Mobilegeddon Prepping: How To Avoid Getting Hit By What Google Has Announced Its Biggest Update Yet!
Google is at it again!
They've announced that the 21st of April will mark the release of their Mobile-Friendly Updated also dubbed "Mobilegeddon"
So this post will discuss the why's, what's, must's and consequences you'll face if you don't have a mobile-friendly website.
Now we'll get right into each topic in a minute… but first let's look at why this is still such a big Opportunity or Risk, depending on your website's mobile-friendliness.
The Opportunity/Risk Depending On Your Mobile Readiness!
Personally, I think this update is actually going to make the Internet better and more user-friendly.
I've been preaching about the importance of mobile optimisation since back in February 2012.
We published reports, training videos and websites on the topic.
However back then I talked about getting in on the ground floor of a huge opportunity… whereas today… if you are not mobile ready you're not just missing out while your competitors cash in… but you're also Guaranteed to lose Google rankings!
Google themselves announced "This update will have a bigger effect on search rankings than Panda or Penguin" the biggest update Google has ever launched. (source: Zineb Ait Bahajji, a member of Google's Webmaster trends team, at SMX Munich)
And it's really no wonder why Google wants its search results mobile-friendly if you look at the stats:
- 81% of People use a Mobile Phone to browse the Internet.
- 77% of these people use a Search Engine to find what they're after.
- 79 % of people use a mobile phone to help with their shopping, 54% to find a retailer, 49% to compare prices and 48% to get promotions and coupons.
and here's the important one…
- 74% of people make a purchase based on a smartphone search!
(source: "The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Consumers," a study from Google and conducted by Ipsos OTX, an independent market research firm. The findings come from research conducted at the end of 2010 among 5,013 US adult smartphone Internet users.)
Here's a video Google released about this movement back in 2011:
So by now, you should understand the opportunity is big.
But what does this mean for you?
Well, it is assumed that 50% of Google's searches are done on mobile devices.
This update will only affect mobile results… so if your business predominantly relies on mobile searches or if you think/know (check your analytics) your consumers are likely to use a mobile phone to search the net, then your traffic is at considerable risk!
So the question is…
Will you be affected?
How To Check If You're Ready For This Update Or If Your Business Will (Possibly) Lose 50% Of Its Searches Overnight?
Here's the good news 😉
You can quickly check if you're at risk or if your business will pass this update.
A thing to remember is that you can't rely on mobile any old responsive testers, a few of our sites were built mobile responsive (mobile-ready) and according to all our testing tools, the sites worked perfectly on mobile devices.
I'm talking the top of the line testing tools in this space like BrowserStack.com
However it looks like, Google once again has written its own rules… because after testing the sites on Google's own mobile tester some of our sites still didn't pass the test - even though they looked perfect on every device we tested them on...
So even if your site looks like it works on a mobile phone, to be safe in my opinion you better complete the following 2 tests to ensure your rankings and traffic stays safe from this update.
Quick Check No.1:
Simply type your website URL into Google on a smartphone. Your website should come up at No.1 and if Google deems your website mobile-ready it'll have a "Mobile-friendly" tag attached to your result.
At the time of writing, this is what this looks like.
If your website has the "Mobile-friendly" tag you've passed the first test.
Quick Check No 2:
The second test is just as quick as the first one. Simply use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool, which can be found here.
Simply enter your domain and Google will tell you if it deems your website mobile-friendly or not.
A positive result should look like this:
What To Do If You're Not Mobile Ready?
Well, the main thing you want to do is be ready before the 21st of April 2015 - however understanding that at the time of writing, this is only a couple of weeks away here are a few different solutions.
These solutions will also be suitable if you quickly want to recover rankings while working on a long-term approach in the meantime.
Solution 1: Quick Fix
A super quick fix would be to create an additional "mobile-friendly" website and run it alongside your main website.
You can install a mobile redirect code on your main website which will redirect all your mobile visitors (along with Google's mobile bots) to your new mobile website.
You can quickly throw one of these websites up as you only need to feature the most important info about your business on this site.
- It's a quick solution.
- It's a low-cost solution.
- website management costs double - you will now need to manage 2 sites.
- website management time costs - you will now need to update and create 2 versions of the content for each site - one for your desktop site and one for the mobile site.
- You'll receive fewer mobile searches than a fully responsive site. Because more than likely you'll only have a few pages on your mobile site you won't receive as much mobile traffic as a fully responsive site as you won't have as many mobile pages indexed.
Solution No.2: The Patch Up
With this solution you can get a capable developer to make all your pages responsive - they will need to adjust your CSS code (this is the back end structure of your website - not going to get deep here 😉 ) and make it responsive. They'll also need to individually check the contents of each page to ensure it's all mobile responsive.
So in short the coding needs to be applied on a website structural level and then on a page-by-page basis.
- can be a quick solution for important pages.
- no need to invest in a new website.
- ability to keep current website design.
- can be completed in stages (on a most important page first basis)
- gets expensive for big websites.
- it's a patch-up job as many times the mobile coding is just not as effective as when the site is coded responsive from the ground up.
- bad coding can cause compatibility issues.
NOTE: a great solution to many of the cons above is to re-design/develop the site on an existing mobile responsive theme.
This reduces the costs of having to code things from scratch and gives you a website responsively coded from the ground up.
This addition to the Patch Up Solution will save a lot of time and costs - but it all depends on the size of your site and how much extra coding is needed.
Solution No.3: Website Rebuild
If you've got an old website which is in desperate need of a make-over anyway, we suggest investing in a new website.
You'll get a new website constructed from the ground up responsive and mobile-ready.
Here at Websites That Sell anyone who's got a mobile-friendly issue and is looking to invest in a new website gets a temporary mobile website totally free to salvage as much traffic as possible during the build phase.
If you're interested in this solution, or any of the above solutions I recommend you give us a call on 1300 188 662 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Built from the ground up with Mobile Responsiveness in mind.
- A long-term solution to taking advantage of mobile searches & staying compatible with Google's rules.
- Saves time by creating one version of a website rather than maintaining two.
- Gives your business a new and current look -lets you take advantage of the latest technology.
- Let's create a new website with the ability to implement marketing knowledge and conversion factors learned from the old website.
- You get a NEW Websites That Sells 😉
- requires a larger upfront investment.
Where To From Here?
In short… Google will roll out their mobile updates on the 21st of April 2015 - whether you're ready or not.
So we highly suggest you get ready.
Above we've outlined the 3 best solutions, depending on your situation, which will make sure you don't lose rankings and traffic.
Our mission at Websites That Sell is to make our readers and clients as successful as possible, so if you need professional help with your website and get mobile ready before the axe falls on the 21st of April 2015, then get in touch with us today.
We'd also love to hear your feedback and what you think about this update or what you've done to get mobile ready in the comments below.
Until next time.