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Google Releases “Mobile-Friendly” Update

     -     Apr 23rd, 2015   -     Search Engine Optimization   -     0 Comments

Big changes happened yesterday as Google officially rolled out its new “mobile-friendly” update. Many are referring to this latest update as “Mobilegeddon”, as it is a big change in the way search engines will rank and show results on mobile devices. In essence, this update will reward and boost the ranking of those pages that are properly optimized for mobile devices in the mobile search engine results. So what does this mean for your firm? Below are some things to consider as a result of this update:

Mobile Evolution

As web 2.0 evolves into web 3.0, it is clear that the old way of doing business simply isn’t going to get the job done. More and more web traffic is coming from mobile devices including smart phones and tablets. The message from Google is that if you have not provided a platform to make a good user experience for these device users, then do not expect to receive strong rankings. Now, for some firms that have never attempted to cater to the mobile crowd, it is likely this specific update will have a minimal impact on website traffic. However, for those firms that do receive a high volume of traffic from mobile devices, then it is best you pay attention to what Google is doing because ignoring it could adversely impact your site ranking, traffic, and performance.

Truth is, it is best practice to have a responsive or mobile-friendly version of your website available for those on such devices. Google has said for months that it will not only reward websites with good content, but those that provide a good user experience (UX) as well. So it makes sense that if your site is not optimized for mobile visitors that it would not receive good ranking. Remember, it is all about the UX. However, as a former in-house marketer, I understand that sometimes it is easier to say one will follow best practices than to actually do it. There are budget restraints, time concerns, and resource issues. These are important issues that many accounting marketing professionals have to deal with and a very real part of the day to day. So what is the solution?

Assess Your Situation

I suggest doing two things to assess whether your site is being impacted by the change. First, determine if your website is mobile-friendly. If you are unsure, Google offers a free Mobile Friendly Test which allows anyone to determine whether their site is mobile-friendly. If so, then you are all set. If not, then the next step is to assess your analytics. In looking at the data, it is important to ascertain how much of your existing traffic is coming from mobile devices and what content they are connecting to. Depending on the information uncovered here you will need to make a decision about if/how quickly you will want to modify your website to comply with Google’s latest update. There is no one size fits all answer to this so it will require some sleuthing and strategizing on your part.

If you decide you want to make your site more mobile-friendly then it is essential that you implement a responsive design (and not a separate mobile website). This is a design that automatically reformats itself to provide the most optimal viewing experience for the device it is displayed on. Remember, pages need to be legible without having to zoom or swipe and your site needs to be easily and immediately usable. In some cases it will be a relatively small expense to transition your website (based on content management system (CMS), existing functionality, etc.). In other cases, it will be a large expense because it may require your firm website to be transitioned to a more robust and flexible CMS. So taking an inventory of your situation before pitching the idea to the partner group is a wise idea.

Next Steps

If you have any questions about the mobile update and how your firm’s website may be impacted, let us know in the comments below!


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