April 21th, 2015: ready, set, go! Google is ready to launch the ill-famed mobile friendly update, the new algorithm that will change the destiny of all brands and businesses involved in the mobile space.
The so-called ‘Mobilegeddon’ will make it mandatory to optimize your online presence for mobile users. And if you’re not mobile-savvy, you will likely fall down and become untraceable for customers.
Google is the number one player in the search engine arena, with over 75% of all worldwide searches coming from the Big G box. Actually, you don't really need any other reason than this, to go mobile-first. The new algorithm will review the overall search engine indexing mechanism (starting from online searches) and will ultimately reward websites that are fully optimised for mobile with higher rankings in the results page.
It is widely accepted that 2015 will see mobile search reach the tipping point, that is the stage at which the majority of organic traffic and paid clicks will come from smartphones and tablets, finally surpassing desktop and laptop computers. Three statistics help us understand where both markets and customers are headed:
80% users say the smartphone is their favorite device to search the Internet (Global Web Index);
48% of all online searches now start from the search engines, making them the most common starting point for mobile research (Google Think Insights);
Tablet and iPad show a higher conversion rate and visit share than desktop computers, and even the smartphone (thanks to bigger screens) is rapidly bridging the gap (Monetate).
Add that 60% of all traffic for Google already comes from mobile devices, and you’ll understand why people at Mountain View is pressing for a change in the search rules. The final aim is to make search engine even more useful to people, whether they use their smartphone or their laptop (and soon their smartwatch). How? By training Googlebot to search like humans would do and reproduce their user experience.
To understand why the new algorithm is critical, you need to go back to the basic question of marketing for the Age of the Customer: "Who am I doing it for?". Are you building your mobile presence for mobile's sake, just because everybody is doing it? Or - way better - because you're well-aware that the customer today is the core of business? Just think about it: a mobile friendly website is just the level zero of a revolutionary new paradigm centered on customer-facing apps.
Semantic search has been around for a while now, and the future will bring a more restricting algorithm for companies that offer a faulty experience to mobile customers. The next steps are so evident they hurt: Google is outlawing non responsive design (or at least adaptive), text too small to read, links too close together to tap, and software that is not common on mobile devices (did you say Flash?).
As offline and online blend to create an omni-channel journey, the smartphone becomes integral part of the customer experience. Thereby, the only answer for all companies, even the small ones (mobile devices are the first tool to search for local business), is to adapt their online identity for the new era. Starting from the calling card, the website.
In a world where everything runs fast, customers hate to waste time and competitors are willing to fill all open holes. Just think about this: roughly 57% of all mobile users readily leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load; 30% will stop a transaction if E-Commerce shopping cart is not optimized for mobile devices. Obviously, this means that you will be hurting yourself if you don’t optimize for mobile-friendliness.
So, here’s why you should invest in mobile friendly optimization immediately:
Be customer-centric: the first and most critical factor. If you offer a good customer experience across all devices, bots and crawlers will love you too;
Get qualified traffic: people use mobile devices wherever they are, to look for product/service info. Conversion rates for mobile users are skyrocketing.
Convert more leads: you can have the best products and unmissable deals, but if your page is not optimized for mobile and your call to action hard to find, you won’t convert easy leads.
Improve ranking: there is no doubt at all that mobile is the future of search. Rankings will be increasingly determined by the mobile factor. If your site is not optimized, your ranking will suffer, and so will your brand quality perception.
Shrink bounce rate: one of the key analytics metrics, bounce is the rate at which visitors leave your website. It mostly happens when the page is not optimized. When that happens, you are giving away customers to your competitors.
The new algorithm may not show its consequences immediately, but don't make the mistake of neglecting the mobile area of digital marketing. In the Google era, the naked truth can be summed up in one single sentence: if you disappear from search engine results pages, you will - more than likely - soon also disappear from customers’ mind. Do you really wish to face this unpleasant fate?
Mobile optimization is a major duty for companies aiming at connecting with people of the Age of the Customer. To help you ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.