Have you noticed a significant drop in traffic since April 21st? If your website isn’t mobile-friendly (aka responsive), then you most certainly are seeing a downward trend! Google defines the true meaning of a mobile-friendly site as:
Text that is readable without zooming
Sizes content to fit the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
Avoids software that isn’t necessarily supported on mobile devices (e.g. Flash)
Spaces links far enough apart that the correct one can be easily tapped.
If you think the Google algorithm update doesn't really matter, think again! The main reason why Google came out with this update is related to the user experience on smartphones and tablets. A poor user experience on any device can cause bounce rates to soar. If you care about your mobile search ranking.. keep reading.
Here are 4 ways to increase website visits and stay competitive in mobile search rankings:
1. Understand the concept of local searches
With online search constantly becoming more sophisticated, local businesses are in prime position to reap the rewards of the many recent local-focused algorithm updates. One of Google’s many goals is to display the most relevant search results with every query. Searchers no longer have to type “ice cream shops in West Chester”- Google’s algorithm will automatically generate results based in your area simply by inputting, “ice cream shops”
If you own a business, there is a decent chance you are already listed in Google My Business, even if you’ve done nothing about it. But showing up isn't good enough- you want to show up high in search results- so what you must do to RANK locally is to claim your listing AND make sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) is consistent across all online platforms. The best way to achieve this is by completing a local SEO audit, and this can become complicated. MOZ has a great guide to help business owners perform this audit.
2. Track mobile keywords to see how you measure up
The most important factor to keep in mind is that your competition in mobile may not necessarily be your competition on desktop. For instance, 62% of organic searches show different results on desktop and mobile. So, before doing anything, set aside some time to research who your top mobile competitors are and figure out their strengths and weaknesses. What do you do better? How can you level up?
Gather high priority keywords that you would like to investigate. Using Google Webmaster Tools, navigate to Search Traffic > Search Queries. From there you can adjust the settings to only show mobile search queries or just desktop. Take note which keywords are driving traffic and from which platform. This will be a HUGE bonus to get you ahead of your competition!
3. Optimize the mobile experience for conversions
48% of mobile consumers start their purchase journey with paid and organic search results. With mobile ads, the quality of your mobile landing page experience will directly affect how your ad ranks and what you’ll pay per click.
You mobile landing page experience is so important after you’ve gotten a user to click if you want to convert visits into sales and build customer loyalty. Google’s SEO algorithm estimates how relevant and useful your website’s landing page will be to people who click on your ad. Landing pages with higher ratings are usually well organized and have text that relates to a person's search terms. So, optimize for a mobile experience that Google will consider valuable and useful.
4. Write fresh content
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people are just blogging here and there to complete their task for a weekly post; focusing the rest of their time on mobile optimization. Yes, getting noticed as a mobile-friendly website is a key factor for Google’s algorithm update, but that doesn’t mean writing good content is thrown out the door!
You need to be writing content that can’t be found on a dozen other blogs or websites. Write something that your competitors haven’t even touched on - then get the word out on social networks and email blasts to drive traffic to your page! Offer something more than just a story. Provide exact “how to’s” that detail out a step-by-step on how to do something. Now, THAT would go viral! Like I mentioned earlier, one of Google’s ranking factors consists of matching valuable content to a user’s search. So…..enough said.
The first page of Google’s search results is highly prized real estate. There’s a $0 fee attached to appearing among organic search results, however, there’s certainly a committment of time and focus required in putting together the right strategy of search terms and content for Google’s algorithm update.
With around 2 billion smartphone or tablet users expected to engage in some form of mobile research or commerce transactions by 2017, your website simply can’t afford to not be mobile-friendly. Interested in learning more? Download our free Google Update guide below.