They called it Mobilegeddon. The much-hyped change to Google’s algorithm that threatened to send websites that weren’t mobile friendly spinning down computer screens towards ranking oblivion.
It’s fair to say that the immediate effects were way less explosive than the frenzied hype.
If you’re one of those people who did nothing other than cross your fingers and hope for the best, then you probably feel vilified that your ranking and traffic have barely budged.
But just because the first round of Mobilegeddon passed by without the predicted storm, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a sequel. More important than that, if you’re serious about your business, it shouldn’t take threats from Google to coerce you into action.
There are lots of good reasons why every business should have a mobile-friendly site. But before we explain them, let’s recap what happened earlier in the year.
Effectively, Google announced it was making changes to the way it ranked sites, based on whether they were mobile friendly. They also released a tool to check whether they were or not. Most technology commentators agreed that it looked like the biggest change since 2011 and the advice was to act now – or risk seeing your ranking and traffic crash.
Many businesses responded and optimised their sites for mobile, while others sat tight and hoped for the best.
Early results showed the change had a fairly insubstantial impact. Common feedback was that those who hadn’t acted had only seen their site fall a couple of places, and organic traffic was little affected.
But while these early results have been minimal, Google’s move was symbolic of a huge step change in the way consumers interact with the web. Anyone whose business relies on customers finding them online, should have a responsive site for a whole host of reasons that go beyond fears of Mobilegeddon.
Here are five reasons why Mobilegeddon should be a wake-up call for anyone who’s yet to develop a fully mobile-friendly site.
1. A mobile shopping revolution is happening before our eyes
Adults will spend more time on mobile devices than desktop computers in 2015, according to research from eMarketer. Google also estimates that around 50% of searches are conducted from mobile devices, through mobile browsers and its own search apps. So you’re losing a huge amount of potential business if mobile shoppers can’t view your website properly.
2. Mobile users have a clear goal
When mobile users hunt for a business online, they’re more likely than desktop users to have a clear reason for searching – and to take immediate action. Having a website that is mobile friendly makes it easy for these potential customers to find information they’re looking for, such as opening hours and contact details, and for them to act on it.
3. You can bet your competitors are mobile friendly
There’s no escaping the fact – and why would any good entrepreneur do so? – that more and more people are buying and using smartphones and tablets. And it’s highly likely that your competitors will already have caught on. By ignoring mobile, you’re willingly handing business to your rivals. It’s the online equivalent of escorting potential customers to a rival’s premises. It’s as serious as that.
4. Email habits provide big opportunities
Most people check their email regularly on their mobiles. So if you mail your customers, there’s a big chance they’ll click the link that leads to your website from their mobile device. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, much of the effort you’re putting into your email marketing is a waste of time.
5. A non-responsive website is inaccessible and frustrating
There are a number of things your site may currently feature that make it difficult to browse on mobile devices, such as large images that are slow to download, flash content, drop down navigation, text that is too small to read, or links and buttons that are too small to click. If your website doesn’t function well on mobiles and tablets, you’ll be frustrating a huge number of potential customers. And they’re likely to turn elsewhere.
So how can you make your website mobile friendly? If you’re using WordPress or other open source tools, there are several plug-ins you can use. However, the default themes might lack the professional edge that your business requires.
To achieve something more engaging, you can hire a web designer or developer to convert your site. They’ll be able to advise and help you achieve a result that’s specifically tailored to your business and its unique customers.
If you’d like support in making your site mobile friendly, give the Ruuz team a call to see how we can help you.