On February, 26th, Google announced two major algorithm changes that will increase the importance of having mobile-friendly content. Starting April 21, Google will increase the weight of mobile-friendliness among their ranking factors. It is worth noting that there will not be varying degrees of mobile readiness, you are either mobile friendly or you aren’t, according to a recent Search Engine Land article.
Google has also indicated they will start using information obtained from indexed apps for searchers who have installed those apps. The result being that information from apps will become more prominent in search results. This means that business owners should strongly consider adopting a mobile-first (or at least a strong mobile) strategy in all of their SEO marketing and web development efforts.
Here are some of the major reasons why the time to get mobile ready is now!
A Mobile-Friendly Website Will Rank Higher
Since the unveiling of the Google Hummingbird algorithm update in 2014, Google has emphasized the need for webmasters to build responsive websites. Building a responsive mobile site will ensure that your website is displayed on as many screen sizes as possible. For example, the screen width of smartphones and tablets range from 320 px to 1024 px wide. Google favors responsive mobile friendly design because it eliminates the possibility of indexing duplicate content, prevents faulty redirects from desktop to mobile pages, and allows users to enjoy the best user experience for their device.
Did You Know: Mobile Users are Outnumbering Laptop Users?
Throughout the world, internet accessibility has grown astronomically in the past few years. Many who barely had electricity a few years ago now enjoy 3G and 4G wireless broadband internet access on their smartphones and tablets. Consequently, there is a rapid rise in the number of adults who are searching for information about products, reading user reviews, and shopping online from their mobile devices. The data you can collect from your website will show you how many visitors are accessing your website from devices running iOS, Android, or Windows mobile operating systems. Take the free information that is available to you through Google Analytics and use it to better optimize your site for users, something that Google also strongly encourages and rewards.
Mobile Friendly Means Faster Page Load Times
When your website is mobile ready, it will download faster on your users’ tablets or smartphones. All design elements such as pictures, buttons, and links will be optimized for mobile users. Remember that mobile viewers don’t have a point and click device. So, all text links and buttons must be big enough for them to use their fingers to touch and activate them. In addition, since most mobile visitors search on the move, they will not wait long for slow-loading webpages. In fact, Google has stated on their website that most mobile users will return to the search results pages if a page takes more than 5 seconds to load. So, you must do everything possible to ensure that your mobile viewers enjoy fast page load speeds when they visit your businesses website.
Cater to Mobile Viewers for Higher Conversion Rates
Numerous surveys conducted by online marketing and conversion optimization experts show that mobile ready websites have higher conversion rates. Since they load faster and present information in a simple and easy to digest manner, they are easier to navigate. As a user on the website, the ease of navigation is a major factor in whether they continue through your sales funnel or click “back” and visit a competitor site.
What Happens if You Aren’t Mobile Ready?
Google is not always forthcoming with information about how they evaluate and rank websites so when they tell you to make sure your site is mobile friendly, you should not take the suggestion lightly. If you do not heed the warning you are only hurting your business. Here are just a few things you can expect.
Your Bounce Rate Will Increase
When mobile internet users come to your site or find you through search engines, they expect to have a fast, smooth and user-friendly experience. But if your website does not load fast and present information in a way that can easily be accessed on the small screens of most mobile devices, they will leave immediately. Consequently, your bounce rate will increase and Google will lower the rankings of your website because it thinks that users are not happy with the content you are providing. Simply put, people are going to leave your site and visit a competitor who HAS a mobile friendly site.
Not Mobile Friendly? Your Search Engine Rankings Will Drop!
This is an obvious effect of having a site that is not mobile ready. But it is still worth mentioning because it can reduce sales and profits of your business very rapidly. This is particularly true when your business relies on the free traffic offered by search engines. So you must ensure that your website passes Google’s mobile-friendly test. You should also check the information provided in the usability report so you can tackle issues raised by Google before the April 21 deadline. Simply put, if you do not get your website up to par, you are going to lose potential customers and revenue.
The Bottom Line: You need to have a mobile ready website on or before April 21st, 2015.
A mobile-friendly website can boost your ranking in Google, increase traffic to your website and increase the conversions from your online marketing efforts.
If you do not implement a solid mobile-first strategy in your business, you could lose a significant market share while your competitors take over your customers.
If you are not sure whether or not your website is mobile friendly, get in touch with Stellar SEO today and we would be happy to show you. Call (615) 953-9493 to learn more.