile friendliness will become a new ranking signal in its search algorithm. In layman’s terms, following this update, websites that are mobile-friendly will have better rankings in search results than those that are not so friendly.
In your day-to-day work in ministry, this may not seem like a significant piece of news. But, it is important to your church for one reason:
Your church website is an essential outreach tool!
So many people are searching online for all kinds of needs, including searching for a church. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, it will be harder for potential churchgoers to find your site on Google, and this outreach tool loses its effectiveness.
You may be asking a few questions about what this update is and what you should do as Mobileggedon approaches, so here are some details and ideas for you.
What does “Mobile-Friendly” mean?
Google identifies a mobile-friendly site as one that displays well on phones and tablets. Specifically, they are looking for sites that have text large enough to read on a mobile phone’s screen and links that are large and far enough apart to click with a thumb.
How do I know if my site is Mobile-Friendly?
The best way to start researching your site’s mobile-friendliness is to browse it on your own phone. Do you have to zoom in on any pages to make the text readable? Do you have trouble clicking links? If so, consider making some adjustments to create larger elements.
Another resource is Google’s Mobile-Friendly test. Submit your site’s url at this page and Google will tell you if you’re all set or give you suggestions to improve your site for mobile users.
What do I need to do to make my site Mobile-Friendly?
If you’re on a platform that doesn’t offer a mobile option, or if you have a custom built site, start making a plan today to update your site to be mobile friendly. Or consider changing to one of the previously mentioned mobile site options. This may include creating a separate mobile site (i.e. m.yourchurchname.org) or even a responsive design site (find more details about the options in this great article). But either way, get a plan now so you can rebound in search results quickly.
My church has a mobile app, so do I really need to care about Mobileggedon?
Yes! You may have an amazing app, and I recommend apps as a great tool for your existing churchgoers. But, you want to assure that your website can be found by future churchgoers, and a great way to do that is to be found in Google search results.
So, are you ready for the upcoming Google update?