Here's Why Google Loves Mobile & You Should Too
There's been a lot of talk about the Google mobile-friendly update that came out on April 21st and was going to take about a week to go into full effect. We, my friends, have lived through "mobilegeddon" and lived to tell the tale. Responsive web design has long been a buzz phrase and important component of site planning, but it is more essential than ever now.
LET'S GO WAY, WAY BACK...TO JANUARY OF 2014.
If that seems oddly specific, that's because it is. January of 2014 was when mobile browsing overtook desktop browsing. And as you can guess, it's never going back to the way it was. TV still reigns supreme in the US as our national time-sink, but 84% of Americans report that they use their phone while watching TV. And while that time may be mostly spent socially, we've also seen a growing number of e-commerce transactions moving to mobile devices over traditional desktops. Depending on your industry, up to 60% of your consumers may be making their purchase decisions based on their mobile browsing.
MOBILE IS HERE TO STAY.
I've been telling my clients from the very beginning that it is essential that I build their mobile site not as an afterthought or companion piece to their main site, but as a strong stand alone (if necessary) representation of their brand / business. One of my clients has upwards of 78% of her traffic from mobile devices every month, but that is due at least in part to her rocking Facebook referrals all day, every day.
Even before Google moved to its new mobile-friendly algorithm, it was hugely important to have a great mobile site. Why? Because if people are confused, frustrated, or unimpressed, they leave a site. That's the bottom line. When it takes too much time to load or it doesn't display properly on their mobile device, why would they waste their time? Make it easy on your users and they'll show their appreciation.
WHAT DOES THE GOOGLE ALGORITHM REALLY CHANGE?
Not all businesses have seen a huge bump - up or down - of their mobile traffic due to the new algorithm. Chances are that it won't change your traffic a lot if you already have a mobile site. If you don't, your traffic may change drastically. Here's what it affects:
+ It changes how your site ranks when someone searches on their mobile device.
+ It only affects individual pages, not entire sites.
+ If your site isn't mobile-friendly but ranks highly for the search terms, it still may come up.
WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE SURE THAT I'M COMPLYING?
As usual, Google made it super simple for people to make sure that the new algorithm is working for them, not against them. Use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test to make sure that your site is up to snuff. And just like you would for the desktop version of your site, make sure that the mobile version is running quickly enough with Google's PageSpeed Insights.
PLUS A GOOGLE ANALYTICS BONUS.
If you aren't already and want to start tracking metrics on mobile browsing data for your site beyond Google Analytics' basic referrals tracking, here are a couple ideas:
+ Desktop vs. Mobile. vs. Tablets Metrics Dashboard
+ Site Usage and Quality with Desktop and Mobile Stats Dashboard
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