Search is going mobile in a big way, not due to the changes in Google’s algorithm that took effect yesterday, but because that is the device people are actually choosing to make searches from.
Google’s change in their algorithm is a response to how people actually search in an effort to improve results. Yesterday they updated their algorithm to include data on whether a site is mobile-friendly or not. This means that the search results from mobile devices will include whether a site is mobile friendly or not in determining their rankings. Google is responding to changes in consumer behavior to improve their product.
Businesses that are prepared with mobile friendly web sites will benefit and those that are not will lose ground.
Regardless of the changes Google made yesterday, businesses that are not prepared are most likely already feeling the negative effects of not having mobile friendly offerings for their business. Consumers find web sites built for desktop viewing as clunky and unfriendly on mobile devices and are quick to abandon them. Additionally, sites built for desktop viewing are rarely optimized to load fast and often users well bounce before the site even loads.
Consumers’ expectations and habits are changing and businesses must keep up. The trends are clear, not only is search from mobile devices growing rapidly but according to the Local Search Association, only 40 percent of adults in the US now use PCs to search for products or service locally, which is a 9% decline from 2014. On the other hand, 90 percent of all users said they have used mobile devices while in stores, additionally, 52 percent have used smartphones to perform searches while in an automobile.
Furthermore, this same study also indicated that 54 percent of users have used their smartphone to look for specials while in a store and 51 percent have used it to compare prices.
It isn’t just about getting found on the search engines, people feel more favorably towards your brand when you offer satisfying experiences and this applies to your mobile web site as well. When your mobile web site offers an optimized user experience it builds trust and improves engagement.
Unfortunately, if your mobile web site is difficult to use customers are likely to head to your competition rather than taking the time to go sit down at a desk top computer to use your web site. If you can’t provide your customers want, you will lose the opportunity for a sale and even more importantly, risk losing customers permanently.
Photo: Matti Mattila (Flikr) http://bit.ly/1QfhP8j