Google has long held the key to consumers locating information about what they are interested in. Searching through Google is simple and fast. As a business, the keywords located on the pages of your website were used to determine where Google ranked you. The better the use of keywords, the higher you would be located when someone searched for what you offer. That’s about to change!
Google recently announced that it would make a change to its search algorithms, the biggest change that they’ve made in years. This is definitely something to be taken seriously. A website’s “mobile friendliness” will now play a key role in the way it is ranked. Sites that are not set up to be optimized for mobile will appear lower in the search pages.
The term mobile friendly means that websites are designed to work fluidly when a user is on a smartphone. The plan is to scan each page on a site, checking for load times, responsive design elements and simplicity in movement from page to page. The main things to bear in mind are:
- text sizes that are readable without zooming
- content fits the screen so scrolling and zooming aren’t necessary
- spacing links appropriately so tapping the correct one isn’t too difficult
Flash will be a big problem too. It is not commonly supported on mobile devices and Google will factor that into search rankings.
Why is this such a big deal? With mobile searches growing at 10 times the rate of desktop searches, businesses that don’t have mobile friendly sites stand to lose a third of their traffic. Currently, more than 66% of Fortune 100 companies do not have mobile friendly websites, so this is set to have a huge impact. While the announcement stated that tablet searches won’t be affected, that change is likely in the pipeline, so it is worth getting ahead of this change.
There is something worth noting. Google will be checking every page, however, the algorithm will be applied on a page-by-page basis, not to the whole site. This means that as different pages become mobile friendly they can start to benefit from the SEO boost offered by this update. If you are not in a position for an overhaul, your focus should be on your homepage and commonly used areas of the site.
Don’t yet see just how your business will be affected? Consider that in the year 2015, over 1.9 billion people will be using smartphones. By 2018, over one-third of consumers worldwide will use smartphones. The numbers are staggering when you think about it. Through the first quarter of 2015, 43% of mobile traffic was for searches. Put the numbers together and imagine where this is going to go.
For businesses, it’s a sobering wake-up call. Get up to speed on mobile or be left behind. If you don’t, you’re going to get lost in search results, see a huge decrease in web traffic and, naturally, a loss in revenue will follow. Currently, 89% of all smartphone users worldwide conduct searches on Google. Until the search ranking update is fully implemented, we won’t know what the effect will be on mobile and desktop search results. One thing is for sure, users can expect a mobile experience that is not only easier to view, but also easier to navigate.
This will definitely benefit businesses that have worked hard to optimize the mobile experience for consumers. They will have an SEO advantage over competitors that are lagging behind. This is a great opportunity to grow your business.
While this will have no effect on searches from desktop computers, it is to the benefit of all businesses to be quick to get up to speed with mobile and make sure your website delivers a positive consumer experience. Consumers have a propensity to abandon your brand if they are struggling to look at your products, make purchases or contact you when on your site.
This is where SSMCreative can be of great assistance to ensure you don’t lose your Google ranking and get left behind. Our priority has been to make the websites we design visually appealing as well as mobile-friendly. Let us help you stay current with technology and ahead of the businesses that won’t see the benefit this change will have. It’s worth making the changes now before your profits take a hit. Feel free to contact us at (215) 679-3380 or [email protected]. It’s what we are excellent at and will keep you at the top of the search page!