Charities warned to optimise websites for mobile devices or they will fall down Google rankings

The internet search provider is favouring mobile-friendly websites from today; the media agency equimedia says charities might experience a fall-off in mobile traffic to their sites unless they act

Warning on mobile optimisation
Warning on mobile optimisation

Charities could fall down Google’s search rankings unless their websites are optimised for mobile devices, the media agency equimedia has warned.

The internet search provider has announced that from today its algorithm will begin favouring mobile-friendly websites and rank them higher in search results. Websites that are not mobile-friendly will appear lower down the list than before.

Jonathan Moore, head of the search engine optimisation group at equimedia, said charities that failed to ensure they had mobile-friendly websites might soon notice a reduction in mobile traffic to their sites.

Moore cited figures from Google showing that 36 per cent of all searches related to donations and charitable giving took place on mobile devices – a figure, he said, that was projected to grow.

He said equimedia had tested 129 charity websites using Google’s "mobile-friendly test" and found that 61 per cent were not mobile-friendly.

"Charities need to make a step change in the way they market their brands and become more accessible for mobile device users" he said. "It is clear that the vast majority still have work to do to turn their websites into mobile-friendly tools that can increase visibility and in return drive up conversion rates."

Moore said he had a number of tips for making charity websites more mobile-friendly. These included: avoiding software that is not common on mobile devices, such as Flash; using text that can be read without the need to zoom in; using a responsive design that automatically resizes content according to screen size; and placing links far enough apart that users can easily tap on the one they want.

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