While using mobile-friendliness in its search algorithms is nothing new for Google, the search giant recently announced that it would be significantly expanding the use of this ranking signal as of April 21st. The move is designed to ensure that mobile users see the most relevant results, not only in terms of content but also in terms of usability.
The update is especially important consideration in light of Google’s own research, which shows that customers are increasingly using their mobile devices to research their buying decisions, and that over 74% of users start with search. Perhaps even more importantly, as many as 93% of people who used a mobile device to do their research ended up making a purchase (Source: Google/Nielsen Mobile Path to Purchase study, Nov 2013). It’s an inescapable fact: mobile matters.
Once the update rolls out, mobile users are likely to find more mobile-friendly sites in their search results, and sites that are not optimized could see a drop in their mobile rankings.
What this means for you
The obvious question for you is how the change will affect your site. A lot depends on how much your site currently relies on mobile traffic. If your site isn’t heavily dependent on mobile users, you may not see an immediate impact, as the change targets searches from mobile devices.
If you do rely on mobile traffic, hopefully you’ve already taken steps to make your site mobile friendly. If you haven’t, you might see a noticeable drop off in mobile traffic, as the update will favor optimized sites over those that aren’t. Now is the perfect time to focus on updating your site; not only will it help you fare better in the rankings, it will ensure that you’re delivering the best experience to your users.
What to do next
Even if you don’t currently rely on mobile traffic, converting your site to be mobile compliant should be on your radar. While this update only affects searches conducted from mobile devices, mobile usage is certain to continue its meteoric rise, and eventually any site that wants to retain its competitive edge will need to conform to mobile standards.
Not sure if your site is mobile friendly? Google has provided this easy-to-use tool that will help you determine whether your site meets its standards for mobile compliance.
What’s the new marketing mindset?
It’s all about growth.
Learn the latest in our new eBook.