From the 21st April Google will, once again, be changing their search algorithm; if you’re familiar with the web industry this should come as no surprise, Google often change their search algorithms in pursuit of giving users the most relevant results. The bottom line is, if your site isn’t optimised for mobile, it will stop showing on mobile search results.
Does This Affect Me?
If you’d like to check if your site is at risk you can use Google’s easy-to-use ‘Mobile-Friendly Test’ which you can find here https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.
To clarify, Google don’t simply favour big brands because they’ve paid them more money or have partnerships with each other, Google simply want to get the user to where they need to be as quickly as possible so these algorithms are set up to try and second guess the page users are after. The ‘trick’ with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is to do everything in your power to prove that your site is exactly what users are looking for, hence rising through the rankings. That’s clearly a very simplistic way of looking at things, there are a huge amount of tips, tricks and caveats behind that but it should give you a good introduction.
What will change?
The big news with the coming changes on 21st April are down to how Google provide their users with results on mobile, which globally now represents over 60% of all web traffic in the world. Let’s absorb that for a second, three out of every 5 visits to your site are potentially coming from a mobile phone. Google will now take a look at your site and see how it will look to users on a mobile, if your website isn’t optimised for mobile you will simply be omitted from the results, it’s as easy as that. If you’re not ready for the change you can potentially miss out on 60% of your web traffic, that’s 60% of your conversions, 60% of prospective customers, 60% of online revenue. Think of how much that can really cost your business, the cost for not ensuring your site is up-to-date.
Why is my site not already optimised?
It’s easy enough to fall into the trap, maybe your site was built 3-4+ years ago, mobiles weren’t quite so prevalent, maybe you couldn’t see the value in making your site responsive back when you were agreeing on a spec for your site, it wasn’t important, “people can just zoom in” you told yourself and your web developers. The simple truth is if no action is taken it will be a tough lesson to learn, it’s imperative that now is the time to take a look at your current online presence along with your web designers and developers and ask the question; what experience do we want to give our users on mobile?
The aim of this, of course, is to make navigating your site on mobile as easy, if not easier to use than it is on desktop. With new smartphone technologies you can give users a wide variety of inputs to achieve tasks; swipe, pinch and tap commands can be employed to help your user access the information they need quickly. The fact your user is on a mobile shouldn’t be used as a barrier to the content on the page, it might be necessary to hide some navigation items or superfluous images but the core content and important imagery should always be given precedence. It may be important to you to force the brand on your users, you want the logo bigger, you have a ‘swoosh’ device that you always use and you want that in there however with mobile you need to respect your user has time constraints, they may not have a great connection, therefore downloading your brand assets as well as the content is only going to slow the page load times and detract from the ultimate goal of the user. All of these factors are taken into consideration by Google and will go on to affect your search rankings significantly come 21st April.
What Can I Do?
Your web designers will be able to show you exactly what content is needed on mobile and offer ideas around displaying your brand in a way that won’t distract from the content and have a minimal impact on page load times, they will also be able to offer solutions to make your site responsive and ready for the changes Google are setting in motion on 21st April, the faster you act on this the fewer potential mobile customers your site is likely to miss out on.
Here at all. our studio team have been building responsive websites from the ground up for many years and have a combined 17 years web and digital marketing experience, we can take an objective look at your site to ensure it’s not only mobile ready but also incorporates tried and tested digital marketing techniques to achieve the performance your business needs to succeed at driving and monetising your online strategy.
To discuss this or any other design or development related problems call the studio on 0191 221 2277.