Preparation a Must for New Mobile-Friendly SEO

Mar 19, 2015 | Digital Marketing

Digital trends in recent years have put pressure on businesses to adapt their websites for mobile viewing compatibility. This year, Google is transforming the mobile web browsing trend into a permanent ranking factor in its search engine with Mobile-Friendly SEO. Google stated in its official announcement, “starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” This is important information for business owners who have a website that cannot adapt to different mobile device screens. If those websites are not updated soon, their mobile search engine ranking could take a hit in mid-April.

Why Is Google Shifting Towards Mobile-Friendly SEO?

Google has been talking about updating their ranking system to include mobile-friendly factors for some time now. The change was inevitable. The growing number of users who use mobile for web browsing is hard to ignore. In the US, web browsing on desktops and laptops decreased by 8% while browsing on mobile phones increased by 25% from 2013 to 2014. 77% of mobile searches are conducted at work or at home even though a desktop or laptop may be present. Last quarter alone, 48% of Google’s web traffic was from a mobile device. The number of web searches being conducted on mobile is rapidly increasing. That is why Google has revamped its ranking system to make it easier for users to get “relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

How Goggle Will Rank Mobile-Friendliness

Here are items Google will be implementing to detect a website’s mobile-friendly quality.

• A website that has good Mobile SEO will move up in their mobile search engine ranking causing competitors with non-mobile websites to fall behind. Owners can use the Mobile-Friendly Test to verify their website status.
• Google will rank Mobile SEO on page-by-page basis. This means that Google will search individual pages to see if each page is mobile-friendly versus searching a website as a whole.
• When a “Google bot” determines that a web page is mobile-friendly after April 21st, the page will immediately get a boost in its mobile search engine ranking. Therefore, the sooner a web page is optimized, the better.

Mobile-Friendly SEO

How To Survive Mobilegeddon

Many internet marketing sources have dubbed the April 21st Google update as “Mobilegeddon.” However, the update will affect each individual website’s ranking differently. Some websites might notice their mobile rankings change significantly while other websites may only be impacted as little as 1%. The amount of weight that mobile-friendliness will have on search engine rankings depends on many different factors. For example, if a business is within an industry that tends to host online content for mobile, the business website could see a dip in its ranking if it does not follow Google’s Mobile SEO guidelines. Also, local business owners that focus on non-brand keywords could be greatly affected. According to research conducted by Google, 94% of people in the USA search for local information on their smartphones. However, a company that maintains most of its traffic from desktop searches verses mobile searches may see very little differences in their analytics. Unfortunately, the internet community will not have a definitive answer for how their business will be impacted until after April 21st.

Mobile-Friendly SEO

Should Mobile-Friendliness Be Considered In SEO Strategy

Regardless of whether a website may or may not be greatly impacted by the Google update in April, business owners should absolutely begin implementing plans to transition non-mobile websites to a mobile-friendly status. Google has made and continues to make numerous algorithms and search updates in order to provide a ranking system that displays quality websites with quality content for users. A mobile-friendly website enhances the user experience, which contributes to a quality website and is an important element of good SEO practices. Ultimately, a mobile-friendly website will have positive long term effects on a website’s search engine ranking.

There are many different web development options available in order to optimize your website to be more mobile-friendly. Google recommends using Responsive Web Design because it allows the search engine’s algorithms to accurately assign indexing properties to a web page. Learn more about how Responsive Design can improve a website’s mobile-friendly rating and enhance the mobile user experience.

Google is waiting until April 21st to launch its new mobile ranking system in order to give business owners enough time to adjust their websites. Owners will need to act fast in order to give their developers enough time to be update their websites before the deadline and to stay ahead of the competition. Regardless of whether a business owner is apprehensive of Mobilegeddon or not, it’s a good strategy to increase a website’s mobile-friendliness. The countdown to the mobile-friendly update has begun!

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