Google

Since we moved into 2015 the big discussion that's been taking place has been mobile marketing. That and Fifty Shades of Grey and why it terrible on so many levels. But mainly about mobile...

Over the last month WebMaster's across the web have been receiving notifications. And if you're a Webmaster you'll know that receiving a notification is rarely a good thing. This month the warning were to those without 'mobile friendly' websites. You can see the full details here:

In a nutshell it looks if you don't plan on making your website mobile friendly, you stand to lose your rankings on mobile search results in the near future. Just log into Google Webmaster Tools to see if you a message waiting.

So here comes the questions:

Why is this important?

Firstly, it represents a pretty dramatic shift in the way Google delivers search. From now on the results displayed on your phone or tablet will be inherently different from doing the same search on a laptop or desktop computer.

And secondly, it means that if you don't have a mobile website, but want to hang on to your mobile based visitors, it looks like you're going to have to act.

how do i know if my website is mobile friendly?

Chances are you'll know if you've got one as it would've been mentioned when your site was built. 

If you're not sure then just run this test here.

HOW MUCH OF MY CURRENT TRAFFIC IS COMING FROM MOBILE DEVICES ALREADY?

Almost every website I've seen has traffic coming in from people searching on mobile devices. Depending on the industry, I've seen this as low as 2-3% of total traffic, for others well over 50%. To see your total figure just log you'll need to be set up on Google Analytics.

If you're set up log into Audience > Mobile > Overview to see your figure.

Why is a responsive/mobile design needed in the first place?

Ever been on a website on your phone and it just doesn't work as well as it did on a laptop? The buttons might be tiny, or you can't navigate around, or you constantly have to zoom in or out to read a paragraph. Basically, that pisses people off and people leave to look elsewhere. This is normally reflected in your analytics by a higher bounce rate, reduced time on site and reduced pages viewed per session.

Google wants people to have a great user experience and it your site pisses people off then why should you rank when people are searching on mobile? So we have their recent announcement. 

So, a responsive/mobile design has two key advantages:

  • Happier mobile users.  A mobile friendly design means they can find what they want, are less likely to leave and just as likely to do business with you as everyone else.

  • You won't lose out based on Google's latest notification.

How to fix it

The honest answer is commission a new website design, ideally one that is responsive. That way, every screen from the smallest of smartphones to the biggest desktop monitors can clearly see and use your website. Everyone's happy then!

IS THIS JUST ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE FADS?

Occasionally, notifications from Google can send people into a panic (such as the recent announcement about HTTPS as a ranking signal.) But, this one seems like a genuine issue that you should seriously consider.

Finally, it's all about looking ahead. Smart Insights recently put together a fantastic article about mobile marketing stats in 2015, which includes the humbling fact that people accessing the internet on a mobile device overtook those accessing on the internet on a traditional computer for the first time ever. And it's a trend which is continuing as smartwatches, the internet of things and well even smarter smartphones proliferate the market.

So, even aside from Google's latest notification it makes clear sense to have a website that an increasingly large audience can access and use. 

Questions, thoughts or comments? Just add them below...

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