Many websites today have still not caught up with the understanding that majority of the people who access online content do so from a mobile device. The challenge to accessing this information from your phone is that not all websites have a mobile-friendly option so that forces the user to have to pinch and squeeze their screen to find the information they are looking for. Google has decided to fix this problem by favoring the search results on someone’s page to match what they are looking for with websites that are mobile friendly if they are searching from a phone.
Starting April 21th Google is changing their search algorithm in order to favor companies that are already mobile friendly. This will help users navigate and find the information they are looking for rather than having to do all these finger gestures just to find what they need. Google is doing this because not every company understands that more people use their phones to access the web now. If they want to attract customers and make it easy for people to find them then they need to update their website so it works on smartphones.
Changing the Playing Field
The year is 2015 and many businesses still operate with the idea that all they need is a static website with three pages that never changes or gets updated. The first page welcomes people to their website of business and tells a little about what they offer and do. The second page lists their products/services and prices and the third page just has a basic contact form. There is no social media components, no blogs to read, and nothing to show people they are still operating. There are many websites out there now that have been up but the people haven’t taken them down because they forgot all about them.
Google wants to start weeding out the bad websites that don’t stay up-to-date with their websites. How they plan to do this is by taking your search results and altering the results based on your location and phone. How will this impact businesses that pay for online ads? It will impact them big time because they have gotten into a routine now where they just pay for ads to drive traffic to their page. Now when people search for a service or product, your page will not show up in the top results if your website is not fitted for mobile devices, enough though you paid for those ads. Why?
Google has determine that people with phones do not want to deal with outdated websites that are not mobile-friendly so why waste the time giving search results that don’t help the person on the phone. If you pay for ads and you have a mobile-friendly website and someone searches on their phone for your type of business then it will show up in the top search results. This will start to hurt a lot of companies who have only been relying on ads to drive traffic. This will also make a company rethink how they plan to manage and run their website. Google is not interested in showing websites that have no new information so there is no reason to list such websites in the first page hence why so many companies now rely on buying Google ads to drive customers. Google is changing all that because the majority of people access content on the internet differently now.
What to do about the change
If you are a company that is concerned about losing your ranking in the search results page then there are several things you can do to help improve your ranking organically but also with online ads.
First, you want to make sure your website has new content every week, if not everyday. Google likes to know what happens on the internet and indexes anything that changes so every time you add something to your website google looks at your page and updates their results so when someone searches online for something and it matches what your website talks about, with other people linking to your page, the link for your website goes up in ranking. Keep your site updated constantly with new information.
Second, hire someone that knows how to make your website mobile-friendly. This is very important because you need someone who can help make your website easy to navigate on a small screen. This does not mean making everything smaller, it just means that the user will need a drop down or slide out menu to access the different pages on your website. They need pages that will load faster along with easy to access information. People use websites differently on a phone than when they are sitting at home on a computer.
Third, test your website out on phones and tablets. You want to see what the experience is like to make sure it matches what your website offers. Have a few of your friends try out your website as well just to make sure it is easy to find the information they need. Take the feedback they give you and make adjustments right away.
Fourth, add social media components on your home page and make it easy for people to get to them. People on their phones are always connected to social media so making it easy to access your facebook and twitter page will be helpful so they can like and follow you. You do not want to make it hard for people to find these items. The harder you find information on a website, the less likely they are to come back or recommend to friends.
Fifth, your social media content should be updated at least weekly, including photos, videos, and news about blog posts and upcoming events. The more information you post the more people will see that your website is up-to-date and will want to work with you.
This move is brilliant on Google’s part because it makes people realize that you cannot just stay with the same boring website month-to-month you need new content and information so people have a need and purpose for going back and doing business with you. A lot of people’s page rankings have dropped for that very reason this week and SEO managers for companies are scrambling to get everything updated so that Google will still favor their website.
There are a lot of startup companies that have trouble competing with companies that have the marketing budget to spend on online ads but many websites created today already come with the built-in option for mobile-friendly design. Creating a website from scratch is great if you know how to program and can add all the bells and whistles to it but for the majority of people they rely on basic website creators like Weebly and WordPress to create a simple enough website to manage their online presence. Sites like these already have an option that allows you to simply “enable” your website to be mobile. Just one-click makes all the difference in where your page ranks according to the search performed by someone looking for what you offer.
The times they are changing very quickly so whether you plan on starting a website soon or need to update your current on just remember that Google makes these changes all the time because they need to stay current with how people access information in relation to what they are looking for. Websites that haven’t been updated in five years won’t be anywhere need the first 50 pages if nothing has changed on your site.
But if you want to learn the real trick to beating Google’s new update I can tell you. You should treat your website as a landing page for people you meet in person who are interested in doing business with you. The quickest way to build a business with growing customers is to get out and meet new people and your website will help fill in answers to their questions. If you sit at home and buy online ads in the hopes that people will do business with you, then you are kidding yourself big time.