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Google April 21st Update – The News You Need to Know PART II

If you know anyone who works in in the world of online marketing, it’s likely that they circled the 21st of April on their calendar… numerous times. Yes, we were waiting with bated breath here at SponsoredLinX, but for SMEs across Australia and New Zealand, this really doesn’t need to be the case. Essentially, business and website owners simply want to know if they will be effected, and if so how? Will it cost them, and what timeframe do they have? There is a lot of ‘noise’ online at the moment, unsurprisingly, but we’re here to cut through the noise and let you know precisely the information that really matters to you.

So, Google have announced that, “As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns” (Google Webmaster Central Blog, Feb 2015).  Yep, Google is going mobile, and they want to ensure that websites around the globe are configured properly for mobile devices. In their own words, Google explain they 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” (Google Webmaster Central Blog, Feb 2015).

What should you do? You need to ask yourself if your business website has any major issues which need to be addressed. Get your Client Manager here at SponsoredLinX to look at Google Analytics and see where your traffic is coming from. Remember you are looking at where your organic traffic is coming from.

Digital Futures - comscore - Image I

*Source: U.S. Digital Future in Focus 2015, comScore, March, 2015

If the majority of your traffic comes from a desktop, then spending the money on a mobile optimised site is not going to be quite as pressing. It will still be something you need to get done though, and the figures and statistics which have come from research in regards to the rise of mobile internet usage are telling of this.  If, however, a large majority of the traffic to your website does come from mobile traffic, and your site is not mobile optimised, then you need to look into making that happen. As of yesterday, April 21st, Google will now be implementing their new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm. You can see how if your site is not mobile optimised, and mobile traffic is important to you, then this traffic will decrease until you address the problem. 

Digital Futures - comscore - Image II

*Source: U.S. Digital Future in Focus 2015, comScore, March, 2015

As mentioned above, mobile is not equal, and it will not mean the same thing for every business and industry. But, this update is still clearly going to be a major one, and it will impact everyone in one way or another. For many though, as small to medium business owners, it is not simply viable to be able to have the resources to make the transition to being mobile optimised. So what do you do? This answer is going to be different for every business and website owner out there. You need to dig down into the data that Google Analytics can provide you with, and like all other business decisions, weigh the pros and cons before you make a final call. Now in saying that, at some point in the future you must eventually make your website mobile optimised, but what you must ascertain right now is if it must be something that needs to happen ASAP, or can wait a little while. In our expert opinion, we’d recommend sooner rather than later.

The speed at which your mobile responsive website loads for mobile devices is also important. If your site takes too long to load, the user will press back, and try the next website in the list.

Next, you also need to speak with your Client Manager about which pages of your website your organic traffic is arriving at. Is it your homepage? Is it a specific landing page? You need to know because the Google Update could impact the traffic to these pages differently.

So by this point a lot of you will have ascertained that mobile optimisation is crucial to your business performance. The one thing you do not want to do though is have a rushed, quick-fix, Band-Aid type solution for your website. Our Digital Strategy services here at SponsoredLinX can provide business and website owners an individual, unique web audit so you’re completely across the board as to what your website needs, what it will cost and the timeframe it can be done in. As mentioned above, mobile is not equal, and it will not mean the same thing for every business and industry. Your business is unique, which is why a one-size-fits-all approach is not what you want here.