In today’s business world, making sure your website and related pages are mobile optimized has become a huge factor in ensuring you are visible (and discoverable) to your audience. Even though this is becoming common knowledge many companies are still falling short: Forrester Research says that “just 38% of business websites are currently optimized for mobile.” About a month ago Google released a new algorithm that gives priority to pages that are mobile optimized. So, if your pages aren’t responsive you will not get priority in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), especially for visitors surfing the net via mobile devices. In fact, there’s even a mobile friendly indication in the SERP’s now.
As a marketer, it is essential to make sure that your pages are responsive so that people viewing your site on mobile devices have a pleasant experience (and engage further or – better yet – convert); otherwise you will see high bounce rates for your mobile traffic. Why? Because navigating around a site, built for a big screen, on a wee little screen is not an enjoyable thing. I’m sure many of you out there are not a fan of the screen pinching and excessive touch scrolling needed for all those non-responsive sites out there. (Seriously, Food Network?!)
I can’t tell you how frustrating it is when I pull up a page on my mobile device and have to scroll sideways or get stuck on a page where I have to pinch to size and then it doesn’t stay when I try to enter information. Is this the first impression you want to make on potential new customers? Making sure you have pages that fit to the screen, no matter what action the user is performing, is essential to mobile success in business. Having information below the fold is fine; however, make sure forms and any pertinent information you want the prospect to see quickly is above the fold. If people come to your mobile page to fill out a form and aren’t easily able to do so, they won’t. You’ve missed an opportunity to convert a prospect into a lead. It’s that simple.
Why Is It Important To Board the Mobilegeddon Train?
- Google is the first search engine to implement this algorithm, which makes sense since the majority of mobile users also use Google. However, it wouldn’t be a bad bet to presume the other major browsers aren’t far behind. There’s this saying about an early bird getting a worm or something?
- Mobile optimized pages provide more opportunities for your prospects and customers to view your site across devices. Long bus ride to work, check. Waiting for a plane in the airport lounge, check. Client is late for coffee? Who cares since your prospects can look at your beautiful and mobile optimized site on their phones while they wait!
- There are also benefits of responsive design over creating a separate mobile site or only designating certain mobile-sized breakpoints in your design. (Breakpoints are the width and height parameters of the viewing screen that determine how the webpage is rendered). For example, sometimes people have multiple browser windows open and resized on their desktop to view them at the same time. Responsive design makes the pages “size down” with the window vs waiting until it reaches a certain width to provide a better user experience. Lastly, a separate mobile site splits your SEO thus hurting your ranking factors via competing with yourself and creating duplicate content, which the search engine algorithms are not a fan of.
- With the surge in tablet and smart phone use as the chosen on-the-go option in the past few years, this has become even more important. Many tablets do run browsers in a similar format to desktops but on a smaller screen – which again means less space to display information. So, the more responsive and user-friendly your page is, the higher you will appear in the search results because visitors stay on the page longer, don’t bounce, and delve deeper into your site to learn more. All of these metrics are associated with a good user experience and somehow are taken into account in a search engine’s highly guarded secret algorithm
If you missed the first Mobilegeddon train, don’t fret–it’s not too late to get your ranking back! When you do decide to take the dive into responsive pages Google will notice and you will gain your rankings back fairly quickly. There are a ton of tools, free and paid out there (if you don’t have an in-house resource) to help you build a mobile version of your page. These tools provide some great information about what elements are essential, and which are not. DiscoverOrg recently switched many of our pages over to responsive pages and we saw our click-through-rate (CTR) go up 229% across all pages. I can only assume that mobile optimizing our pages helped our positioning and visibility, which then led to a HUGE increase in conversions. Has your business seen any impacts of Mobilegeddon?
Want to check your site? Here is a quick way to see if your site fits within Google’s “Mobile Friendly” algorithm as it is now.