Why Your Website Absolutely, Positively Must be Mobile Responsive
It's "Mobilegeddon" all over again. (But it's not as "doom and gloom" as it may sound!) In May, Google released a mobile-friendly algorithm update designed to give an additional traffic boost to mobile responsive websites. This builds upon an earlier update from Google, from a little over a year ago, that placed a major emphasis on mobile with regard to site rankings for the very first time. As a result, businesses big and small have been quick to respond to the changes, making their websites mobile-friendly in order to avoid a drop in rankings and an inevitable decrease in traffic. In fact, when Google introduced its new algorithm last year, nearly half of non-mobile-friendly websites dropped in Google search rankings and lost up to 10 percent of their organic traffic. This made one thing loud and clear: mobile was no longer just an "option" for businesses; it was now very much the status quo. Though, if you dig a little deeper (beyond the "doom and gloom" you may have read elsewhere), you'll see that these changes are really a good thing for businesses and consumers alike. Here's why. Today's consumers are searching for information, completing tasks, and basically living their day-to-day lives via their mobile devices more and more each day. That's why it's so important for businesses to take the time to create mobile-friendly experiences that allow consumers to do what they need to or find what they need to find, fast. The change in Google's algorithm is really just a friendly nudge to help the entire digital ecosystem get there faster. Even so, there are a few things to keep in mind as your business makes the very important leap into mobile.
Being mobile-friendly is now a Google ranking factor
In the future, it will be nearly impossible to get a full return on investment on a website that isn't mobile-friendly. Why? Because it'll become harder and harder for consumers to organically find your business, when searching for the products and services you offer, if your site gets ranked below the fold. And even though resources may be limited — or you simply don't have the expertise to do this work on your own or the budget to hire someone to do it for you — this is truly an investment in your business's future. Think about it this way: a loss of ranking strength is a loss of traffic. Is that something you're willing to give up?
Being mobile-friendly will impact your physical storefront
If your business website isn't mobile responsive, you will not only lose your footing in search rankings and online traffic, but you'll likely see a drop in in-store foot traffic as well. In short, the less people are able to find your business online means the less likely they'll ever be to visit your store. It's essentially a direct correlation. But your business's success — at least when it comes to digital marketing — doesn't stop there. Local search optimization helps potential customers find your business quickly and easily. A key part of this is keeping your location information up-to-date on your business website as well as across all other online directories, like your YP® business or Google business listings. This is even more important as local search evolves more and more into what Google calls micro-moments: "When people reflexively turn to a device — increasingly a smartphone — to act on a need, to learn something, to do something, to discover something, to watch something, or to buy something."
Being mobile-friendly is all about the end-user experience
Today's customer journey is changing. It's now more of a zigzag between devices, platforms, and the online and offline worlds than a linear progression from search to purchase. Consumers use mobile devices to search for pretty much anything, especially when they're on the go. And as consumers become more dependent on their mobile devices, they also become less tolerant for subpar mobile experiences. They don't want to click through a sea of links to get from point A to point B. They want efficiency. As a business owner, it's your responsibility to make this purchase journey as pleasant and seamless as possible. That's why Google has made usability such a focus of this algorithm update. The goal here is to make your online presence stronger and help you focus on the most important part of your business: your customers. Your business will grow when you make it easier for potential customers to do business with you. So, don't let these changes catch you off-guard or fade away into the proverbial back-burner. Make it a priority to get your business website mobile responsive as soon as possible. Google provides some easy guidelines to follow should you decide to tackle this on your own. But if you need some help to get started, you might want to consider hiring a developer. For everything else, check out YP Marketing Solutions to learn how you can make your business grow. Photo Credit: kate_t_mcgee via Compfight cc