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Google’s New Mobile Mandate: How Marketers Can Win

Three musts for preserving and boosting your Google mobile ranking

Three musts for preserving and boosting your Google mobile ranking

Mobile-friendly content is now a must, at least according to Google. Let’s face it: Whatever Google says goes in the world of digital marketing. On April 21, Google launched a new algorithm that significantly favors mobile-friendly content.

Sites that aren’t mobile-friendly are expected to drop dramatically in the rankings, and ‒ in many cases ‒ off the first page of results. What does this mean for marketers?

Every change in Google’s mobile-focused algorithm is executed with the intention of directing people to the most relevant content. And, for today’s on-the-go users, mobile-friendly means humanly relevant.

Now that search engine algorithms have become more sophisticated, search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t as simple as strategically placed keywords. Creating a true connection with your buyers through content involves staying attuned to their distinct needs and behaviors – understanding not just what they’re searching for, but also how and why they’re searching for it.

Given that approximately 42 percent of Google searches are performed on a mobile device, it’s not surprising that Google has finally laid down the gauntlet and insisted websites become mobile-friendly if they want to remain relevant. Google’s message is loud and clear: Optimize for mobile – or else.

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The Mobile-Friendly Survival Guide in Three Steps

To get a quick reality check as to how your content is performing, start by typing your URL into Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. You can also just simply search for your site on a mobile device. Mobile-friendly search results are indicated with the text “mobile-friendly” in gray just under the title.

If Google doesn’t consider your site to be optimized for mobile, take these three steps:

  1. Gather Your Mobile Vs. Desktop Data.

Now that mobile rankings vary from desktop, it’s important to benchmark your strategic keyword rankings and determine the percentage of mobile traffic that is currently coming to your site.

2. Decide Which Type of Mobile Site Is Right for You.

A Web developer can help you determine the best course of action to make your site mobile-friendly. Responsive websites ‒ the implementation recommended by Google ‒ are created so that the HTML stays the same across all devices with only the presentation of content changing. Dynamic and separate mobile sites are also options. Dynamic sites keep the same URL for mobile but change the HTML, while separate mobile sites have a unique URL and are created independently from their desktop counterparts.

3. Monitor Your Progress.

Once updates are made, check to make sure Google is reading your site as mobile-friendly. Be patient as you continue to track keyword rankings, keeping in mind that these changes may take time to display their full impact.

The future of all digital marketing will revolve around mobile engagement – especially considering 2014 was the year when mobile usage officially eclipsed desktop usage.

Mobile SEO is just the beginning. As mobile usage explodes, marketers must continue to adapt to the changing digital landscape. As search engines become more sophisticated, they are getting more adept at judging what users will find most relevant. So must you. Now, more than ever, marketers need to create content their customers can connect with on a deeper, more emotional level.

A sound content marketing strategy, informed by buyer personas and detailed buyer journeys, will enable you to map targeted communications to each stage of the purchase path and engage with your buyers on a more personal level.

As the pace of technology continues to accelerate, so must marketers’ efforts to keep their content mobile-friendly and, most of all, people-friendly.