You may have heard in the news recently talk of Google’s plans to improve it’s search index to favour “mobile friendly” websites for the mobile version of the popular internet search engine. The impact of this impending update is anticipated as one of the most significant changes to the Google index to date, with some even referring to it as the new Y2K (or Mobilegeddon).
What does “Mobilegeddon” mean for car rental websites?
Well it might help to start by explaining the reason for this change. Imagine you’re on a business trip and you need to rent a car for the day, you haven’t booked anything in advance so you pull out your mobile phone and Google for “car rental”. Google promptly returns a list of results for the websites of car rental companies in the local area. You click on the one that appeals to you the most (probably one on the first page) and you are forwarded to a site that has obviously been designed to be viewed on a desktop computer and almost impossible to use from a mobile device.
Google’s popularity as a search engine is built on it’s ability to deliver relevant results. The reason for this update is to remove websites from the search results that are not relevant to the device being searched on. So if you are operating a car rental website which is not “mobile-friendly” then you can expect your site will disappear from this list of results some time after April 21.
For businesses that rely on a steady stream of customers from Google, this will have a significant impact on online sales – with the proportion of Google searches via mobile soon to overtake desktop. As you are most likely already aware, a significant number of customers who view your website are already doing so from a mobile device.
What if your car rental website isn’t mobile-friendly?
There are two main options. The main one which is favoured by Google is to make your site “responsive”. This means the pages of your website will automatically adjust their layout based on the size of the user’s screen. You can see this in action by adjusting the width of the page you are viewing now (the Carcloud site is fully-responsive).
Alternatively, you can create a separate subdomain such as m.yourwebsite.com and automatically send all mobile traffic to this new mini site. This can help you launch more quickly but a potential downside is needing to manage another website, which may lack some of the rich content of your main desktop site.
We provide both types of mobile solutions for our customers and can help you discover which is right for you.