The end is here. No, I’m not talking about the zombie apocalypse (as much as you probably wish I was), I’m talking about the end of desktop dominance. Google will be making it mandatory that your website be mobile friendly if you want to rank against your competition. Tomorrow, Google will begin releasing an update to their search algorithm that will lower your website’s rank if it doesn’t play nice with mobile devices.
This is a smart move by Google considering the drastic change we have seen in the way users consume internet content in recent years. I’m sure you have questions, we’ve done some digging for you to make your life easier to prepare for this mobile apocalypse.
Why would Google do this?
Google’s goal is simple, they want to provide users with results that deliver the most optimal experience. Comscore.com released an astounding statistic earlier this year.
Mobile has swiftly risen to become the leading digital platform, with total activity on smartphones and tablets accounting for an astounding 60 percent of digital media time spent in the U.S.
With smartphones and tablets outpacing desktop web browsing, it’s in Google’s best interest to optimize its search results with mobile in mind. To fuel this fire, Google performed a survey back in 2012 that found that 72% of users stated that mobile friendliness is an important to them. This wasn’t the only astounding statistic that Google found in their survey. Below are some of the other results as reported by Searchenginewatch.com:
Almost three-quarters of respondents said they are more likely to revisit a mobile-friendly site. Users are five times more likely to abandon the task they are trying to complete if the site isn’t optimized for mobile use, with 79 percent saying they will go back to search and try to find another site to meet their needs.
Considering the high likelihood that users will abandon a task if the site is not mobile friendly, Google’s new optimization will ensure users are landing on websites that will best meet their needs.
What do I need to do?
Unlike the actual Armageddon, this doesn’t have to be the end of you (or your business.) First and foremost, ensure that your website is mobile friendly. If you’re not mobile friendly and your primary source of traffic is from search engines, you’ll want to act fast. There are tons of easy to install and manage WordPress themes; with most of them being mobile friendly. (We use Minamize Pro for TechSmash and mobile friendliness is a breeze.)
Once you’ve revamped your website to mobile friendliness, or if your website is already mobile friendly, there are tools available to ensure that Google is interpreting your site as mobile-friendly. Google has provided their own tool that will provide a quick assessment as to the mobile friendliness of your website. Simply enter your URL and it will tell you what it sees and whether it’s classified as mobile friendly. (See the image to the right.)
Additionally, for a more in-depth analysis, companies such as ismysitemobile.net will not only do an assessment of your mobile-friendliness, but also provide you a free consultation to help you optimize your website from an overall SEO standpoint. (Including mobile) Nothing is better than free help.
Why should I waste my time on this?
As with any decision you make when running a business, it’s important to assess the investment compared to its projected return. Will it be worth your time to revamp your website? Something to consider during your ROI analysis is the percentage of competitors that are mobile friendly and whether this will give your company a competitive advantage. According to Dreamscapedesign.co.uk:
Results show that between 2% and 10% of websites have been specifically designed with mobile user’s in mind, and these percentages tends to dwindle as you move away from the leading name websites.
With mobile focused websites being the minority, this could be a huge opportunity to rank your website by investing in mobile. Additionally, DreamScape Design goes on to state that bounce rates for non-mobile friendly websites are considerably higher averaging between 85% and 90%. If those numbers don’t scream, “UPDATE YOUR WEBSITE NOW”, I don’t know what will.
What are your thoughts on Google’s new algorithm? Are you worried it’s going to impact your website or business? Let us know in the comments below.