As May begins and we really are into the full swing of spring, then inevitably thoughts turn to spring cleaning and renewal.
It seems like this is hard wired as, sometimes checking over my records, I find I am doing the same sort evaluation work every year at roughly the same time. This is in addition to the inevitable garden tidying and wardrobe clearing out.
As light returns and we appear to have more time in the day to do more things, it also seems like energy returns and tasks, that until very recently were on the too difficult pile, suddenly become very do-able.
This should apply to many company websites, but surprisingly this is too often neglected. It seems that too many businesses just leave this aspect of their spring cleaning to one side and it can often remain on the too difficult pile.
This spring there is an added reason to take a good hard look at your website as recent changes to the Google algorithm now give greater prominence to factors around mobile usability. While this has not quite brought about the mobilegeddon predicted, it is nonetheless what I would call a ‘boiling frog’ issue.
If you throw a frog into boiling water, it will jump straight out again. However, if you put a frog in a pan of cool water and gradually raise the heat, it will stay in the water until too late – and ultimately will be boiled.
This is exactly how mobile unfriendly websites will be affected over time. The Google change did not cause an immediate effect that was so bad that everyone reacted immediately to it, but over time rankings and traffic will drop and the mobile friendly websites will gain ascendency.
We will see the same sort of effect with respect to SSL – another Google boiling frog on the horizon.
As a refresher, mobile friendliness is not about being able to see the website on a mobile device, it is about being able to see and use it ‘comfortably’. For this, you need special provisions which in effect are a re-engineering of the website. You don’t necessarily need to ditch the design, but you do need to reconfigure it to ‘respond’ to the device it is being viewed on.
Notwithstanding the above, the minimum consideration in any website spring clean is the content and whether it is as relevant to your business as it was last year. This is of course not just about what the business has done, but what you want the business to be in the future – what sort of customers to do you want to attract in the coming year?
Web accessibility by mobile devices has changed the internet significantly over the last two years and many websites have switched from designs that tolerate mobile to ones that are mobile first, because the vast majority of their customers are viewing the website on mobile devices rather than on anything else.
So it is time for a spring clean and on your list of things to do include a revisit of your website, what it contains, how it looks and who uses it – and with what.
And if you need some help – let us know.