If your website isn’t optimized for the mobile experience, this is your warning!
Mobile-geddon Is Upon Us – Are You Ready?
People often ask us if a mobile responsive website is ‘really’ necessary. Well, remember how 15 years ago you were questioning if having a website at all was necessary. You’re smiling aren’t you? Yeah, it’s safe to say that’s a dead issue now.
These days, the same question is being asked about having a mobile-friendly website. On April 21, Google is answering that question with an emphatic yes!
Here’s some history about mobile marketing and what we know about the new mobile-friendly algorithm being rolled out by Google in just a few short weeks.
Mobile Marketing Isn’t Just Here To Stay – It’s Dominating!
Unless everyone decides to throw down their smartphones today and swear them off, mobile marketing is as important to your success as is just having a website. It’s here to stay. Here are some quick mobile marketing stats to drive the point home:
70% of mobile searches lead to action on a website within one hour of when the search was conducted (iAcquire).
By 2015, mobile marketing in the U.S. will generate $400 billion compared to $139 billion in 2012 (WebDAM).
Local mobile searches (85.9 billion in 2013) are projected to exceed desktopsearches (84 billion) for the first time in 2015 (eMarketer).
And just how important is a mobile-friendly website experience to your brand? Try this on for size:
Nearly half of consumers say they won’t return to a website if it doesn’t load properly on their mobile devices (The Social Media Hat).
It just makes good sense to optimize for the mobile experience. But if you’re still resistant to the idea, consider that Google has been slowly dropping hints that if your website isn’t mobile friendly, it’s not going to do as well as websites that are optimized for mobile.
Google’s First Mobile-Friendly Warning To Webmasters
Google understands nobody likes looking at miniature versions of a large website on their mobile phone where the links are tiny and impossible to click and the text is too small to read so you have to enlarge the screen and swipe the screen from side to side to read it.
So, back in late 2014, Google fired their first warning shot about the importance of the mobile experience when they released their ‘mobile-friendly’ label.
Does your website have the ‘Mobile-Friendly’ tag? Better check!
Why You Should Care About Mobile Experience Optimization
With the explosion of mobile usage, Google recognizes that its users deserve the best possible experience. So in order to deliver on that, they are now drawing the proverbial line in the sand this month.
Come April 21, 2015 if your website is not optimized for mobile-friendliness, it will be penalized and drop in the search rankings. In fact, Zineb Ait Bahajji from the Webmaster Trends team at Google had this to say regarding the new mobile-friendly algorithm,
The upcoming mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that will launch on April 21st will have more of an impact on Google’s search results than the Google Panda update and the Google Penguin update did.
While there are a number of ways this statement can be interpreted, it’s safe to say that either way you slice it, this algorithm is going to leave a mark on the face of search results everywhere.
Mobile Usage vs. Desktop Usage? No Contest
Can you blame Google for wanting to make sure the majority of its users get the best possible experience during their search? We’re knee deep in mobile usage dominating desktop usage. No graph demonstrates the meteoric rise and dominance of mobile use, and the fall from grace for desktop, then the following graph.
Mobile Usage Skyrockets – And There’s No Sign It’s Going To Slow!
Google has said enough is enough. Websites must be mobile-friendly or disappear from mobile search results.
Far Reaching Implications For Non-Mobile Friendly Websites
With the understanding that this mobile-friendly algorithm is going to have a significant impact, Google had a recent Google+ hangout on the topic and the 3 things we learned were:
The algorithm starts rolling out on April 21, 2015 and will take a few days to a week to roll out completely and globally.
You are either mobile-friendly or you’re not! There are no degrees of mobile friendliness in this algorithm.
The fastest way to see if your web pages are mobile-friendly or not is to check for the mobile-friendly label in live mobile search results now (as described above). If not, then check the mobile-friendly testing tool, which should match the live Google search results.
Real-Time Mobile Search Algorithm
Gary Illyes, another member of the Google Webmaster Trends team recently mentioned at the SMX West conference that the new mobile-friendly search algorithm will run in real-time. So basically, you can make your site mobile-friendly at any time, and as soon as Google crawls your site again, you will start benefitting from the mobile-friendly algorithm change and it will immediately be labeled as mobile-friendly.
Page-By-Page Basis Algorithm
Gary also confirmed that this algorithm will be on a page-by-page basis. That means, if you have 30 pages on your website and 10 of them are mobile-friendly and 20 are not mobile friendly, then ONLY the pages that are mobile-friendly will benefit.
This is critical to sites that have pages that are created specifically to convert the visitor into a lead or customer. If any one of those pages isn’t optimized for mobile-friendliness, those pages will suffer in search results even if the home page is optimized for mobile.
For The Love Of ROI, Please Optimize For Mobile – The Sooner The Better!
Needless to say, making sure your site and your main sales or lead pages are mobile-friendly isn’t an option – not if you want your site to deliver the results you expected in the first place.
If you expect to be relevant in organic search (and certainly in paid media, but that’s a whole other post) then you simply MUST make sure your site is mobile-friendly, and do it now! Otherwise, don’t be shocked when your website disappears from search results starting April 21, and traffic falls off a cliff. You’ve been warned!
Do you have a question about mobile marketing and what it means to your audience and business? Call Verdin at 805-541-9005 or contact us here.