“Getting a mobile-first web site to go with our main site was a huge factor in increasing bookings in 2015.”
– Jeff P. Pender Harbour Resort & Marina.
Google has just rolled out what is being referred to in search circles as ‘mobilegeddon‘. This is a significant stage of evolution in the search biosphere, given that in North America Google accounts for about 79% of search, while in countries like the UK, India, Australia and others it dominates with over 90% of search activities. In Turkey, it is almost 100%.
The moral of this litany of numbers: Ignore mobilegeddon at your peril.
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Not sure you need a mobile site? Get a mobile assessment – includes Google Analytics review and strategic consulting.
A graphic from the post linked above on SEO plugin authority Yoast shows in visual form exactly what this means for the average web site owner:
How important is mobile to your business?
Your Google Analytics can help with the assessment and your digital strategy moving forward. The impact of the mobile search changes depends on the percentage of your site visitors accessing via a smartphone or tablet. The higher that number, the more critical the need to address your mobile readiness and/or larger digital strategy for mobile.
Here’s a clipping of my traffic to Bigpacific.com over the last month, as shown in Google Analytics under Audience > Mobile > Overview:
As you can see, I am almost at 50% desktop and 50% mobile, and that number has been climbing every month.
What is the minimum mobile readiness I need to achieve to protect my site’s ranking?
First, go to Google’s Mobile Friendly Tester site and enter your web site’s URL/domain name.
The absolute minimum result you need is to PASS on this test. (If you have a big site that embeds twitter, facebook or instagram feeds or has other APIs, you may get resource-related errors, but those are temporary and fluctuating and for the most part can be ignored at this stage of your strategy.)
If your site does not pass, discuss it with your web designer and plan to budget for a plugin (wordpress) or ‘responsive’ template upgrade. This should not be skimped on or treated as an afterthought. Remember, your visitors are going to rely on this more and more over time. If you do not have a current web designer and have the access to your site we can discuss an implementation plan after I conduct a mobile readiness review.
What do I need to do to be competitive with my mobile strategy?
This takes some research, both into your site’s detailed analytics and in your niche. You may need to go beyond a responsive web design that passes Google’s tester towards a mobile-first approach, where you map out how mobile users interact with your site – where they go, whether they sign up for something, make a purchase, book an appointment – and create a mobile-only version of your site that arranges that prioritized content FIRST to help your users get what they need faster. This kind of site is automatically served to the visitor with a mobile device and happens without them having to navigate to it, though the option to load the full or ‘classic’ site is always available.
An example: you have a web site that sells a nutritional food item. You have a site that describes your products, tells the story of how your customers use it and what their results are, and offers a shopping cart where they can buy the products. You also have a newsletter and a recipes section.
You discover in your stats that mobile users complete three interactions on your site consistently:
- search for recipes using your product(s)
- order online
- look for what others say about your products
You invest into a mobile platform that can build a totally customizable and automatically updated version of your full site, but organized in the following way for mobile:
- a recipe search box, with a link to buy recipe product on each recipe’s page
- a link to go direct to the shopping cart
- rotating testimonials and reviews
- your contact information (phone and email address)
- a map if you have a physical location, and your hours
From there, you can build out even further with a nutritional app, a weekly or monthly podcast download (great for users to listen to in spare moments of boredom or on commutes) and keep refining your offers in response to the traffic trends you see developing in your site analytics.