Iceni Digital: Mobilegeddon!

So you have your mobile website, what’s next?

Last edition we introduced Iceni Digital, who explained the importance of making your website mobile-friendly to make sure the now majority (60 per cent+) of website users, who view your website on their mobile devices, are able to use it properly. The Franchise Magazine website, of course, caters well for its mobile users, but it is not just the user experience that matters. You want your business website to perform, delivering you enquiries, sales, business growth. Now a preferred service provider for FDS, Iceni Digital explains how the biggest single event to hit search engine optimisation (SEO) in over a year can have an effect on the performance of your mobile website.

The Google Mobile Friendly update was launched on April 21, now being referred to by some as Mobilegeddon. Plans for the update were released back in February, which for Google is highly unusual. Changes to their search algorithm (the ‘rules’ by which websites are ranked on their search engine) are often top secret, but Google was keen to give publishers ample time to make their websites more mobile friendly. This latest change will potentially give a boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results, which we expect to see taking effect over the coming weeks.

So here is a brief guide to ‘Mobilegeddon’.

What does it mean and why should I worry?

The update will only impact on mobile searches of websites on mobile smartphone devices. Searches on tablets, such as an iPad, will not be affected nor will the performance of your website on desktops computers. Remember, however, we talked about how high the numbers of mobile users could be as a percentage of your target audience. Iceni Digital worked with a fashion retailer recently who makes 70 per cent of its online sales via mobile smart phone devices!

How do I know if my site is mobile friendly or not?

You can check to see if your site is mobile friendly by entering the URL at: www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly However, remember that Google looks at your site page by page, so you will need to consider every page on your website. Even if some of the pages on your site are not mobile friendly, you can still benefit from the update by making sure your most important pages are. It takes just a few hours for Google to notice you have made the changes.

What will be affected?

Only the core web search results are affected, so content in Google News, Local Results, In the News and Videos will not be affected by the algorithm changes. Furthermore the search phrase that people are using to find your website is still king. Google places greater importance weighting on the relevance of content to a particular search, so for example, if someone is looking for ‘SUBWAY’ on their mobile phone, the brand’s site, even if it were not mobile friendly (which it is) would still rank highly.

Will Google delist my site if it is not mobile friendly?

Absolutely not! There may be some SEO companies out their saying this is the case, but it is not true and your adwords will not be affected either. The update only affects organic listings. The update simply looks at a ‘pass/fail’ test. Either your page is mobile friendly or it is not. If not, it will not rank as highly as a mobile friendly page that is equally relevant to the search term being used.

So in summary, the mobile update, or Mobilegeddon, is directed at a particular set of circumstances, i.e. generic search or non-branded term phrases made on mobile smart phone devices to be displayed in core organic listings. So some businesses may not be panicking, but in the case of a well-known online fashion retailer it is critical they get it right for a sales channel that delivers 70 per cent of their business!

It might be worth getting your web team to take a look at those website analytics sometime soon!

Iceni Digital is always happy to help your business with its SEO and page rankings (whether it is mobile or desktop) so if you would like more free advice on preparing your website for mobile devices, SEO or social media services, get in touch via Iceni Media www.icenimedia.com or Iceni Digital www.icenidigital.com