Have you done any Google searches on your mobile-device lately? Chances are, the answer is yes, which means you’ve seen the new “Mobile-friendly” designation next to mobile-friendly websites:
The implications of this new search engine designation is somewhat obvious for wineries. More and more people are using their mobile-devices to visit winery websites (we see a 33% mobile visitor average among our client websites — that percentage jumps to 50%+ via local searches, meaning visitors to the area are using mobile devices more frequently when deciding where to go and what wines to purchase). Wineries that are designated “Mobile-friendly” are going to get more hits, and therefore, more visitors (and buyers) than those left undesignated.
Worse yet (for the non-mobile crowd), there is now speculation that Google will soon start lowering the pagerank of non-mobile-friendly websites.
Dare to see if your website is one that Google deems to be Mobile-friendly? Use their tool here: Google Mobile-Friendly Test.
Even if you think your website is mobile-friendly, plug in your website to make sure. Here are the results from a new client who said their web designer told them their website was mobile-friendly:
(Tip: Just because your website comes up on an iPhone doesn’t mean it’s mobile-friendly.)
So, what’s a non-mobile friendly winery to do?
It should be no surprise that our suggestion would be a new website. After all, websites can be surprisingly affordable and easier to build than they were just a few years ago (we are always happy to provide you with a free quote). Further, with this new Google information, it’s becoming clear that those without mobile-friendly websites will soon take a search engine hit.
HOWEVER, we also know that, no matter how affordable a new website might be, it might not be in your 2015 budget.
So a lower cost solution might be to have your web designer implement those tips Google provides when your run your site through its Mobile-Friendly test. Then they should use Google's step-by-step instructions to convert your current site into something that is more mobile-friendly. Please note, these instructions won’t work for all websites, but they will work for some, albeit as a Band-Aid solution.
No matter your path – a new website or fixing what you have – we strongly suggest a mobile-friendly solution be a priority for your winery in 2015. If it’s not, you may suffer consequences beyond anything we’ve seen before.