Have you ever visited a website on your mobile device and while looking for specific information you had to zoom in to search the page for that piece of information? It’s a pain, and it's costing you a lot of money.
Chances are, you come across these types of websites on a regular basis – they look great on a desktop or laptop, but it’s nearly impossible to find the information when searching on a mobile device.
When a consumer conducts a search, Google wants to present the searcher with the most accurate and relevant information. Mobile devices allow Google to precisely pinpoint the location of a searcher which helps Google provide more relevant results. Google understands the differences in consumer intent when searching on a mobile device vs. searching on a desktop. When searching on a smartphone, 50 percent of consumers visit a store within a day of their local search. With a higher chance of converting from mobile search, it’s extremely important to have a properly optimized website.
Mobile search is increasing.
One in four of all online searches are conducted on a smartphone. Think that's a lot? Listen to this – when searching for local businesses, 88 percent of consumers say they use a smartphone to search. Your business can't afford to miss out on these searches.
In addition to accurate and relevant information, Google is interested in presenting consumers with the best user experience. If a potential consumers land on a website and have to scroll and zoom to find information, their likely to hit the back button and move on. Studies indicate that 61 percent of users won’t return to a site if it is difficult to navigate or access on mobile.
Google “crawlers” or “bots” view websites as the user. They can view a site as from different devices with varying screen sizes and see whether zooming and scrolling is required. They can even check if the font size would require the average individual to squint. We already know that these crawlers rank pages on many factors, such as consistent information and relevant keywords, but user experience (mobile usability) is a likely addition in the very near future of Google's search algorithm.
Google is already testing your site.
As with other updates to search algorithms, Google has already begun testing ways of alerting consumers that a site is easy to use. One example is a mobile icon Google has tested to indicate whether or not a site is mobile friendly.
Second, a more positive approach, in which there is a statement below the URL stating whether the site is mobile friendly. Sites that are not mobile friendly do not have a notation.
It is clear that Google is testing ways to alert individuals when a site will be easy to view on mobile and evidence strongly suggests that this will become a factor in SEO ranking.
Google is always looking for ways to improve the user experience, and provide them with the best information. You want potential customers to be able to find your business information, and anything else they’re looking for regarding your business with ease. The importance of a mobile-friendly site will only continue to grow as consumers use their mobile devices for everything.
In addition to consistency, fresh content, and other notable SEO factors, ease of access will likely become an important search rank factor. Be sure consumers can easily find your business information on any device and take action quickly, and your business will surely benefit.
According to an article published on January 19, 2015 by Search Engine Land, Google is sending mass notifications to webmasters who have websites that are not mobile-friendly. These notifications are being sent via Google Webmaster Tools and via email.
The notification reads as follows, “Google systems have tested (number of pages) from your site and found that (percentage) of them have critical mobile usability errors. The errors on these (number of pages) severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website. These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.”
Read the full article and see an actual Google notification on Search Engine Land.