Remember Penguin, the Google algorithm that mercilessly censored dodgy websites that manipulated links to generate traffic? If that wasn’t a lesson in keeping a clean profile and keeping up with the times, Google’s new algorithm, effective as of 21st April, 2015 surely will tweak the way you handle your mobile SEO strategies.
How is this set to affect the existing websites?
The bigwigs have smoothly segued to a mobile optimized website thereby escaping Google’s penalty. But, 91% of small and medium-sized business users are yet to adopt this trend. Search engine optimization is a huge part of increasing your visibility online, and unless you have time to do all of it yourself, it’s advisable to seek the help of professional digital marketing strategy services.
This is what Google had to say about the new algorithm on their blog :
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
Significant impact. Boy, the search engine giant sure did choose their words carefully, and this is not to be dismissed in a cavalier manner. When search results load up in Google, each website is tagged according to its adherence to modern web browsing standard – you surely cannot miss the ‘mobile friendly’ tag that appears in the description of websites dominating the search results.
- 90% of users in the US have a mobile phone of which
- 58% are smartphones
- 46% of people using mobile devices complained about non-responsive mobile websites
- 44% of the individuals surveyed claimed difficulty on browsing on smaller devices.
40% of people will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
Browsing on mobile devices is a whole lot different than on a PC. Mobile users are looking for quick information and prefer succinct, uncluttered content. For this purpose, a single column website works best. This highlights the main content, and everything else is revealed when the user scrolls vertically. A cardinal sin of mobile website design is being forced to scroll horizontally to access other parts of the page.
Here’re a few quick things to keep in mind when you’re optimizing your website for mobile devices:
- Sufficient information on the forefront to keep the customer interested, rather than overwhelming them with prolonged content.
- Well spaced out links. PCs allow a lot more precision while selection, but on a mobile, you have to make do with the tap.
- Pay attention to the text size. Pinch and zoom are great tools when you want to view more detail on a photo, but it’s a no-no incase of mobile web browsing.
- No horizontal scrolling, please!
Additionally, it doesn’t hurt to put your social media profiles and share widgets out there unobtrusively.
48% of users say that if they arrive on a business site that isn’t working well on mobile, they take it as an indication of the business simply not caring.
Google is aiming to make the web a smarter place. If you step into the customer’s shoes, you can surely realize how proper SEO can help your business. As a consumer, wouldn’t we want to be shown the best and the most relevant results on top? From an entrepreneur’s point of view, it is thus a responsibility and a prerogative to provide the best possible browsing experience.
62% of companies that designed a website specifically for mobile had increased sales.
Making your website mobile friendly can involve anything between adding media queries to your stylesheet to your complete overhaul. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but the end result is surely worth it. So, what are you waiting for?
(Think you might already be mobile optimized? Use this nifty tool to cross check right from your browser!)