Want success online? Make sure you're mobile!
By Stephen Hudson - Digital Marketing Consultant
Being successful online is becoming more and more difficult; gone are the days when you could just write some generic content, stuff it with keywords, add links and see results. To achieve growth today, a business needs to invest money, and more importantly time, into developing and implementing digital marketing campaigns which include a broad range of tactics, including SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and possibly pay-per-click. However, you can have the best digital marketing strategy in place, but it won’t help if you’re not willing to invest in mobile.
I’m sure you’ve heard phrases such as “mobile is the future”, and we admit, we’ve even used that phrase in a past article on mobile responsiveness, but this is no longer the case; mobile isn’t the future, it’s the now! If a business wants to be able to attract customers, sell to customers and grow online, it needs mobile, simple as that! If you’re a business owner and don’t have a mobile-responsive website, you’ve got two options, get with the times or get left behind.
You might be asking yourself, why am I talking about mobile again when it’s been mentioned so often in the past? Well, Google has recently made some changes to its algorithm which have reinforced the importance of mobile. In April 2015, Google launched its first mobile algorithm update, named by marketers as “Mobilegeddon”. This update helped boost the ranking of mobile-friendly sites and started to penalise sites that weren’t mobile-responsive. Then in May 2016, Google updated this mobile algorithm again to boost the benefit of mobile-friendly sites. Now, Google has revealed that it’s rolling out a new mobile-first index which will see Google create and rank its search listings based on the content available on mobile websites.
What is Google's mobile-first index?
Google has stated that it is recording more and more searches from mobile devices, and as a result, it wants its index and search results page to represent the majority of users. If you don’t have a mobile website, Google has, for now, said not to worry. The crawler will still crawl your desktop site just fine, but given Google’s on-going push towards mobile, we wouldn’t be surprised if Google announces in the future further penalties for websites which aren’t mobile-friendly.
Google has also issued warnings to websites which use different content on their desktop and mobile websites. If your content is different on the mobile and desktop versions, Google advises you to serve structured mark-up for both your mobile and desktop sites. Google also recommends making sure your mobile website is accessible to Googlebot, and not adding too much mark-up data that isn’t relevant to the specific content of each document. If your website is responsive, where the content/website appearance adjusts to fit the size of the screen, you shouldn’t have to worry about anything.
While Google’s mobile-first index doesn’t appear to boost the rankings of mobile-friendly websites or penalise websites that aren’t mobile ready, this isn’t a guarantee that it won’t in the future. Either way, if your website is still not mobile ready and you’re seeing your rankings drop and traffic decline, you now know why!
Mobile is now, and will probably be the future for a long time, so if your website isn’t mobile friendly, it’s now or never. Thankfully, here at Orantec, we’re experts at developing mobile-friendly websites and can help you. To find out how we can help modernise your website, please get in touch today!