It’s Mobilegeddon! (But Fear Not If Your Website Is Mobile-Ready!)

It’s Mobilegeddon! (But Fear Not If Your Website Is Mobile-Ready!)
SHARE
THIS



In this opinion piece, Simon Dell (pictured below) – the managing director of creative marketing agency TwoCents – says if your website ain’t mobile-friendly then big trouble’s afoot. However, he argues, it’s a problem that’s easily rectified…

Mobilegeddon was a relatively major event in the online marketing world earlier this year. If you have a website for your business or brand, and you keep up to date on the latest digital marketing and SEO news, you might have already heard about it. If not, allow me to explain…

Nov14-Simon-199x300

What is Mobilegeddon?

Mobilegeddon was Google’s “mobile-friendly” search engine update, which introduced mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor in mobile search results. Google started rolling this out on April 21st, 2015. It didn’t take long for webmasters around the world to start reporting a drop in mobile traffic and rankings on their non-mobile optimised sites.

 So, why is Mobilegeddon such a big deal?

Everyday, Google makes major updates to their search algorithms that decide which websites deserve to rank highly, and which don’t. Most of the changes Google makes are minor tweaks to their algorithm with minimal affects on the majority of websites. In fact, most of Google’s ranking factors are not known for sure. But on very rare occasions, Google publicises an algorithm change before they make it. When Google does this, you can expect the update to have a major affect on websites!

Mobilegeddon was considered a pretty big deal because it was predicted to affect millions of sites across the web andGoogle announced it about 3 months ahead of time (sources here and here).

Does mobile-friendliness matter for my website?

The short answer is yes! If your website is not currently optimised, you now run the risk of losing search engine traffic from mobile searches.

More importantly, a non-mobile friendly website is very user-unfriendly, which means that you’ll annoy mobile users who do manage to access your website, and potentially lose their business to a competitor whose website that can navigate easily.

If you’re a numbers person, you might be interested to know the following stats on mobile internet usage:

  • 80 per cent of internet users own a smartphone
  • In 2014, the number of global mobile phone users surpassed the number of desktop users
  • 48 per cent of mobile research for purchasing products starts in a search engine
  • It’s not just mobile phones and computers… Smart TVs and Smart Watches are on the rise too, so a responsive website is more important than ever.

 

Mobile-Friendly-How-To-Infographic

What do I do about it?

First thing’s first: don’t panic. Luckily, if your website needs tweaking, any updates you make will have an almost instant effect on your Google ranking. Follow the steps below to check whether your site needs a mobile-friendly update, find out how to make the changes, and what you need to do to stay ahead of the next big update.

Step 1: Check if it’s Mobile Friendly

If you’re not sure whether your site is mobile friendly, there’s a few different ways you can check. One simple way is to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. All you have to do is put in your url and Google will tell you if it considers your site mobile friendly or not. It will also give you a preview of what their bots can see when they crawl your site.

To check if your site is responsive (responds to different screenwidths), open it in your browser. Make the window slightly smaller than the screen by clicking the squares in the top right corner between the cross and minimise symbols pictured below.

Drag the left or right side of the screen in and out. If the elements on your site respond to different screen widths… congratulations, you have a responsive website!

One other way to test mobile-friendliness is to just open the site on your smartphone and see what it does. If you need to zoom in to read the text, or scroll from left to right to see all the elements, your site isn’t mobile friendly!

 Step 2: Make it Mobile Friendly!

If your site’s not up to scratch yet, you should make it your priority to convert it to a mobile responsive design. Talk to your web developer about your options here, as this can get a little technical.

Sometimes, an existing site can be converted to mobile-responsive by tweaking the styling. Without going into great detail here, the way this works is that the style rules (which tell elements on your site what size they need to be and where they go) can be adjusted to have “break points”. At different break points (or screen widths), elements on your site (including images, menu items, text, etc), will behave differently.

Often it is more economical to simply redesign a site from scratch to make it mobile friendly. Chances are, you could benefit from refreshing the look of your site, anyway.

Ask your web developer to provide you with some clear options. Don’t hold off on making the change because it is important that you start gaining back your mobile visitors as soon as possible!

 Step 3: Test Your New Site

Once you have your mobile-friendly site, it’s very important to test it! Don’t assume that everything is working perfectly – sometimes even the best web developers make mistakes or miss a detail. If your site is now designed to be responsive, it should display nicely at all break points.

Test this by opening the site in your desktop browser. As we mentioned above, you can make the window slightly smaller than the screen by clicking the squares in the top right corner between the cross and minimise symbols pictured below.

Drag the left or right hand side of the window in and out. You should see the elements on your site move around to fit nicely at each change to the screen width. If you notice anything displaying strangely, take note of what it is so that you can ask your web developer to fix it.

Step 4: Monitor Your Analytics

Now that your site is fully mobile responsive, you should expect to see a number of changes in your analytics, including higher search engine rankings in mobile searches and more visits to your site. If you are tracking conversions, you might also see an increase in conversions as more people are able to use your site on mobile.

Check your Google analytics and other tools to see the effects of your website update.

Step 5: Keep Your Site Up To Date

It’s great that you’ve made an effort to modernise your site, but it doesn’t mean that you can sit back and relax until Google announces their next algorithm change. After all, mobile-responsiveness was a recommended feature by digital marketing and web design experts for years before Mobilegeddon was announced!

Ideally, you should stay on top of industry trends by surrounding yourself with trusted experts and advisers. In addition, your focus should be on continually adding useful features to your website and making it a better experience for your users. By focusing on great content and user-friendliness, you will stay ahead of future algorithm updates and create an online resource that your customers will want to keep coming back to.

Over to you now…

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Shell & HSBC Launch Global Agency Reviews
  • Advertising
  • Media

Shell & HSBC Launch Global Agency Reviews

Going with ‘new year, new me’ theme, Shell and HSBC are looking to freshen up their respective media businesses.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Comexposium Takes Over NZ Partner MTS To Become Largest Trans-Tasman Events Group
  • Marketing

Comexposium Takes Over NZ Partner MTS To Become Largest Trans-Tasman Events Group

Marketing events group Comexposium has absorbed its New Zealand joint venture partner MTS to deliver an expanded event solutions business across the Trans-Tasman. The deal will see Ryf Quail (pictured above) return to Sydney to lead Comexposium Australian and Kiwi team, while his current MTS team remains in place as Comexposium employees. While the business […]

Eyeota Kick-Starts 2018 With $15.6 Million In Additional Funding
  • Marketing

Eyeota Kick-Starts 2018 With $15.6 Million In Additional Funding

Audience data provider Eyeota has announced a $15.6 million Series B capital raise to spearhead additional growth in 2018. The company was founded simultaneously in Singapore, Australia and Europe in 2010, and has remained independent and enjoyed strong growth locally, as well as launching into the US. Peter Hunter (pictured above), Eyeota’s general manager for […]

Poem Wins Four New Clients
  • Marketing

Poem Wins Four New Clients

Sydney-based PR and social agency Poem has announced it has won four new clients following another strong year of growth. The four clients are Property NSW (The Rocks and Darling Harbour), Fantastic Furniture, Ovolo Hotels and Purpose (a conference on purpose-driven business). Poem co-founder Matt Holmes said: “We’ve hit a nerve with clients who are […]

Facebook Makes Another News Feed Change
  • Media

Facebook Makes Another News Feed Change

Social media behemoth Facebook has announced its second major update for News Feed to make sure the news people see, while less overall, is high quality. This week, Facebook announced that the platform will launch a small test in the US focused on prioritising news from publishers that users find trustworthy. Facebook is also exploring ways […]

Attention! B&T’s Inaugural Bootcamp Launches!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Technology

Attention! B&T’s Inaugural Bootcamp Launches!

B&T announces its new industry bootcamp! And, if you're like us & didn't know anything about it, all's revealed here.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Domain Boss Antony Catalano Exits
  • Media

Domain Boss Antony Catalano Exits

Mystery surrounds Domain boss's surprise exit, although the Mystery Machine nor a talking dog not spotted at Fairfax.

PHOTOPLAY Offers A Ghost Train Ride Like No Other At Sydney Festival
  • Media

PHOTOPLAY Offers A Ghost Train Ride Like No Other At Sydney Festival

Jasmin Tarasin, director at boutique production company PHOTOPLAY, is inviting invites audiences to take a trip through the inner-workings of the mind in ‘Ghost Train’, her latest multi-sensory VR project set to feature at this year’s Sydney Festival. Working in collaboration with musician and co-creative director Jonnine Standish, Tarasin’s uniquely immersive ‘Ghost Train’ is a […]

March One To Rebrand Fundraising Institute Australia
  • Marketing

March One To Rebrand Fundraising Institute Australia

Independent advertising and branding agency March One has been appointed to oversee the rebrand and repositioning of Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA). FIA is the national peak body representing professional fundraising in Australia. It was established to advance advocacy and professional standards, and has identified the need to better promote its role as the industry self-regulator, […]

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency

As part of its summer fire campaign, the Victorian government has launched a virtual reality (VR) bushfire experience and content series via The Fuel Agency. The VR experience places the user in the midst of a large bushfire, and is designed to encourage people to leave early on high-risk days before it’s too late. The […]

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass
  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Technology

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass

ad tech company VeNA has signed an exclusive reseller partnership covering Australia and New Zealand with digital rugby network RugbyPass. Across Asia and parts of Europe, RugbyPass is the exclusive digital rights holder and over-the-top broadcaster for live rugby, including the Super Rugby, the Rugby Championship and autumn internationals, the Six Nations, the Aviva Premiership, […]