Google’s Upcoming Mobile Algorithm Change
If you don’t have a mobile friendly website, you’ll lose Google rankings, traffic, leads & sales.
Google has always been at the forefront of Internet trends, pushing, if not creating, rules for the way we access, search and market online. In February of this year, Google did it again by announcing changes to their search algorithms – changes that are tied directly to mobile SEO.
On April 21 2015 Google will roll out a new search algorithm that will rank mobile-friendly websites higher than those that are not optimized for mobile use. In Google’s own words “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”
Confirm that Your Website is Mobile Friendly
Google has created a tool to quickly and easily check if they view your website as mobile friendly. To run this test click here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.
Why Your Business Absolutely Needs a Mobile-Friendly Website
It’s long since been established that the days of thumbing through the Yellow Pages or searching the daily newspaper to find products or services are over. Today, companies that do not have a mobile friendly web presence are severely handicapped in marketing against their competitors. Why is this?
- 5 billion people worldwide use the Internet and 80 per cent of Internet users own a smartphone.
- 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop.
- 70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour
If you don’t have a mobile friendly website, your web pages will lose ranking in Google. If your site is not visible on Google’s mobile search rankings, you will lose traffic, customers, and sales to your competitors.
What is Mobile SEO?
To understand mobile SEO, one must first understand how SEO works. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. When a company markets itself online, it can do so by purchasing banners and/or ad space. The far more effective way to get noticed online, however, is through optimization.
With the total number of websites hitting 1 billion in 2014, you can bet retailers are doing everything they can to make their sites stand out. Savvy businesspeople turn to SEO experts that carefully analyze their sites, products and services, then design a campaign that involves a combination of keywords worked into their web content, along with keyword-rich articles and blogs. These keywords are terms consumers type into search engines, namely Google. For example, when looking for a good mid-priced hotel in Vancouver, you might type “cheap clean accommodations in Vancouver”. Those are keywords.
That brings us back to mobile SEO. Despite the fact that there are probably more new and used smartphones on the planet right now than there are actual people, not every retailer has taken the crucial step of creating a mobile-friendly website. I’m sure you have experienced the frustration of looking up a website online, only to have to maximize your view on the screen or rotate the phone at crazy angles to see the content. Worse yet, those ads that pop up on websites causing you to click the elusive x in order to get back to what you were reading are especially annoying on a smartphone.
For these reasons, Google wants to reward those that have created mobile-friendly sites, and encourage those that have not to take that step and up their game. Therefore, Google announced April 21, 2015, as the day mobile search engine results pages (SERPs) would be impacted by the mobile accessibility of websites.
Getting Ready: Responsive vs Mobile Sites
A responsive website “responds” to mobile devices and displays the content as optimally as possible, while a mobile website is built exclusively for viewing on mobile screens. While Google recommends building a responsive website, responsive sites will not have a ranking benefit over mobile specific sites.
Whether you have a responsive or a specific mobile site, your site’s rankings will be determined at the page, not the site, level. Concerning mobile specific sites, these are usually created on a subdomain, which means you should use tags that direct users to the traditional URL for duplicate mobile pages.
Mobile sites are more affordable, user friendly and more streamlined than responsive sites, however responsive sites require less maintenance and are more compliant with a wider range of browsers. Mobile sites offer upfront affordability, while responsive sites provide a greater return on investment over the long term. Your decision to achieve mobile SEO compliance through a responsive site or through creating a mobile site will depend on your needs and preferences.
Don’t Get Left Behind
The date SERPs will be impacted by the mobile capability of your site is April 21, 2015. If your site is not responsive or you do not have a mobile site, and if your site(s) are not optimized to take advantage of mobile SEO, speak to a professional digital marketing agency today. Failure to recognize the importance of mobile SEO is failure to thrive in this new, digital, global marketplace where being found online is the key to your company’s success.