It’s no secret:
these days, Google lives and breathes mobile.
From introducing “mobile friendly labels” within meta-descriptions, to launching a full-fledged mobile testing tool, searching on-the-go is the name of the game. Today, the technology maven is rolling out an algorithm update that will have a sizeable impact on mobile searches. Here’s an excerpt from the company’s official announcement:
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
This will allow Google to offer improved experiences for smartphone browsing. As far as tablets go, we foresee a subsequent update in the near future.
ARE YOU MOBILE-FRIENDLY?
Actually, the first question you should ask yourself is: is your website responsive?
The tool assesses font sizes, the proximity of links (to ensure mobile ergonomy), display characteristics and other key metrics. If your website is deemed “not mobile-friendly”, it won’t be prioritized in mobile searches, which will be detrimental to your traffic and sales in the long run. To salvage your ranking, you’d need to address mobile usability issues in Google Webmaster Tools as soon as possible. The tool isn’t flawless, but it can be a great indicator of your website’s mobile appeal. Another great way to do so, is to look for the “Mobile-friendly” badge next to your SERP entry.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
To get a clear picture of the situation, we asked Rémi Turcotte, lead of performance at Le Site, how e-commerce managers should process this algorithmic change. According to him, Google’s update will finally give online players the “mobile push” they need:
“As the new algorithm will roll-out over the next few days, now is the perfect time to get your boss to approve that mobile budget he’s been delaying for the last few months. Focus on the weaknesses pointed out by Google’s tool, while keeping your analytics’ mobile results in mind.”
Rémi thinks clients should measure the organic performance of “mobile results vs. non-mobile results” and focus on the following metrics:
- Conversion rate
Number of sessions (for major landing pages)
The position of keywords on search pages
Mobile load time
To complement Google’s resources, Le Site’s performance team developed a quick tool to give managers a bird’s eye view of the algorithm’s impact on organic traffic and revenue.