If you think you weathered the Mopocalypse fairly well, here are five reasons you might want to think again.
1. It didn’t quite live up to the hype.
April 21st, 2015—the end of days for anyone without a mobile-friendly site, it was also the day that Google announced “a 4.7 percentage point uptick in the proportion of sites that are mobile friendly” over the previous two months. Obviously, many brands had heeded the warning from Google and worked hard to improve how they treated their mobile visitors— rolling out responsive sites, eliminating faulty redirects, and thinking about all the ways users are consuming content in 2015.
2. It’s still a threat.
Despite some progress, too many sites are still not optimized for mobile. A full 37% of the 2014 Fortune 500 are not, according to a recent test by RP3, despite the fact that demand for mobile services is surging in almost every category. In banking, for instance, a research report by Resonate, in collaboration with the Association of National Advertisers, suggests that nearly one-quarter (23%) of all adults would consider an online-only bank, which would require banks to offer seamless mobile transactions to remain competitive. In travel, more than 30% of worldwide online bookings will be made on mobile devices by the year 2017, according to Econsultancy.
3. It’s costing you business.
What’s more, 71% of mobile users who encountered a non-mobile-optimized website bounced back to their search results – and essentially kept looking until they found a mobile-optimized website. According to mint.com, mobile shoppers are more likely to make impulse purchases and buy more than desktop customers (35% more for household items, and 50% more for health and beauty products).
4. Google isn’t done tinkering with the algorithm.
Unlike in Hollywood, where there’s a catastrophic event and everything falls apart, real world-changing situations play out slowly. In the past month, Google announced another tweak to the algorithm, penalizing sites that use a full-screen interstitial to encourage users to download a mobile app rather than use a mobile site. There are suspicions in the SEO community that even more mobile-specific performance metrics such as load time, page weight, rendering speed, etc. will be added to the algorithm in the near future. And changes will continue to come as new devices gain market share. (Apple Watch optimization, anyone?!?!)
To create the best search experience for their users at any given time, Google has to adjust the algorithm to account for current trends. SEO is a process, a maintenance-mode activity like exercising. It has to be revisited on a regular period to be effective.
5. There is hope.
Fortunately, Google does provide updated guides on mobile SEO that can help you optimize your site for the latest version of their search algorithm. The changes they keep making to the algorithm, while potentially frustrating to keep up with, are really aimed at improving the mobile browsing experience for everyone. So stay focused on making a great experience for your brand’s users. And remember, as of Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trends Report this May, 51% of time spent on the Internet daily was being spent on a mobile device. So your mobile users are your mainstream users now.
What steps have you taken to improve the mobile experience of your brand? We’d love to hear in the comments.