Mark your Calendars: Google’s New Algorithm is Coming

April 8th, 2015 by DaBrian Marketing Group

Google’s “Mobilegeddon” will begin on April 21st. This means that Google is no longer just recommending mobile friendly sites, they are requiring it. A study from Adobe found that 45% of businesses don’t have a mobile-optimized site or a mobile app. This means nearly half the businesses with an online presence will be penalized and see a significant drop in traffic. If your site is not mobile friendly, what are you waiting for?

Listed below are 5 mistakes to avoid while creating your mobile site in order for it to excel.

Not Considering Mobile First Design

According to Seoclarity, mobile search currently makes up about 30% of total traffic, regardless of the industry, and will only continue to grow. When designing your website, consider making your mobile site first. Create a simple, yet effective page with the user’s experience in mind. A study by MediaPost shows that 48% of mobile shoppers said that “ease of use” is their most important quality they look for in a mobile site. So just remember the old acronym K.I.S.S (Keep, it, simple, stupid).

After that, use your mobile site as a core basis of developing your desktop view. There is nothing you can put on a mobile site that can’t be loaded on a desktop. Progressively enhance your page with extra information and a more extensive navigation (as long as it’s relevant).

Not a Responsive Site

So you’re interested in mobile, but the thought of having two separate sites sounds difficult and time consuming. Well the good news is you don’t have to, nor should you. A responsive design, using the same site for both mobile and desktop, is the best option. In fact, Google actually recommends this approach. A responsive site is more efficient for Google to scan and review, making it more likely that your content will show in the search results. It also eliminates the possibility of being penalized for duplicate content as you most likely would for having two separate sites.

Consistent web design is also important because multiple device screening is becoming extremely prevalent. In fact, Google reports that 67% of online shoppers use multiple devices during their process. Users will look at products on mobile and revisit later on a desktop (or vice versa) hoping their history, preferences, and shopping cart is synced. The longer the conversion (sale or lead generation) process takes, the more likely the user will not complete it.

No Mobile Search Strategy

Since you’re using a responsive site, you can use the same search strategy, right? Not necessarily. Typically mobile users have different interest and intent than those on desktops. To develop theses strategies, use Google Webmaster’s tools and apply a mobile filter to your search query information. Compare the similarities and differences among mobile and desktop and begin to develop a list of keywords from that. Then do mobile competitive analysis using tools such as SEMrush, SearchMetrics, Sistrix or SimilarWeb, to develop a masters list. If your competitors do not have mobile sites, this is the perfect opportunity to get a leg up.

Not Assessing Mobile

Just because you have a mobile site does not mean it is mobile friendly. It is in an owners best interest to test the functionality of their site, among different devices and operating systems. Also they should check for any crawling issues or error reports (especially 404’s). Besides the technical aspect, ask yourself, “are SEO best practices still being followed?” Relevant and unique content, tags, titles, meta descriptions, site speed, etc should all be accounted for.

Evaluate the performance of your mobile page. This will show you the intent of these users. Which pages are receiving the most visits, have the longest view duration, and have the highest conversions? Make sure these pages are easy to get to by placing them in the navigation bar. Also asses which pages have a higher bounce rate on mobile. This could be an indicator of an error, or that the page is just not relevant to mobile users.

Still not sure where your stand? Google offers a free tool to test your sites mobile friendliness.

Not considering the impact on local search

According to Think With Google,  94% of Americans with smartphones search for local information on mobile. If that’s not enough to grab your attention, Google also polled mobile users searching for local businesses and discovered that half of them visited the business that day. This means your mobile strategy should be geared locally. To guarantee you are maximizing your reach and visibility, make sure your address, phone number, email, and any other business information is accurate and consistent. This information should not only be a resource, but provide as a simple and efficient channel for the consumer to further connect with your business as well. Consider adding a click-to-call button, syncing your location to Google maps, and making sure all email addresses are linked. This not only generates more traffic, but also will lead to more leads and sales.

Google’s “Mobilegeddon” on April 21st is the biggest update concerning mobile thus far,but it most likely is only the first of many more to come. If you are not mobile friendly by the time it is released, your visibility will certainly decrease and expect a substantial drop in traffic.

Do not wait for your site to be penalized, call DaBrian Marketing (610.743.5602) and create a mobile site now!

By: David McDowell

Also published on Medium.

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