The jury still seems to be out about how big of an impact Google’s latest algorithm change will actually have on search rankings. The vast majority of articles circulating the web right now are painting a picture of gloom and doom for those who haven’t made the investment in a mobile-friendly site.
Indianapolis-based Hirons published a great (and more optimistic) blog article, “8 Things You Should Know About Google’s Mobile-friendly Update, giving a little more clarity to how search results are affected. Most important, desktop and tablet searches are NOT impacted – the only searches this change affects is for mobile devices.
The statistics on mobile vs. desktop search are all over the place–mobile has overtaken desktop for LOCAL searches, but in the B2B world, most searches are still occurring on computers and tablets. Regardless, I think we can all agree that mobile use will continue to rise. So it’s not a matter of IF you make your site mobile-friendly, but WHEN.
What’s our advice for technical & B2B brands?
1.) Don’t panic – branded search queries are still safe. So if someone is searching for your company specifically (vs via another keyword), you should still be easy to find. If not, well…we need to talk because you have bigger problems. And again, only searches performed on smartphones are impacted. Computer and tablet searches are not.
2.) Put your site to the test: Google’s Mobile-friendly Test will tell you if your site is mobile friendly, along with a list of tips on how to get there if it isn’t.
3.) If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, get moving on a plan of action. Even if your business is not heavily dependent upon mobile search traffic, you should still be concerned that customers that DO wish to view your site from a smartphone are unable to easily access information they want and need, because your site is not mobile-friendly.
4.) If a complete site re-do isn’t in the cards right now, at least do the home page. Google looks at individual pages, not the site as a whole.
5.) If you had poor SEO prior to the algorithm change, making your site mobile-friendly won’t improve your rankings. Fixing your URLs, your page titles, your H1 headers and your copy should be a priority.
6.) If your website is more than 2 years old, chances are, it’s time for an update regardless. Design trends have changed tremendously since 2013. How does your site stack up against your competitors? Does your website properly reflect your brand? Visuals are especially important in the AEC space, where customers need to be able to trust that your website is a reflection of the world-class design that you can provide for them.
7.) Are you publishing content via a blog or newsroom, and pushing out through your social media channels and email? Content generation is one of the single most-important things you can do to elevate your brand and get the internet working for you — even in the technical, B2B world.
That’s our view on Mobilegeddon’s initial hit to search rankings, but we’re likely just seeing the tip of the iceberg (because…Google). Stay tuned for our next blog post from Eric on the Top 10 Reasons to Make your Website Responsive.