A few months ago, Google rolled out a new algorithm change that affected all websites without mobile-friendly design. By now, you’ve probably heard all the doom and gloom about mobilegeddon—but did it really affect your website or your business? What does the future look like for mobile-friendly search? Here’s what you need to know for 2016.
Get Mobile…or Pay the Price
57% of consumers say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Plus, 60% of all searches are performed on mobile devices. Google works to make the Internet more accessible to the world. The people have spoken, so businesses must get on board to ensure their website stays on top of search engine results.
Though the immediate effects of mobilegeddon weren’t as dramatic as marketers expected, the trend in algorithm changes will certainly continue to benefit mobile-friendly websites. So if you’re not working to ensure your website meets Google’s new mobile-friendly specs, your business won’t show up in mobile search results, time and time again—sending all that mobile traffic to your competitors.
How do we know how the new mobile algorithm will affect small businesses, long term? Truth is, we don’t. So it’s better safe than sorry—as consumers turn to more and more mobile devices, smartphones, tablets, and even wearables, it’s time to start moving toward mobile. Keep in mind that even if your site looks “ok” on your mobile device, it might not be up to speed as far as Google is concerned. Check it here with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
B2B is Not Exempt
Think your B2B business wasn’t affected? Think again. Last year, 72% of B2B decision makers reported using mobile devices to research before buying products or services for their business. Couple that with the fact that there are billions of mobile devices out there being used to browse the web then it’s a pretty big deal.
Today’s marketing is flowing away from the traditional “B2B” and “B2C” labels. Now it’s all H2H: human-to-human. Your B2B website isn’t selling to other businesses. You’re selling to the people within those organizations.
Turns out business buyers make decisions the same way consumers do, and for the same reasons. They want information, competitive prices, and a vendor they can trust. Plus, they want to do their research in their downtime, on the train going to work or during an endless, boring meeting.
Bottom Line: Going mobile appeals to people. Your business website should, too.
Separate Mobile Site or Responsive Design?
While a separate mobile-friendly site or subdomain might seem like a quick fix, it’s worth evaluating your mobile-friendly website options. You can choose a responsive site design, a hybrid-responsive site design, an adaptive site design, or a separate mobile site.
Google openly advocates for responsive design, a kind of website design that readily adapts to the user’s screen, regardless of size. Responsive design has some definite advantages. You’ll only need to update and format one page, it updates across all devices, and it includes all features supported by mobile devices, including tablets. Your best bet is to consult with a creative team experienced in digital marketing to determine the best fit for your business.
The Social Shoe Drops
In May, there was another subtle algorithm change, involving social signals like bounce rate, for example. How long a user stays on your site, where they go when they leave a page, and how many people share your pages and posts further affect your search engine rankings. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you could lose a lot of points in the social signals arena as well.
If you’ve lost search engine page ranking position recently, it could be any combination of issues, but if your site isn’t mobile friendly, that’s definitely where you should start focusing.
Google is really drilling down into user experience, with the goal of delivering the best possible content in the most accessible way. If you want your business to continue to stay relevant in search engine rankings, it’s your responsibility to craft a new mobile experience for your prospects, readily available on any and all devices your visitors might be addicted to at the moment.