Apr 22, 2015
Is Your Website a Victim of “Mobilegeddon”?
When Google speaks, people listen. And this week all ears are open to news about their recent search ranking update that could have an impact on an estimated 40% of Fortune 500 websites, according to news reports.
The world’s biggest search engine announced a change to their infamous search algorithm, which is essentially the code that dynamically ranks the results users see after they enter search terms based on certain parameters. One of these new parameters is the website’s “mobile friendliness” or ability for a website to display properly on mobile devices.
Insiders have known that Google planned to make this switch since an announcement was made earlier this year warning of the change, but it went into effect this week.
According to TechCrunch, Google clarifies that the changes will only affect a site’s search ranking on mobile phones, not tablets and only impacts pages, not entire websites. But this could of course change down the road to have a more strict impact on a site’s overall mobile compatibility.
There are some specifics for this update that should be considered. For example, sources are saying that if your site is not mobile friendly, you won’t not rank on phones, you will just drop in ranking. And if Google deems your content more relevant than similar sites, despite being mobile friendly, you may still rank well.
According to Search Engine Land, “If a large brand has not gone mobile friendly, Google will still likely rank that brand in the first position even if the page is not mobile friendly…ultimately, relevancy is more important and it outweighs this mobile algorithm. So if Home Depot was not mobile friendly and you searched for [home depot] on your iPhone tomorrow, it would still rank number one.”
Google updates its algorithm regularly with the intention of providing the most relevant content and best experience for end users. It’s also a way the search giant clears away spammy queries, or websites that rank well from outdated SEO practices like bogus links and keyword stuffing. For a complete history of Google’s algorithm changes visit this link.
It should be no surprise that Google has made this update. A snippet from the company’s recent blog post illustrates the accessibility they’re trying to provide users, “Mobile has forever changed the ways people engage with the world around them — from the way we shop to the way we communicate. In fact, 91% of smartphone users now turn to their phones for ideas while right in the middle of a task– like picking out new running shoes or looking up a chocolate cake recipe. Because we can be online anywhere at any time, we count on information being immediately available and relevant.”
Of course Google’s decision to force website owners to make their sites work better on mobile devices is also a way for the company to ensure its prominent position as a relevant information or selection source in our always-on mobile world.
How does this impact building materials manufacturer’s websites?
It is estimated that over 75% of consumers will research home improvement products online prior to making a purchase, and that 73% are showrooming, or using their smartphone to search more data while in a retail store. So, the most obvious impact is a poor experience (or no experience) for end users searching for product specs, dealer locators, quick contact information, etc. while on the go.
But it can also have a more profound impact on how your current and prospective customers grade your company. Today, your website is most likely the first place customers may go to learn more about your products. If it’s outdated, not user friendly and not representing your brand promise, it’s a missed opportunity.
Start viewing your website as a profit center, versus a cost. In other words, if your website is not a lead generating ecosystem, it’s time to rethink your digital presence overall, and start the process of defining a roadmap to a contemporary website that meets and exceeds the needs of your end users, and can accelerate your sales, marketing and customer service initiatives.
So if your website isn’t mobile friendly, time to hatch a plan to get it there, Interrupt can help.
There are two approaches to creating a mobile friendly experience. Build a responsive site, or a website that dynamically scales to the device the site is served up on, or an adaptive site, considered more of a stop-gap measure. An adaptive site is a pre-defined set of layout styles that display only when the site adapts to the detected device.
We did our own cursory survey of building materials manufacturer websites and from our top level search, we estimate that up to 52% of the channel’s websites are in need of a mobile makeover.
If you’re unsure about your site, visit this tool and enter your domain name to take the mobile friendly test.
Changes are expected to take up to a week to go into effect but the algorithm is expected to be real time. So if you fix certain pages, like a contact us page for example, you should see an impact quickly.
How do you compare? Here is a list of some of the world’s biggest brands and their “mobile friendliness” courtesy of TechCrunch.
This is also only a change effecting organic listings, so if you do think your site will be impacted, consider a search marketing campaign that will help you maintain a top position for your targeted keywords.
Interrupt’s digital marketing services are uniquely positioned to address the needs of building materials manufacturers and home improvement companies. We offer a suite of services that can help elevate your brand’s digital and social presence, aligned with trending marketing services that get you noticed by the right audience at the right time.
If you’re interested in learning more about our industry leading website design and development and search and social media marketing services please contact us today. Keep up to date with channel marketing news by following us on LinkedIn.