In recent years, we've seen the emergence of mobile search, with Google predicting mobile traffic would overtake desktop by 2018. However, the latest figures show that traffic from mobile devices has overtaken desktop already, with 2015 flagged to be the year for mobile. Even if sites haven’t yet seen this change, the percentage of mobile traffic has significantly increased compared to the same time-frame in 2014.
And it's not just search that’s becoming increasingly popular on smartphones and tablets. Email, purchases, downloads, apps, games, music, are all driving more and more traffic to sites.
With Google seemingly a few years behind, they’ve now identified mobile optimisation as a ranking factor, developing their algorithm to take in account these changes and increases in traffic.
They recently announced that we’re set to see another algorithm update on April 21st 2015; mobile friendliness is now an important ranking factor. With the huge increase in smartphone and tablet users, it’s no wonder why Google has decided to take the next step and raise its status.
Penalties could be incurred if a site doesn’t adhere to the change, but more so than that, your users will be frustrated if they don’t have great user experience when browsing on mobile.
So what does this mean for your website?
Although as of yet, we’re not quite sure how the update will affect levels of traffic to the majority of sites which aren’t yet compliant, it appears that within certain industries, where having a mobile-friendly site is considered to be essential and the ‘norm’, you could run the risk of moving down several positions.
These industries include:
- Travel and hospitality
- Media & Entertainment
Although any website could be affected if it’s deemed ineffective in regards to mobile optimisation, the above industries are flagged as more ‘at risk’, so it’s important to address this issue before the algorithm update comes into play.
The fact that Google has announced this update, instead of springing it on the world of websites with little or no awareness, is important to remember. They, as well as us, know that user experience is one of the most important issues when dealing with a website, so this algorithm update seems to be more about the involvement of the user, rather than pleasing Google.
So what needs to happen?
Well, you can ensure that your site is mobile-friendly and ready for the update in April just by a few simple methods. You can test your site for mobile speed, update your CMS (if applicable), optimise images, or make your site completely responsive. It’s a case of getting in touch and letting us know if you think your site needs an overhaul before the update.
Speak to one of our experts today to see how we can help develop your site to become mobile-friendly in 2015.