Your Guide to Google’s Mobile Algorithm Update: How To Avoid a Traffic Tumble

April 29, 2015


Don’t panic—Google’s upcoming algorithm won’t hurt your digital presence or business objectives. After all, you have a fully optimized mobile site that is perfected for user experience on the go, right?

The truth is, a lot of businesses are behind on this important development, and in the eleventh hour, many are scrambling to improve their mobile sites before it’s too late. There are many good reasons why this should move to the top of your development queue—the potential impact on your sales being one of the bigger reasons.

How could this change affect your business? There are a few ways listed here:

  • More than 50% of searches are conducted on mobile devices. This means 50% of your potential customers won’t be able to find your business without a mobile-friendly website. That number is only expected to climb—so without a mobile-friendly site, expect your sales to go down.
  • If your site isn’t fully optimized for mobile devices, you will likely see a hit to your ranking on mobile searches. This is a desktop adage carrying over to mobile—85% of searchers drop off after the first page of the Google SERPs. On mobile, expect to see searchers drop off after the first few results. If you’re not ranking, you’re losing the organic visibility and eventually visitors to your site.
  • If you don’t have a good mobile user experience, you will see less engagement and conversions. Even if the algorithm doesn’t impact your rankings, visitors to your site will be put off by the lack of usability. This means less time on site, higher bounce rates, and less conversions from mobile devices. It could even leave a negative impression off-screen—users will be less likely to remember (or remember favorably) a business whose website could not deliver what they needed on mobile.

So this algorithm does have the potential to hurt your business. But I refer you to my original statement—don’t panic. To see minimal to no impact on your business and digital presence, there are steps you can take:

  1. Find out if your site is mobile-friendly:
  2. If your website is not mobile-friendly, Google’s handy tool gives a few key pointers for optimizing in the short term.
  3. Check Google’s PageSpeed Insights and your Webmaster Tools Mobile Usability Test to extract more optimization opportunities.
  4. Look at your mobile site from a user perspective—would you rank the site as friendly? Are you able to navigate, search, and convert with ease?

If you want to avoid the potential pitfalls of the mobile penalty, it’s important to start optimizing your site for mobile today. Google—and your customers—will thank you!

To learn more, download your copy of our complimentary ebook The Business Owner’s Guide to Responsive Website Design.


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