In April, Google launched the so-called “mobilegeddon” which targeted websites that do not provide a good user-experience on mobile handsets. Webmasters without responsive web designs lost search engine rankings and will subsequently suffer in loss of traffic and conversions.
The purpose of the algorithm update was to dump websites that are not mobile-ready down the search engine rankings. Google is all about creating user-experience and websites that do not fit mobile screens do not fit the search giant’s concept of good UE.
If you are one of the unfortunates that got Google-slapped, here’s what you can do to recover.
According to We Are Social 72% of the world’s population are using mobile phones and tablets to access the internet. Mobile shopping is the fastest growing industry ever.
It therefore makes complete sense for any online retailer to support a mobile-ready website.
The first thing you need is a responsive web design. This enables your website to be viewed on any screen, from a standard 4-inch mobile phone screen to an 80-inch Smart TV wide view.
The way content appears on different sized screens will obviously differ. This means you have to be more creative with the type of content you display. How will ads fit into your overall web design?
The solution is shape-shifting screens that filter content in and out so that smaller screens are not filled with content that makes it difficult to browse and large screens are void of content.
The payment process should also be straight-forward on mobiles and 3rd party advertising should be used sparingly or not at all.
When deciding on the layout and type of content you will feature on your website, think mobile first and work upwards. If your website does not provide a great mobile experience, Google will chop it down the rankings.
Ad network partnerships
Although the ideal solution for online companies is to have a clean website that is void of outside advertising, web owners that rely on ad partners to earn from their website have no option other than to feature on-site advertising.
As a result, websites have become user-unfriendly regardless of what screen users are connecting with. Intrusive pop-up ads and unsightly banners are the quickest way to deter visitors from browsing your site. It is just bad practice.
Therefore, find an advertising network that provides multiple ad formats and allows you to test them to ensure they are suitable for mobiles before you launch. If you go to the expense of setting up ad formats that chase people away from your site, there is no point having them anyway.
If native advertising is not practical for you, use mobile in-stream ad placements. You will generate much more revenue from these than right-rail ads.
You may need to do some experimenting to determine which ad formats work and which don’t, but much of this is instinctive based on your own user-experience.
Load times are important to users, therefore they should be important for you. Mobile users in particularly want instant results, they are on the move and do not have time to hang around waiting for your website to load up.
Whenever you load content on your website, you add more weight which can slow down the time it takes for your webpage to load. Video for example can be heavy, although there are ways of avoiding a lag.
Also compress or scale images that carry a lot of weight. Images are another feature websites cannot do without, but you should use them sensibly so that page speeds are not adversely affected.
Content is driving web use at the moment, and given the high number of users accessing the web on mobiles, your content has to appeal to users with a handheld.
That means being more creative with your content so you get the message across in fewer words, images or whatever other content format you choose to use.
There is a focus on interactive content at the moment, so built-in apps are increasing in popularity with online advertisers. If you choose to go down this route however, create an everyday app that users will use more than once or twice.
There is no escaping the mobile revolution so online business owners have to either embrace it or ditch online marketing altogether. But with the amount of consumers relying on the internet to find out information and unearth the best deals, ignoring online advertising could cause more harm to businesses than good.