On April 21, 2015, Google rolled out Mobilegeddon; yet more changes to its search algorithm aimed at mobile device searches. They never tell us exactly what they do or did, but in this case, they actually disclose that mobile search, as opposed to search on your laptop, was the beneficiary of their most recent tweaking. Having a Mobile-Friendly Website is a crucial part of today’s website design strategy at AD4!.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past several years, mobile phone use for web searches has become pretty popular. In fact, Google estimates that mobile search will take over as the most popular form of internet search in 2015. That is, more internet searches will be performed on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets than will be performed on desktop or laptop computers.
That was 5 months ago. The world didn’t end. The Internet didn’t crash. And like with the Y2K Millennial rollover, clocks didn’t go berserk and banks didn’t collapse. However, some websites aren’t searching like they used to.
Why should you care about mobile-friendly marketing?
As always here at The Red Pencil Blog, the question is, for a small or medium business owner, why should you care about mobile-friendly marketing?
I think I can best explain this with a few statistics:
- 1525% increase in mobile data usage forecasted from 2010–15 (Source: Mediative Labs 4/13)
- Number of people who use mobile phones: 6.8 Billion – 87% of the World’s Population (Source Wikipedia)
- 56% of Americans have a smartphone and 34% of adults have a tablet. (Source: Pew Research 2013)
If you weren’t impressed with those, how about these two:
- 53% of mobile searches have local intent (Source: Mediative Labs 2012)
- 70% of mobile searches result in action being taken within an hour as opposed to a week for desktop (Source: Mediative Labs 2012)
- 6.8 Billion people use a mobile phone (See above), and only 4.2 Billion own a toothbrush (Source: The Mobile Marketing Association of Asia)
The quick bottom line here is if you’re site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re already in trouble. You’re going to be in more trouble tomorrow. And the future doesn’t look good either…and you may have really bad teeth.
These are really interesting statistics, especially the last three. 53% of mobile searches are looking for something local. They’re trying to find the coffee shop, the boutique, a company that does marketing in Huntsville, Alabama. (Sorry, a little gratuitous SEO self-love). And 70% of mobile searches result in action being taken within an hour. So if someone is searching for your boutique, they intend to go there now. In fact, they’re probably sitting at the red light trying to find directions to your shop and whether you have the latest brand of handbag that all the girls carry.
The toothbrush statistics are weird. I just thew it in to lighten the load here. I love to throw this statistic out in talks just to see if people are paying attention.
A few facts from the Google Webmaster Central Blog:
1. This change has no effect on searches from tablets or desktops. It only affects searches from mobile devices.
So if your target audience only searches for your site from a desktop or tablet, you’re good to go. Yeah, right!
2. It’s a page-level change. So if you have a 10-page site and 2 are not mobile-friendly and 8 are mobile-friendly, only the 2 bad pages will be negatively impacted. Or as the Google blogger says, only the “mobile-friendly pages can be positively impacted.”
They’re so positive over at Google!
3. You can check the ‘friendliness’ of your individual pages by using the Mobile-Friendly Test (MFT).
I wish I had better news for you. I know there are many of you who have recently paid big bucks for a new website and you run it through the MFT only to find that your site is not mobile-friendly. In fact, I have several clients who are in this boat. (Ad4! did not build their non-mobile-friendly site, we’ve been building only responsive designed sites for several years now.) They thought they were good only to find out that they weren’t.
What should you do if you don’t know how mobile-friendly marketing affects you?
Run several of your ‘better’ pages through the MFT and see if they are in fact mobile-friendly. If they are, you can quit reading this and go on about your business. If they do not pass the mobile-friendly test, and you don’t know how to fix your site, then call your site builder to see how to fix the problem. It could be a simple fix or a theme change. However, if it could mean that your site is old and outdated and you need a new one. In that case, call me.
If you’re now totally confused or you can’t find your toothbrush, then call Ad4! We’d be happy to run your site through a quick website screening or a full site audit.
If you want to be relevant, you have to be mobile-friendly. And, believe it our not your companies reputation and brand effectiveness depends on it.
Connect with me on:
Park Bench Mobile users: http://www.johnrothra.com/technology/web-design/church-websites-google-mobilegeddon/