For months, SEO professionals from across all industries prepared for Google’s new algorithm that would hurt sites that were not properly optimized for mobile devices. This was done to go along with the shift in consumer behavior in which mobile browsing is done as frequently as desktop browsing and encourage businesses to cater to their customers on more than just a computer.
This week, in an update on the Google AdWords blog, Google said that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan” according to internal data. This means that for most, mobile phones & tablets are not just a secondary screen, but a primary screen for buying & entertainment and should take precedence.
If you didn’t believe in the power of mobile technology and optimization, you should now. Otherwise, it will bite you in the behind.
With this shift, you as a business owner, web designer, marketer, etc. can take steps to ensure that your business and clients do not suffer and are ready for the changes:
For starters, make sure that your site is MOBILE-FRIENDLY. There are a number of ways to check and make sure that it is. Google has a tool that goes through and makes sure it’s OK by its standards. Also, you can take your browser and make it skinny using the arrows on the corners. If it adjusts to the skinnier screen, then you’re good.
If it’s not, then make sure to adjust your code so that it can be properly set. Check with your website provider and see if your agreement comes with it. If not, talk with your designer or invest in a firm that is able to make the changes for you.
Optimize Your Landing Pages
Ensure that all of your pages are optimized. This means looking up what keywords your company would want to be found under, picking the proper landing pages, and adjusting the Meta information to fit that. Google AdWords Keyword Planner and SERP Planner are just some of the tools that can help.
Remember some tips: The page title is where it is essential to put keywords. Length isn’t as important here because Google will still read it regardless of length. Descriptions get truncated at 156 characters. Lastly, long-tail keywords are more effective to targeting a demographic than short-tail ones.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Look at your analytics and make sure that your mobile traffic is properly tracking. If your analytics just drop off, it will either be an error in the code OR your site is not easy for the users to navigate through.
When checking the filters in Google Analytics for mobile traffic, one metric to specifically look at is “bounce rate”. If your bounce rate spikes or it is greater for mobile traffic than overall traffic, look into adjusting how your site looks on mobile. Remember, Google takes that into account when ranking search results.
Get Your Business On The Maps
Locally list your business on Google and Bing. If you are trying to reach a specific area, having your company listed and cited on Google Maps & Bing Places can be real handy, especially moving around on the go and using their mobile devices.
It’s a very easy process to go through. Using Google My Business and Bing Places, the setup should not take more than a few minutes but it can place you on the map and Google Search will direct searchers to you and give you top-of-page exposure. Other directories like Manta, Yelp, and Yellow Pages are also great areas to list your company.
“Mobile-geddon” and the power of mobile in marketing is growing by leaps and bounds and it will continue to grow as Google allows it to. Embrace these changes and use them to mold and grow your small business. A mobile-friendly, properly optimized site will go a long way to helping you dominate your competition.