When it comes to websites, mobile optimization has not always been a top priority for every webmaster. In fact, it was estimated that only 22% of the Alexa Top 500 Global Sites were optimized for mobile in 2010. In recent years, however, the unprecedented growth in mobile Internet browsing and the ever-expanding community of mobile web users has prompted major changes in the world of SEO.
Earlier this year, Google released an algorithmic update that affected mobile search results worldwide – or what some have termed “Mobilegeddon.” This major update expanded the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, with a significant impact in Google Search results for all mobile users. The ultimate goal? To help users find relevant and high quality search results optimized for their devices with greater ease.
Ahead of the algorithm change, Google provided suggestions about configuring websites for various mobile devices and making sure that your site shows up in search results. Google had already been penalizing sites for providing bad mobile search experience; now, mobile-friendly sites would be given priority over non-mobile-friendly sites with regards to mobile search page rankings. A report from Adobe Systems found that Google mobile search traffic to non-mobile-friendly websites fell 12% in the two months after the changes took effect April 21, relative to mobile-friendly sites. Many more major updates are expected to come, especially with regards to optimizing online experience for mobile users.
Google’s Mobile Update was incredibly significant and the truth is, the importance of mobile optimization is only going to increase from here. Currently, there are over 1.2 billion mobile web users worldwide and more mobile devices are being sold every day. With the rise of mobile device sales comes a corresponding growth in mobile Internet browsing – in 2009, mobile browsing represented a mere 0.7% of worldwide browsing activity. Two years later, in 2011, mobile browsing represented 7.1% of all worldwide activity. Another two years later in 2013, mobile devices generated at least 20% of the world’s browsing activity!
This year, it has been confirmed that more Google searches have taken place on smartphones than on computers in ten countries. In the United States, 94% of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that websites be optimized for mobile devices.
Shoppers are more likely to revisit and purchase from a website that has been optimized for mobile. Conversely, a bad mobile experience can damage a company’s brand, or at the very least, induce shoppers to go elsewhere. The fact is, the majority of shoppers will sooner seek out another (read: competitor’s) mobile-friendly site for the information they need, rather than switching to a desktop to revisit a non-mobile-friendly site.
Online and traditional retailers also benefit from having a mobile-friendly website. According to KISSmetrics, mobile users are 30-80% more likely to to do business with a retailer if their website is optimized for mobile, depending on industry.
Optimizing your site for mobile devices boosts engagement, sales, and traffic. Is your website already mobile-friendly? Google recommends double-checking your site’s pages using their Mobile-Friendly Test tool to see how Google Search really sees your pages.
You can also read through the numerous guides provided by Google to help your site show up in search results. Or you can leave the lengthy optimization process to the experts – with WSI Philadelphia, you can start the process of improving your mobile site’s user experience today by contacting an Internet Marketing Consultant at (610) 650-0227. We can help you to provide your visitors with a great user experience and make the most of your mobile traffic.
If you’re still hesitant about going mobile, just think about the overwhelming majority of people who have their mobile device at their side, day and night – who wouldn’t want to take advantage of technology that keeps your company accessible 24/7 and only a click away? The mobile revolution is underway. Don’t be left behind with a non-mobile-friendly website.