We’ve all known that mobile is rising quickly as the main platform for users across the board, but now the stakes are higher. Mobile usability will now count as a search ranking factor beginning this month (April 21st, to be exact), and now is the time to pay attention. Mobile search results will now reflect how mobile-friendly sites are, and if a website isn’t optimized for mobile browsing, it will most likely drop in ranking. Google has even gone so far as to send site owners warnings and errors as to a site’s issues with non-mobile accessibility.

The truth is that this has been an issue for some time – to remain relevant and competitive in the current digital landscape, a site must have a usable and engaging mobile presence.

Mobile sites are different from regular sites, so there is a different set of best practices that you need to follow. It’s important to make sure your mobile site is optimized and formatted correctly because mobile visitors now make up a large percentage of total site visitors.

Webmasters report 30-40% of their visitors to use mobile devices. This news is critical to any website owner with an active user base that relies on search engine results to bring traffic to their site. It will be imperative that anyone wanting to remain visible to prospective users invests the resources into optimizing their site for mobile platforms such as iOS, Windows and Android. There has been some backlash to this development with many feeling pushed into having to become mobile-friendly.

For mobile web design, delivering good usability and user experience is a combination of providing an excellent design, information architecture and functionality. Beginning with the right framework and a true understanding of the audience. By understanding what a user comes to a site for, a system of organization can be developed to a user-targeted navigation menu, creating relevant design and easily consumable site architecture.

The mobile web is the fastest growing web tool that we need to be grasping, to keep our organizations’ online presence at top speed. Picking a mobile platform should be based upon your organization’s brand, combined with what your target audience is looking at – keeping in mind that the user interface and user experience should always be consistent with desktop websites for the best mobile results.

Whether going the route of basic mobile optimization or a fully responsive site (RWD) – this development should not be taken lightly. Working with a creative team specializing in digital strategies will provide several pathways to achieve the best result.