The rumor has been around for a while, and now it’s official: Google’s search algorithms will take your website’s mobile adaptation into consideration starting April 21st. Gulp? Blood pressure rising? Regretting all those nice mobile adaptation offers you’ve declined over the past couple of years?
Hold your horses. No need for panic (yet)! We’ll help you sort out if panic is the appropriate response in this situation.
First, the background
Google has an outspoken idea about making search human-friendly. If you haven’t heard about it before, it’s time to start thinking about it. Human-friendly basically means that search algorithms should reward web pages that are relevant and easily accessible to humans, not, as has been the case, just to the search engines. It means scoring high on Google means scoring high with real people – that’s the ambition at least.
So what happens if you fail to be interesting to Google, aka real people? It means lower positions on search results, which in turn translates to fewer visitors, which means fewer customers, less revenue… and then it’s just downhill from there. Take a look at Dr Pete’s presentation from SMX West about the changing Google SERPS.
So here’s where the panic part could step in. How do you know if this upcoming change will have any impact on your business?
You need to worry if:
- your website isn’t mobile friendly or inadequately adapted (Google has a test of mobile adaptation)
- there’s a lot of traffic from non-branded search expressions coming from users with mobile devices (which you can see in Google Analytics)
- there’s a lot of traffic you’re currently not catching (there’s a tool for that too: Google Keyword Planner)
A few words on each
Mobile adaptation or friendliness is important for more than search reasons. Once your visitor is at your web site on a mobile device, they are on a device with a screen only a fraction of the size of desktop screen. Anything that looks good, balanced and nice on your regular screen just looks tiny and ridiculous on mobile device. Worse yet – it’s unreadable.
If you have a lot of traffic coming from non-branded keywords, you have a lot to lose in terms of traffic, and potentially revenue, if a lot of that traffic comes from mobile devices. It can be quite tricky finding out the exact proportion of visitors coming from non-branded keyword search on mobile devices, so if you’re not a confident Google Analytics user, have a professional set up a periodic report for you.
Traffic not caught is not only money not caught, it’s money in the pockets of your competitors. If you’re in an industry where your competitors don’t have mobile friendly web sites – this is your chance. Again, have a professional help you decide what amount of traffic you’re missing out on, to get a sense of the business opportunity that lies ahead of you.
In the end, the amount of panic you should feel depends on your situation.
Coworks makes it easy for you to find out with the:
SEARCH ENGINE INDUCED PANIC MATRIX
I don’t know how much of our traffic comes from mobile devices
Hey, almost no mobile devices have visited ourwebsite, so presumably no revenue does either
A lot of our revenue stems from mobile search and we catch most of the relevant traffic.
Mobile site… Don’t really know what you’re talking about
This could potentially be dangerous, you should start examining and understanding your traffic sources right away. Hire a handpicked freelancer to get you started!
You won’t be directly affected by the change. But there seems to be a need to increase your mobile attractiveness, since a lot of traffic is coming that way nowadays.
Right. And Fridays you take your private jet to Dreamland?
Our site is readableon mobile devices. You just have to zoom a lot or have a great vision.
Be cautious here. Chances are you’re going to experience a drop in traffic. You probably should have someone look into your Google Analytics first, to grasp if there’s an urgency.
So, no panic for you. But you’re probably missing out on a lot of business…
Ouch… This change will have serious impact on your business. Get to work right away – find a designer and a developer to save your business!
We just finalized a state-of-the-art mobile project for the website. It’s responsive, fast-loading and adapts content to device.
For this change in Google’s search algorithm, there’s no need for panic. But for the future, remember that it’s difficult to manage what you don’t measure.
Good for you. All you need now is a mobile strategy to start reaping the mobile device traffic that longs for your beautiful website!
Well done, then. Just go ahead and optimize your content to fit even better with the little traffic that you currently miss out on.
f you don’t have a clue about what the above means, don’t worry, there are a lot of handpicked freelancers out there and they are always up-to-date with the latest best practices.
Act quickly though, the change will take place on April 21st.