Are Google Preparing For A New Mobile Algorithm Update?
Is your company’s website responsive yet? If not why not?
Over the last week Google have been sending mass notifications via webmaster tools to non-mobile friendly sites informing them that their website isn’t mobile friendly. These messages warn webmasters that their site will be “displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users” if they do not improve their sites user experience for mobile visitors.
Mobile user experience has been a hot topic with Google recently and news of these notifications is nothing out of the ordinary. There have been clear signs for some time now that Google are looking to launch a new mobile algorithm update. Google have been placing greater importance on mobile usability for months. In November they introduced mobile friendly labels which alert smartphone users as to whether sites are optimised for mobile. However they are looking to help webmasters, and have also introduced a mobile friendly testing tool to help websites highlight issues with their site.
It seems likely that Google will increasingly be looking to rank mobile optimized sites higher and penalise those who do not consider their sites user experience for Smartphone visitors. Having a strategy to improve mobile user experience is not only important to maintain and improve your position in natural search results it plays a big part in improving the customers user journey and can impact upon your sales.
Mobile user experience is not only important for SEO, this is important for other forms of marketing such as paid search. Google considers the quality of PPC landing pages when deciding how to rank ads within the ad auction. Having a poorly optimised website can increase paid search costs and impacts upon a websites conversion rate. One case study by Google highlights how travel company Alpharooms saw a 400% increase in mobile conversion rates after switching to a responsive site.
The benefits of improving site user experience are clear however improving the purchasing process for users can be easier than you think. Below are 7 easy tips for improving your websites mobile user experience;
- Ensure that content and images fit mobile screen sizes.
- Avoid using non friendly mobile software such as Flash.
- Use easy to read text without zooming in.
- Leave plenty of room between links so that the correct link can be easily touched.
- Reduce the number of pages between viewing and purchasing a product.
- Reduce the number of fields users have to fill out on web forms.
- Support Autocomplete forms and social login buttons to allow users to enter information quickly with saved data.