Time is running out for websites that don't have responsive design. A major change in Google's search engine algorithm will affect worldwide mobile search results in all languages, having a significant impact on search traffic. Is your small business' website equipped with responsive design for mobile devices? If not, here's a big reason to fix it.
Starting April 21, Websites Not Optimized for Mobile Devices Will Drop in Search Rankings
It's no secret that more consumers than ever before are relying on mobile devices for online searches, yet only 9 percent of small businesses have mobile responsive websites. The other 91 percent are truly at a disadvantage. A 2013 study by Google/Nielsen found that 59% of consumers visit a business' website when conducting a mobile search, and studies predict mobile searches will surpass desktop searches by more than 27 billion queries per year by 2016, and Google has finally announced important changes to its mobile search engine algorithms to address mobile responsiveness. In Google's Webmaster Central Blog last week, the company revealed a significant change:
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. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
In other words, websites that are not optimized for viewing on mobile devices will not be able to rank highly in search results, and therefore will be less likely to be seen by prospective customers. Whether you are starting your own business or have been running your small business for years, mobile website optimization will determine whether your business succeeds.
[Tweet “The clock is ticking. Is your website mobile responsive?”]
To ensure your website will appear in mobile search results, you can use the mobile-friendly testing tool to gain insight into changes that need to be made to fix your site.
Once your website is responsive on mobile devices, there are a number of strategies to employ in order to promote your website online.
[Tweet “52% of mobile searches for business information occur while consumers are on the go.”]
The majority of mobile searches (52%) for business information occur while consumers are on the go, usually in the car or while shopping. Use geo-targeting strategies to find those consumers nearest you.
Geo-Fencing: Set a perimeter around a physical location and serve mobile ads to users within that perimeter. These can be used to deliver specific messages promoting your service to mobile devices at a related business, or to give coupons or special deals to users within your own business radius.
Geo-Conquesting: Set a perimeter around a competitor's location and serve ads to their customers to convince them to visit your business instead.
Geo-Awareness: These ads detect the physical location of mobile users and serve location-specific information. Ad messages can be customized for local conditions and display differently for each unique user.
Mobile ads that use location data allow you to reach nearby leads that are already looking for your product or service. Additionally, make sure your business address and contact information are complete, accurate and identical across numerous business directories, including Google Places for Business and Yelp. This will allow you rank more highly in organic search results as well.
Focus on a Sense of Urgency
Mobile display ads have secondary action rates much higher than the industry benchmark. Rather than paying attention only to contact form conversions, be sure to emphasize phone calls, direct purchases and store visits. The majority of consumers who are on-the-go and searching for a specific product on the mobile web are already fairly likely to make a purchase. According to the 2015 Local Search Report, 56% of consumers clicked on a mobile ad and made a purchase because the content was relevant to something they were already looking at. 50% made a purchase because the ad offered an attractive discount or deal. Your mobile marketing campaign should focus on more than brand awareness; target potential customers who are already looking for your product.
In order to keep the attention of potential customers who are visiting your website on a mobile device, optimize the site to have the best user interface possible. Eliminate Flash from your website, use HTML5-based video formats for any video files on the site, and make it easy to click buttons and links on your pages. The website should also be as fast as possible to reduce bounce rates. Remember, the majority of consumers use mobile devices to quickly view information while on the go. Make this easy for your customers by providing simple, easy-to-understand navigation and fast page loading time.
April 21st is quickly approaching, and businesses who do not have updated, mobile-responsive websites will be left in the dust. Get ahead of your competition and improve your website as soon as possible to avoid a significant drop in search traffic on mobile devices.
All of CyberMark's website design packages are built with the small business owner in mind. From mobile optimization, SEO and conversion optimization to email marketing and content marketing, we do it all at an affordable price. If your website is due for an update and needs to be optimized for mobile devices, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.