Mobile platforms such as phones and tablets are quickly becoming the primary platform for accessing the internet. Mobile usage has doubled in the past 18 months. There are currently 1.5 billion mobile internet users worldwide. Mobile internet usage has actually surpassed desktop usage. All of these trends are guaranteed to increase as technology becomes even more advanced. Because of this, Google has decided that it was important for all websites to be more user friendly for these types of devices. They expect website owners to adjust to these trends and give searchers a better experience when trying to access their websites from mobile devices. Google states that 40% of websites fail to meet Google criteria for optimal user experience.
Update May Impact your Bottom Line
As of April 21, 2015 Google has instituted an update that gives a boost to mobile friendly web pages in Google searches. This will only affect searches completed on mobile devices and will not have an impact on desktop Google searches. This may have significant impact on the bottom line of many businesses that rely on the internet for new business customers, especially if you do not have an optimized website.
Will you make the change?
If you are involved in B2C, Business- to-Consumer, this update may profoundly affect your bottom line. If you rely on online purchases, you will be affected if you do not have an optimized website. 55% of consumers currently use their smartphones to make online purchases. You may have been in the number one position before April 21, 2015 but if you didn’t meet the Google criteria for an optimal user experience, you may actually drop off the first page after that date. If you rely on organic search visits and first time visits for the success of your business, this update can affect you immensely. That is why many B2C’s are reasonably prepared. 40% of the B2C businesses have optimized their websites to make them more user-friendly for mobile users and 74% of the remaining businesses say they are going to create a better mobile strategy in the coming year.
B2B site owners aren’t quite as concerned about the update and the impending effect on their bottom line. Many feel that since most business decision makers don’t use their mobile device searches to make business decisions that it may not be a priority. This may not be exactly relevant because most of the searches that would result in a decision made by a CEO would be accomplished by an assistant who is normally younger. Actually 50% of the research done for B2B sites are done by Millennials who then give the information to the owners to make the decisions. They want the sites optimized to increase their productivity and comprehensive search results. Currently only 25% of these businesses have an optimized site. At any rate, only 58% of B2B site owners plan to create a better mobile strategy in the coming year.
One company that operates in both arenas of B2B and B2C made the upgrade before the update went into effect. OlamSpecialtyCoffee.com saw their volume increase by 17% once they optimized their website. They configured their site to adapt to whatever size screen was requesting the search.
How is it affecting your bottom line?
For many businesses, SEO directly impacts their bottom line, especially if you rely on the internet to bring in new business. Is yours one of them? Here are some things you should do to make sure you are protecting your bottom line.
- Use a responsive website. Configure one that automatically scales to fit the screen of the device being used by the visitor. Check to make sure the fonts are readable for the different size screens and make sure the touch elements are usable for the different size screens. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to maneuver around a website when the touch buttons are too small.
- Use Googles Mobile Friendly Test Tool to see if your site is mobile friendly. Click on www.google.com/webmaster/tools/mobile-friendly/ to find out how friendly your current website might be.
- Put a system in place that tracks keyword trends and mobile rankings differentiating between desktop, mobile and tablet devices.
Bottom line is, if you want to rank high on Google search results pages, you must provide the customer with a friendly experience across all devices that may be used. If your company depends on the internet for your livelihood, you must do everything possible to keep customers moving toward your website.
Kyle Gustin is President of Executive SEO Inc., a Winnipeg-based search engine optimization company.