Mandatory may seem rather blunt. But this recent announcement from Google essentially giving webmasters until April 21/2015 to convert their websites to responsive design should be taken as a mandatory call-to-action. That’s right, we’re just days away from mobile-friendly compliance counting as a direct ranking factor in smartphone search. Not every industry should be on high-alert, but when it comes to restaurants managing their online presence there could be no better time than now to make the move. Not convinced? Read further to find out why your restaurant website needs a mobile website template.
3 Moves Made by Google to Essentially Make Mobile Website Templates Mandatory in 2015 & Beyond
1. Mobile Friendly Websites Will Take Top Spot in Smartphone Search
As detailed above, starting April 21/2015 Google will look at your website to see if it meets their guidelines for smartphone compliance and will either improve or drop the mobile search rank of your restaurant website accordingly.
“This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” (Google)
Your customers are making their “where to eat” decisions from their iPhones, Androids, and tablets while out and about throughout their day. By adopting a website template that accommodates the display and functions optimal to their devices you will have a far better chance at ranking above your competition, who have not.
2. Non-Responsive Websites Tagged with a Warning for Searchers
Already effective immediately is a message on Google search engine results pages (SERPs) telling users that non-responsive websites may not display properly on their devices. The message literally states “May not work on your device”. You can imagine what that will do to the click-through rates of any restaurant website that does not comply. Adobe Flash banners and other forms of media that do not play evenly on all browsers are no longer in vogue. You can work tirelessly to develop an alternative or simply find a template solution that will keep you free and clear of this recent call from Google insisting that you switch to mobile-friendly technology.
3. Faulty Mobile Redirects Tagged with a Warning for Searchers
If there is any page on your website that is redirecting searchers to a more mobile friendly homepage on your website (or other mobile landing page) you are doing them and yourself a disservice. Google looks at this redirect as misleading, and will put a warning next your listing that reads “May open the site’s homepage – Try anyway?”. It is not uncommon for a user to search for certain menu items (pizza, margaritas, etc.) based upon their location, see the menu page on Google of an eatery offering such items, yet be delivered to the restaurant site’s homepage instead, frustrating their experience. Unfortunately, there are many restaurantuers that have been mislead by past developers who have convinced them to sweep the issue under the rug, suggesting that only some of the pages on their website need to be mobile-friendly. For a time, this band-aid worked well enough, but no more. From now on, every page on your website needs to be mobile-ready, from the menu to the reservation form fill-out.
Whether you find this article before or after April 21/2015 you can take advantage of this opportunity to rank better than your competition in smartphone search. Simple contact The SEO Chefs to set up your fully responsive restaurant website today and claim your rightful position on Google.