What Does ‘Mobilegeddon’ Mean for Your Business?
Imagine yourself trying to cope with a clogged toilet. You’re standing in the aisles of The Home Depot, searching for a snake or perhaps chemicals to dissolve the clog. You’ve been there for 30 minutes, however, and you’re starting to feel hopeless. It’s time to call in the pros.
“OK Google, I need a plumber,” you might find yourself saying. What you’re probably hoping for is for the Chrome app on your smartphone to say, “Here are the listings for plumber” and give you a list of the top plumbers in the area.
Then, you’ll want to know those companies’ hours, phone numbers, and customer reviews, not to mention whether they provide the service you need and whether they are available in your area.
Already, Google is heavily favoring sites that work well on phones and tablets for scenarios just like this. Starting April 21, however, Google has announced that it will even more heavily favor mobile-friendly sites when serving up search results on mobile devices. According to Zineb Ait Bahajji, who is part of Google’s Webmaster Trends team, the impact will be bigger than the Panda or Penguin algorithm updates.
Mobile Traffic by the Numbers
At Online Image®, we expected this change long before the February announcement. Last year, a study posted by ComScore reported that mobile platforms account for 60 percent of all screen time, and mobile apps accounted for more than half of all digital time spent. Ninety percent of people using online map services accessed them using mobile devices. For directories such as Yelp or Angie’s List, 65 percent of traffic is from mobile devices.
Another study by eMarketer found that in 2014, people spent $31.58 billion on desktop search ads and $19.15 billion on mobile ads. By 2017, spending on mobile ads is predicted to be more than twice as much as those appearing on desktops. Since we know that advertising dollars always follow customer behavior, these numbers grabbed our attention.
We’re all about the numbers, and our PPC specialists found this information in a study published by Local Search Association. About 52 percent of smartphone users look for local information in the car or on the go, and 90 percent of all users have used their devices while shopping. Of those, 54 percent look for deals and 51 percent of users compare prices. The implications for your business could be serious.
Is Your Site Ready?
At Online Image®, we have watched mobile search trends carefully and have already optimized many of our clients’ sites for mobile friendliness. Here are a few of the things we (and Google) recommend for making your site friendly for mobile traffic:
- Use responsive site design
- Check whether text on each page is too small to read on phones and tablets
- Make sure your outgoing links aren’t too close together
- Make sure your content is not wider than the screens (using in-app interstitials to detect the screen size and take up all available space)
- Watch out for unplayable content
- Avoid faulty redirects or irrelevant cross-links
- Make sure mobile users are redirected to equivalent pages instead of getting 404 errors
If you run into problems with your site or would simply like another set of eyes to help determine whether your site is ready for the so-called Mobilegeddon, contact our team of organic search engine experts. We can help with overall site traffic, including mobile traffic, and have also developed special pricing for customers who want to put particular focus on mobile optimization. For a limited time, we’re offering a free report and website analysis to get you started.