Last April, internet marketing strategists freaked out when Google announced a new search algorithm that would reward mobile friendly websites with higher search rankings. Since search from smartphones and tablets is on the rise, it makes sense that Google would reward sites that embrace mobile users, right?
The so-called Mobilegeddon algorithm rolled out in May 2015, and by June, marketing managers across the globe were busy crunching the numbers.In a study published by SearchEngineLand.com, non-mobile friendly sites on the first page had dropped by as much as 21%.
Google is sending a clear message: Mobile is the wave of the future, and those who don’t adapt, will be swept out to sea. Every search algorithm update moving forward will grant more favor to mobile friendly sites. Bing and Yahoo are following in their big brother’s footsteps.
In 2015, for the first time ever, search from smartphones and tablets exceeded personal computers. That gap will widen as phones and tablets get faster and easier to use on the go. Remember 3G? I don’t either.
4 Ways to Test Your Mobile Success
- Create a Google Search Console account (formerly Google Webmaster Tools). Google will ask you to copy and paste a snippet of code on to your website to verify that you own it. It will take up to a week for Google to crawl your site and complete the verification process. When it does, click on the “Mobile Usability” link. There, you will find Google’s suggestions for improving your mobile user experience.
- Grab your mobile phone and go to your website. Do you have to zoom way in to read the text? When you zoom in, does part of the website move off the screen? Are you able to easily tap call-to-action buttons? Repeat that process on a tablet. If you’re annoyed by how hard it is to navigate, remember, that’s how your customers feel.
- Visit your Google Analytics account. On the left side, under “Audience”, click “Mobile” and from there, you can see the percentage of visitors from traditional computers vs. mobile. You can drill down even further to see the specific devices your audience uses – iPhone vs. Android, etc.
- In your Google Analytics account, look at bounce rates for desktop vs. mobile users. If your bounce rate is higher for mobile users, that’s a red flag that they are having a hard time using your website. Bounce rate is the percentage of people who come to your website and immediately “bounce” back to Google to refine their searches. Bounce rate is a major factor in Google deciding whether or not your website shows up in search.