Any business that chooses to primarily work online must understand how important mobile search is to the operation. This is very different from the traditional desktop search and it is vital that you treat each as a separate entity. Mobile users are often more interested in local search so it is important that your site is optimised for local search and that your website is viewable on mobile platforms.
Smartphone owners are more likely to take action following a local search, this is because they are actually looking for something and are ready to buy whatever product or service that they are looking for. More often than not, they will take action within 1 hour of making the search so you can see how important it is to have a mobile accessible site. Local information is important because of the business mobile users can bring to a company. It is a fact that mobile optimised sites add approximately 25% of conversions and this is set to rise.
It should be noted that people are not very patient so if your website takes more than 5 seconds to start loading, they will trot off somewhere else. Many people use their mobile devices to conduct searches during their work breaks so they don’t have a lot of time to waste. This can make them even more impatient and if your site doesn’t load quickly enough, you could lose a good customer.
Responsive websites are important for businesses these days, with the increased use of mobile to access the internet this is more the case than ever. A well designed website will offer massive opportunities for mobile search. A clear design that is clearly visible on even the smallest screens is essential. You may well need to build a separate site for mobile platforms however, developments in software technology mean that it is quite feasible to have the same site that loads on virtually any platform.
Any customers wanting to find your premises locally using their mobiles will do so using keywords and key phrases. As such, you will need to have a robust SEO strategy in place so that your site is properly optimised and has the local keywords included so that they can find you when they enter a search into the search engines. SEO, whether local or otherwise is a long term strategy which is ongoing, once you are on the first or second page of the search engine, you have to keep working at it to remain there.
Do you have a mobile or responsive site? If not, on April 21 you may find it harder to rank in Google’s mobile search results.
Google announced algorithm updates that will have a “significant impact” on mobile search results worldwide for mobile searchers. The update improves rankings for sites that provide a mobile-friendly experience to searchers on mobile devices, and, by association, demotes sites that do not.
Google announced algorithm updates that will have a “significant impact” on mobile search results worldwide for mobile searchers.
Note that the mobile-friendly update only affects mobile search results — i.e., searches from smartphones and tablets — not searches conducted on a desktop or laptop computer.
In addition, the algorithm is applied worldwide, page by page, on a real-time basis. “Worldwide” means that the algorithm update affects mobile searchers and search results in all countries at the same time, rather than just rolling out in the U.S. first.
“Page by page” means that each page’s mobile friendliness is judged separately. That’s good news if your ecommerce catalog is mobile friendly but your forums or other content sections are not. The unfriendly sections will not cause your entire site to be ranked as unfriendly.
“Real time” means that you can expect to see the mobile ranking benefit of making your site mobile friendly right away. The next time Googlebot crawls your pages and determines that they are newly mobile friendly, the mobile-friendly ranking algorithm would kick in for those pages. This is especially good news because some algorithm updates have been processed on a monthly or unknown time cycle and applied to the algorithm in batches.
Beware, though, because real time also works both ways. If an update were made to your site that makes pages unfriendly, the mobile-friendly ranking algorithm would kick in for those pages the next time your site is crawled.
In addition, content from indexed Android apps can now be ranked in search results for searchers who are signed in to Google and have that Android app installed on their mobile device. Since Google would have no access to Apple’s iTunes database, iOS apps would not be included in this app ranking improvement.
Google’s stated goal is to improve searcher experience. It’s frustrating to search on a phone and land on a page that’s so tiny you can’t accurately click the links without pinching and zooming and scrolling to find the right text or links.
Google is converting that frustration into an improvement in its search results, so that more mobile searchers will land on sites with positive mobile experiences. It makes sense from the searcher’s perspective, which is what matters to Google.
But from an ecommerce perspective, it could possibly be a very costly update in terms of lost mobile traffic and revenue.
Example of Mobile Impact
Say you use your smartphone to search for “formal dresses.” Starting April 21, the results on your smartphone will be reordered based on the relative mobile friendliness of the sites. The image below shows my mobile search result for “formal dresses.”
Keep in mind that the mobile search result is probably personalized in some way. Your mobile search results may vary. The important thing to note is that the first, second, and fifth organic search results are already deemed “Mobile-friendly,” as I have highlighted above.
Google has already been annotating mobile-friendly pages for searchers, in an effort to help influence mobile searchers toward a better mobile experience.