“If your site’s pages aren’t mobile-friendly, there may be a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search.”
On April 21st, Google officially rolled out their “mobile-friendly update”. This is an update to their search engine algorithm that affects searches made on mobile phones. From now on, mobile-friendly pages will rank higher on mobile search results. Which means that if a site isn’t mobile-friendly, it will most likely start seeing a significant drop in visitors.
This new update is expected to affect a significant portion of the web. According to npr.org, a study done by online Internet marketing firm Portent found that a majority of the web’s top sites aren’t mobile friendly. This has led to fears of a “mobilegeddon”.
If the cries of “mobilegeddon” seem overblown, consider this: “in 2011, a major Google algorithm change designed to promote high-quality content sent some companies into financial ruin” (source: CNN Money). This is because many online retail sites depend heavily on Google for traffic and a drop in search engine ranking can lead to a significant drop in sales.
The Google algorithm update may hurt a lot of companies in the short term. However, this is a necessary change, and it will benefit the entire internet community in the long term. The change is intended to make it easier for people searching on smartphones to find sites “where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling”.
A Big Opportunity
To understand why the Google update is not only a good idea, but is necessary, take a look at some of these statistics:
- According to Shopify.com, mobile now accounts for 50.3% of all ecommerce traffic
- 74% of mobile users say that they are more likely to revisit mobile-friendly sites
- 67% of mobile users say that they’re more likely to buy products or services from a mobile-friendly site
- 61% of users said that they’d quickly move on to another site if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site
- 79% of people said that if they don’t like what they find on one site, they will go back and search for another site
- 50% of people said that they will return to a site less often if the website isn't mobile-friendly, even if they like that business
A Wakeup Call
Smartphone users are no longer just a fringe population. They make up a majority of e-commerce traffic and it’s time to take them seriously. Treat them with respect and you will benefit, else your competitor will. Take this Google update as a much-needed wake-up call.
What You Need To Do
Use Google's Mobile Usability Report to check the status of your site’s mobile friendliness. To check individual pages, you can do the Mobile Friendly Test. If your site comes up short, you can get tips on how to improve your site here.
Don’t worry, Google promises that once your site “becomes mobile-friendly, we will automatically re-process (i.e., crawl and index) your pages.”
Need advice or help on how to make your site mobile-friendly? Contact us and we’ll be glad to assist you.