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If your Web site is not updated with a mobile-friendly design and framework, there is a strong possibility that you could disappear on Google mobile.
In a move to improve the mobile browsing experience for users, Google recently announced a significant update to their mobile search algorithm that will use mobile-friendliness as a factor in how well a site ranks on a Google mobile search results page.
Google’s hope is that “Users will find it easier to get relevant, high-quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
How will this impact the mortgage industry?
After analyzing the two-month search and traffic activity on 20,000 local niche mortgage sites across the nation, mobile users accounted for 31 percent. According to a list of the top mortgage lenders provided by MortgageStats.com, six out of the top 10 mortgage lender sites failed Google’s online mobile-friendly test.
So for those lenders who have taken special care to optimize their sites for mobile search and use, there is a fantastic opportunity to quickly gain marketing share online.
How do I know if Google thinks my site is mobile-friendly?
Google says that you either are or are not mobile-friendly. It’s a black and white issue with no room for interpretation or confusion. There are more than 200 factors that Google considers for mobile-friendliness, such as the size of photos, font size, link placement and speed to load. So if you have all of those and your site is mobile-friendly, then you benefit from the ranking change.
Three easy ways to check if Google likes your site for mobile:
1. Take out your phone and search for your Web site. If you see a gray mobile friendly label in your description snippet, then you’re good.
2. Enter your Web page URL in Google’s online mobile-friendly testing tool.
3. Check your mobile usability reports in Google Webmaster Tools.
The good news is that Google is ranking mobile-friendliness at the page level versus penalizing an entire site. This means that you can work on updating some of your higher traffic pages first if you don’t have the time or resources to completely move your entire site to a mobile version or a new responsive theme layout.
Mark Madsen moved his mortgage origination business online years ago when MySpace was still cool. A decade later, Mark has grown his online portfolio to more than 33,000 home finance and real estate related Web sites that generate thousands of opportunities for his teams of agents and loan officers. He may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or call (702) 496-5626.
This article originally appeared in the April 2015 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.