Did you know there are more than 1.5 billion mobile Internet users worldwide?
There’s no question mobile user experience has been an important consideration for website optimization in recent years; but it’s about to become a game-changer. As of April 21st, 2015, Google will be modifying its algorithms for mobile search, meaning mobile search engine results pages (SERPs) will be influenced by the mobile-friendliness of a website.
If you haven’t already taken advantage of growing opportunities in the mobile space, this recent announcement should be just the boost you need to optimize your company’s website for mobile access.
The Mobile Landscape: B2C and B2B
Google’s efforts to accommodate the use of mobile devices is in response to the rising percentage of online searches being performed via mobile every year. Mobile Internet usage has more than doubled in the past year and a half alone, and it has officially surpassed desktop-based digital media consumption.
Many businesses have pounced on the opportunities mobile offers – and not just B2C brands. It is becoming an equally valuable tool in the B2B arsenal, as mobile marketing allows brands to reach and engage with their audiences everywhere, at any time.
Breaking Down the Latest Google Algorithm Change
As Google explained in a recent blog post, the new algorithm will favor mobile-optimized websites. While the specifics as to how the way a website’s “mobile friendliness” is measured have yet to be released, the ultimate goal is an improved user experience for online visitors.
Experts have argued the upcoming change will have the greatest impact on search yet – even more so than Google’s previous Panda and Penguin updates. Many believe the update has the potential to completely transform the way businesses approach search engine optimization (SEO).
For many businesses, SEO directly impacts the bottom line, especially if you rely on Internet searches for attracting new customers. Google, like many brands, wants to provide an optimal experience for Web visitors, no matter what device they are using. At the end of the day, the better the experience you provide for your users, the more Google will reward you for your efforts.
Next Steps for Your Business in Mobile Search
If you already have a mobile optimization strategy in place, then chances are you don’t have much to worry about. Once the new algorithm is updated, look to see a jump in rankings as your site shows up higher in search results pages than your non-mobile-friendly competitors.
If you have been dragging your feet when it comes to optimizing your site to be mobile-friendly, you’re going to want to take action immediately to ensure the new update doesn’t harm your search rankings.
Here are a few questions to get you started:
1. What does “mobile-friendly” mean and why is it important?
Today, there are endless variations in device shapes and sizes, making it impossible for a static mobile site to fit comfortably on all potential screens. Google recommends using a responsive website design to ensure mobile-friendliness. With a responsive design, your site design will automatically scale to fit the screen of the device used by your visitor.
Look closely at the fonts and touch elements on your site when accessed from a mobile device. Are they easy to read? Are the buttons easy to use and appropriately spaced? Pay attention to what online users are looking for in a mobile environment, and ensure they can easily navigate key pages – this means confirming your “About” and “Contact” information is clearly visible and accessible.
2. Determine if your website is mobile-friendly.
Mobile optimized sites have been the standard over the past couple of years. If your business site is on the older side, it is probably not mobile-friendly. Your web designer or developer can tell you if your site uses this protocol.
You can also check whether your site takes advantage of the latest mobile changes by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
3. Are your customers visiting your site from a mobile device?
Once you’ve optimized for best practices, you’ll want to put a system in place to track keyword trends and mobile rankings across device type (desktop/mobile/tablet). How much of your traffic is coming from a mobile environment? At Initial Design Group, we’re currently seeing an average of 40% mobile traffic for clients in the B2C space. While B2B clients average around 25%. These numbers are only going to continue to rise. Connect with us to receive a full breakdown of your mobile visitor data.
4. Take action with mobile-friendly design.
As mentioned above, time is of the essence here. Having a website that is not optimized for mobile could hurt your search rankings, and ultimately, your bottom line. Make it easy for potential clients and customers to find you online and enjoy their user experience from any device. Reach out to our team at ID and let us put a mobile strategy together for you.