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Google isn’t the only one that wants your website to be mobile-friendly

Google has made it official, they want your website to be mobile-friendly. On April 21, 2015, Google started ranking mobile-friendly websites higher on mobile devices, specifically, smartphones.


This new algorithm changes everything. When someone uses Google search on a mobile device, Google will now rank websites that are mobile-friendly higher and with 60% of online traffic being generated by mobile devices, the impact on website traffic is going to be huge; even in Google’s official statement, they said the change will have a “significant impact in our search results.”

Now, if you have a mobile-friendly site, this could change could be positive. But if you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, your traffic may drop.

Are you mobile-friendly?

Fortunately, Google has been very open about what they are looking for when they say “mobile-friendly” website. Here is what Google is considering:

  • Website software that’s compatible with mobile (no Flash)
  • Large, readable text without zooming
  • Content automatically resizes to fit the screen (responsive design)
  • Large links with plenty of space between each so they are easily tapped
  • Individual pages are ranked, not full websites (so if you have certain components of your site that are already set up for mobile, those will rank higher than other pages on your site)
  • Quality content. Google is still looking at quality vs. quantity of content on your site

The top four factors on this list are all standard responsive web design elements. To test your site, use Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool.

Your donors want your site to be mobile-friendly, too

Making sure your website is mobile-friendly from Google’s perspective is important, but let’s talk about the direct impact your mobile-friendly site has on donors and why it matters. Here are three reasons to consider:

1. Emails are mobile

Most nonprofits rely heavily on email to solicit donations, but did you know that 53% of email is now opened on a mobile device? So imagine this, your potential donor opens your email on his or her phone, wants to donate, clicks your “donate now” and is sent to your website. A website that doesn’t function well on a smartphone. Chances are, you just created frustrated donor or lost one altogether. Responsive websites are key to keep donors engaged during all parts of the communication process—from email to donation pages.

2. Social media is mobile

Nonprofits are currently flourishing on social media; the average social media donation is $59 and growing each year and 47% of Americans learn about causes via social media and online channels. But social media is mobile. Approximately 60% of social media time is spent on smartphones and tablets. So, like the email scenario above, if you ask for donations on social media, but then lead potential donors to a website they can’t read on their phones, you’ll likely lose that donation or frustrate your donor (do you see a trend?).

3. Events are mobile

For some nonprofits, fundraising events are where a majority of their funds for the year are raised, but even during in-person events, mobile rules. One study found that using Twitter during fundraising events can result in 10 times more money raised online; but, once again, your website needs to function on a mobile device because no one brings their desktop to a fundraising event.

The importance of responsive web design has been increasing for years, but now, it is a necessity for success. We will continue to watch how Google’s new search rankings pan out. In my opinion, I think it will quickly expand from just mobile search rankings to personal computer, desktop and tablet search rankings as well.

4aGoodCause is here to help. Over the past 16 years, we’ve helped hundreds of clients move their websites and donation pages to mobile-friendly platforms and layouts. If you’re ready to make the switch to responsive design, contact us!

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald is the President and Founder of 4aGoodCause, the fundraising CRM that makes recurring, monthly giving a breeze for small nonprofits.

For over 25 years, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves, building online solutions that make a difference in the world. He’s helped raise millions of dollars online for small nonprofits across the country. Connect with Ronald on LinkedIn.

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