Is your website mobile-friendly? It should be. Actually, it must be to survive in today’s digital market, and it’s not just because consumers are well versed at shopping on their phones and tablets…it’s also because Google says so. It’s pretty well known that the mobile revolution is here, but Google took it a step farther to make sure your website is aligned with this mobile movement in its “Mobile Friendly Update” (effect April 21, 2015). With this update, Google’s answer is clear: your site is either mobile-friendly or it’s not; there’s no percentage of friendliness, and if your site lacks this seal of approval, it will likely see a major drop in mobile rankings and traffic.
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update: The Basics
With more mobile users, Google’s update aims to provide a better mobile experience for searchers by boosting rankings of mobile-friendly pages in mobile search results. Think of this ranking boost as a reward for high-quality, relevant pages and sites that look good and work well on mobile devices. As for sites that aren’t mobile-friendly–they’ll likely see a significant decrease in mobile traffic in Google searches. However, once a mobile-unfriendly site becomes mobile-friendly, Google will automatically re-process, crawl, and index the site’s pages. For a more in-depth discussion, see Moz’s post, “9 Things You Need to Know About Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update.”
Keep in mind that this update affects:
- Search rankings on mobile devices only, so cell phones and tablets.
- Global search results in all languages.
- Individual pages, not the entire website.
Mobile Statistics: Why Mobile Friendly is Important
Statistics show that people really do shop of mobile devices. According to eMarketer, mobile sales will account for $87 billion, or a quarter of all e-commerce sales, by 2016. Other statistics include:
- In 2015, nearly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults own a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011 (Souce: Pew Research Center).
- 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action. More than 50% lead to sales. (Source: SearchEngineLand).
- 50.3% of ecommerce website traffic comes through a mobile device (Source: Shopify).
- 60% of global mobile consumers use their mobile device as their primary or exclusive internet source (Source: Internet Retailer).
- There are 5x as many cellphones in the world as PCs. (Source: ImpigoMobile).
- Mobile performs 4-5x better than online ads for key metrics such as brand favorability, awareness, and purchase intent. (Source: Neilson Study, 2012).
- 74% of people use their mobile phone to help them while shopping, with 79% making a purchase as a result. (Source: ImpigeMobileStrategy.com, 2011).
- Want more mobile marketing statistics and facts? Check out these 50 Essential Mobile Marketing Facts and 10 Incredible Mobile Marketing Stats 2015.
Mobile Friendliness Tests
There are a couple ways to find out if your website if mobile-friendly or unfriendly:
- To test the mobile-friendliness of individual pages, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test
- To test the entire site, Google also recommends testing using the Mobile Usability Report in Webmaster Tools.
- Thanks to Moz, a quick way to see how your top pages perform is to use your phone to do a “site:” query for the domain in question. The result displays all the pages indexed to the domain, and it evaluates which ones are considered Mobile-Friendly or not, without having to submit them to the tool one at a time. In your phone, type “site:yourdomain.com” into the search query.
Got a Mobile-Unfriendly Website?
If your site isn’t mobile friendly, you might still rank well on mobile searches…for now. Thanks to Google’s variety of ranking signals, sites or pages that lack mobile-friendly capabilities could still rank well if it has high quality content that’s based on the search query. That’s if your content is stellar, and who knows when the next Google update will change this scenario. So, our best advice is to stop waiting and make sure your website is mobile-friendly now. The longer you wait to update your site to a mobile-friendly platform, the more chances you’ll miss connecting with potential customers.
Get a Mobile-Friendly Website.
Mobile-friendly and mobile-responsive websites are an important part of the continued digital – and mobile – growth of your business. If your site is old, dated, or has failed mobile-friendly tests, it’s time for a website redesign. Smarter Searches can help. Along with our online visibility services, we offer full website design and development services, all of which are mobile-friendly and mobile responsive.