Starting today, April 21st, small business owners who keep close tabs on their website traffic may notice a sizable dip in their numbers.

No, this isn’t random, nor is it temporary – but just one of the anticipated effects of Google’s big search algorithm change.

Almost 2 months ago, the search giant announced that it would issue some changes to it search algorithms in order to help deliver more “mobile-friendly websites in search results”. Well, that time has come and if you’re one of the many business owners who didn’t optimize your website for mobile in preparation for the shift, then now is the time to pay attention.

So, what exactly is happening?

In short, Google will begin using “mobile-friendliness” as a factor when determining the rank of websites in search results. Thus, if your website pages have not been optimized for mobile devices, then you’ll likely see a dip in your site rankings and overall traffic from Google. Business Insider reported that about 60% of web traffic currently comes from mobile. Clearly, Google has taken heed of those statistics and responded accordingly.

You may be wondering what a mobile optimized website is? There are several things that make a web page mobile-friendly, but the primary ones to focus on are resizing pages to fit on mobile screens (smartphones and tablets), having large text that can be easily viewed on a small device, and links that are easy to click with a finger.

How is this impacting small business?

For larger companies with the financial resources and manpower to convert site pages to become more mobile friendly, this is a fairly easy fix. However, for small businesses that weren’t aware of the impending changes or don’t have on-demand access to webmasters, this could significantly impact where you rank in Google searches.

What should I do?

The first thing that you need to do is determine how mobile friendly your website is. Then, you’ll want to make changes as necessary. The good news is that you’re not alone and Google has provided several resources – including a “mobile-friendly test”, a “getting started guide”, and a “mobile SEO guide” – to help determine these things.Now that you have the information, don’t hold off on adjusting your website for these changes. Take advantage of the resources above and get your site mobile optimized right away so that you can continue reaching your customers without interruption!

About the Author

Paul Nugent is a small business advocate, and Head of Marketing at ShopKeep point of sale’s UK headquarters. Paul uses his background in the startup space, along with his POS system expertise, to allow small business owners to make informed decisions within their specific budgets.