Background Rarely do Google set a date, but in this case they have. The search algorithm will change on April 21, 2015 to include mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, meaning sites that are not mobile friendly will likely lose rankings and thus traffic.
This move aligns with Google’s core company belief that if you focus on the user, all else will follow. As consumers continually adapt to technological advancements, their need and desire for accessible information grows. Users want everything at their fingertips and they want it now!
Ahead of the April 21 algorithm change, Google released the results of their recent mobile users’ survey. The key findings were:
75% of users prefer a mobile-friendly site. 74% say they’re more likely to return to that site in the future.
96% of consumers say they’ve encountered sites that were clearly not designed for mobile devices.
52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company.
How it Works The full implication of the algorithm change has not been revealed, however it is evident that either; mobile-friendly sites will be preferred in SERPs or non-mobile-friendly sites will be penalised.
Resolution welcome this change and have seen it coming for a while now. Google aims to show users what they want to see and it is clear they want to see mobile-friendly sites when on their mobile devices so they can:
1. Get quick, essential information on a service
2. Perform specialised tasks while on-the-go
A good brand experience is beneficial to marketers, users and Google alike.
Quite simply, the April 21 mobile-friendly algorithm change is pushing digital marketers to action something the industry has been talking about for years. “The year of mobile” has well and truly passed. It is now critical to be mobile. It is now critical to have an SEO mobile strategy if you want your brand to be discovered.
What is mobile-friendliness? Mobile-friendliness is the user the best possible web experience on a mobile device. This covers everything from technical server configuration to user interaction. Mobile-friendliness factors include:
Fast load time
Appropriate scale for mobile viewing and touch usability
Images resize down for mobile use
How can you tell if your site is mobile-friendly? If your site is mobile-friendly – it will read “mobile-friendly” in the SERPs when searching via mobile.
You can also use Google’s mobile-friendly test. Just enter your sites url and it will give you a quick analysis.
What should you do if your site is not mobile-friendly? Speak to your Resolution contact. It doesn’t have to be hard or expensive to become mobile-friendly. From our experience you can make a small site (a WordPress site for example) mobile-friendly in approximately 1 week starting at around $6,000.
There are 3 types of mobile design options (in order of preference):
1. Responsive Website – HTML mobile responsive design which flattens for mobile viewing
2. Adaptive Website – dynamically serving different html for mobile
3. Mobile Website – separate domain (m.domain.com)
Summary Google’s algorithm change demonstrates their commitment to cultivating the most ideal user experiences for searchers of online content. The move towards a preference for mobile-friendly sites within SERPs is one that was inevitable, and will benefit users and marketers alike. All in all, this is an opportunity for brands to rise up to the challenge and provide a more positive user experience which will likely produce more positive results against their business objectives.
For more information, visit the resources below:
For information about Resolution, visit the website: http://resolutionmedia.com/au/en