Excerpt from Google's Official Webmasters Central Blog:
Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2015
" 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."
ComScore estimates that more than 60% of all searches are performed on mobile devices. By these estimates, it makes sense that Google wants to shift their algorithm to reward websites that are mobile centric.
How Will This Affect My Website
Let me preface, if you already have a mobile version of your website, or a mobile responsive website
(Google's preference), you do NOT
need to be worried about this update. And before we all going "running to the hills", let me state that Google has ALREADY been using mobile attributes as part of its algorithm for a couple of years. However, until now, the impact of mobile usability has been relatively limited and vague in relation to the overall ranking algorithm. It's too early to really understand or even guestimate the impact this most recent mobile update will have on the "webosphere" overall. However, t o put this in perspective in relation to the property management industry, we conducted a thorough mobile analysis across a representative spectrum of our customer base (referencing Google analytics data) . The results: Mobile user traffic to our customers websites ranged, on average, anywhere from 20% to 63%
(results were also affected by respective market conditions and overall website traffic). In addition, we conducted a Google search analysis across the top ten MSAs (based on population), using the most highly trafficked and competitive keywords for property management leads (attracting new owner/investors). The results: Only 15%
of all websites represented on the first page of Google for any given market were mobile responsive.
What Does This Mean to Me
It's important to understand the actual ramifications of Google's latest algorithmic update, especially
pertaining to your website and "local" property management search results . First, the mobile update is initially targeted toward mobile centric searches (i.e. users searching the web specifically from a mobile device) . On average 41% of all user traffic is coming to a property managers website via a mobile device. This means, if your website is not currently mobile friendly, you are in all probability losing almost half of the potential user traffic/leads trying to navigate your website using a mobile device. While this may not immediately impact the other 59% of the traffic accessing your website via desktop search today, it will have negative implications in the near future. In addition, because less than 15% (results vary by market) of local property management companies on the first page of Google have a mobile responsive website today, this represents an immediate opportunity to level the organic search landscape for those companies that want to make the investment to get ahead in mobile technology.
How Do I know if My Website is Mobile Friendly
How do I Prepare for Mobilegeddon
Again, if your website is currently mobile friendly, you have already taken a step toward growing and solidifying your local online presence. If not, it's time to implement mobile strategy for your online presence. Next steps:
- Be sure that your website is mobile-friendly. Responsive design is Google's preference to ensure optimum mobile browser compatibility. However, as per Google's guidelines, you may also have a separate mobile website or App so as long as the users mobile experience is cohesive.
- Find a web developer that specializes in mobile responsive design and development