Getting Your Mobile Ducks in A Row
In the flurry of activity that surrounds developing a new website and launching an online marketing campaign, it’s easy to forget about mobile.
That’s about to become costly.
Mobile is poised to overtake fixed internet access by 2014. There were 2.1 billion (yes, billion!) mobile web users by the end of 2012 (29.5% of the global population), with mobile broadband subscriptions increasing by 40% over the previous 3 years. Up to 71% of smartphone users who see a TV, press or online ad will do a mobile search for more information – and mobile is the platform of choice when searching for location specific businesses and information, with 46% of searchers using mobile exclusively as their research tool.
In the past there was very little difference in how Google would rank sites between mobile and fixed platforms. By and large, if you ranked well on a PC, you’d do well on mobile, too.That all stands to change.
What’s Google Got to Say?
Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Search Quality team, announced at SMX that Google is “thinking a lot about mobile” and urged businesses to do the same.
When it comes to building websites with mobile in mind, Google has come out in support of responsive design whenever possible (or device-specific HTML when you can’t), having your website’s design dynamically respond to the device of the visitor instead of sending them to a different domain or website. It’s not just about serving up the same content, though. Content should be tailored to mobile devices, accounting for the differences in the way people read and consume information on a smartphone or tablet compared to a PC.
On June 11, Google took their emphasis on mobile one step further, providing insights as to how redirects should be implemented to make sure content is being served in the best possible way for the user. In the opening paragraph, Google announces they will be “rolling out several ranking changes in the future” surrounding mobile and its implementation. And they’ve all but outright said that sites with poor mobile SEO will rank worse on mobile devices in the future.
This is the first real indication we’ve gotten from the search giant that major changes to mobile ranking factors are coming.If mobile hasn’t been a consideration yet, it ought to be now.
Don’t Just Avoid Disaster – Embrace Opportunity!
Google’s message is clear: Either prepare to do mobile right or prepare to lose opportunities. But if only 6% of the top 100 Fortune 500 companies have got mobile down pat, there’s still a huge opportunity to be early to the game. The world is moving to mobile quickly and bringing their dollars with them.
Will you be poised and ready to take advantage?