Procrastinators, speculators, and penny-pinchers better be ready when April 21st rolls around. This is the fateful day that Google will incorporate a site’s mobile-friendliness into its ranking algorithm.
Google made it clear in its announcement on their blog, that websites which are not mobile-friendly will, “have a significant impact in our search results.”
Is this a surprise to anyone?
If you’re a business owner you probably own a smart phone. That’s my humble guess. I’m also going to take a stab in the dark and guess that you use your smart phone for not only texting and email, but also for searching for businesses that sell a product you’re looking for–let’s say, oh-I don’t know, tan shoes with velcro straps.
You find the site that has tan shoes with velcro straps, but dang! The type is really tiny, and unless you have lilliputian hands, you can’t press on the links to purchase those awesome shoes. You enlarge the screen, but then this requires you to do a lot of scrolling sideways.
I’m surmising at this point you’re getting frustrated in the purchasing process; you really didn’t think it was going to take this long to buy those darn shoes.
This is what Google is trying to alleviate–a searcher’s frustration level. They will start adding a “mobile-friendly” label for all websites which are developed and designed for mobile devices. Here is an example of what the search result would look like:
I suppose if you are a business owner, the first thing you would want to do is check to see if your website is already optimized to be mobile-friendly.
Go ahead and click on that link above. I’ll wait…..
So, is your website mobile friendly? Yes? Awesome!!!! You won’t be sent to burn in purgatory by Google.
If your website comes up not being so mobile-friendly, there are some steps you need to take immediately to avoid losing your search ranking.
Just How Mobile-Friendly Are We?
When I state, “We”, I mean businesses in general. According to a report completed by Exact Target 2014 State of Marketing Report, mobile has become one of the top priorities for businesses. Here’s some stats:
- 80% of marketers who use mobile believe it does increase ROI
- 30% of marketers use location-based technology as part of their marketing strategy
- 47% of businesses have a mobile app
Additionally, when businesses were asked which initiatives they were working on and planning to pursue in the coming year, 58% of B2B Marketers stated they wanted to create better mobile strategies. A greater percentage of B2C marketers reported it as a priority of 74%.
At least the majority of businesses have mobile-friendly technology on their radar. However, the blip on your radar is moving closer to your home base target. When April 21st rolls around and your business isn’t ready, Google will have basically “Sunk your battleship.”
Thanks Milton Bradley.
Sinking one’s battleship is a fun game, but when your battleship–or business–is sunk because of the lack of technology, who is to blame?
What Do We, As Business Owners, Need To Know?
I would summarize this new Google update with the most notable features to spare you from reading a litany of articles out there.
Notable Features of Google’s latest update coming April 21st:
- Responsive design does not have a ranking benefit. So, if you are not sure whether you should have a responsive design over a mobile design, it won’t matter. You need to go mobile.
- The new algorithm is applied worldwide, page by page, and on a real-time basis. Read below for more details on this bullet point.
- Tablets will not be affected by this update
- Google is currently working on a dedicated mobile index
“Worldwide” means that the algorithm update affects mobile searchers and search results in all countries at the same time, rather than just rolling out in the U.S. first. It’s kind of like pressing a big red button asking for gold coins to fall out of the sky over the entire planet at the same time, but you get a Google update instead.
“Page by page” means that each page’s mobile friendliness is judged separately. As an example, you may have an online catalog that is mobile-friendly, but your Contact page is not. Don’t despair if this is the case; pages that aren’t mobile-friendly won’t cause your entire website to be ranked as unfriendly.
I keep using the word, “unfriendly.” Let’s change it up to, “grouchy”.
“Real time” means that you can expect to see the ranking benefit of making your site mobile friendly right away. The next time Googlebot crawls your pages and sees that it is mobile-friendly and not grouchy, the ranking algorithm will start rolling.
As far as how a mobile-friendly website would impact your business, statistics from numerous companies show that mobile sites have much better conversion rates. (Remember those tan velcro shoes?) Mobile sites tend to load faster and are easier to navigate. Overall, it’s just a better user experience.
This is what Google wants. A better user experience. They are turning customers’ frustrations over grouchy websites and re-inventing that feeling so that mobile searchers will land on sites and have positive viewing experience.
Good-bye, grouchy. Hello, happy customer.
This is what matters to Google.
Happy customers should also be the priority for any business owner.
Businesses Need To Act…Now
So, now you’re thinking–well, maybe panicking–about realizing your website is grouchy and not mobile-friendly.
What can you do to fix the situation by April 21st?
Cyber-Construction offers mobile website development in the form of either a mobile optimized website or responsive website design starting at $495.00.
These costs are very reasonable compared to losing search ranking–and ultimately revenue–if you don’t update your website to be mobile-friendly. Don’t have a grouchy website. Visit Cyber-Construction on the web, or give us a call at (888) 852-6587.