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Are Mobile Search Results Affecting You?

Tips for Web Design June 23, 2017
Author: Christin Nolasco
Are Mobile Search Results Affecting You?

How closely related are responsive web design and Google mobile search results?

These two elements should go hand in hand for your mobile-friendly website like love and marriage, peanut butter and jelly, page speed and user experience.

This article will offer some advice for optimizing your Google mobile search results to get the most bang out of your online marketing budget, despite how often Google changes its mobile ranking algorithm and other disparate factors.

Mobile Device Users Are Spending More Time on Their Phones
Mobile-first use is absolutely exploding, year after year. Your potential clients are using their mobile devices to search and research just about everything they can, then to buy products and services on their smartphone or on their tablet.

In fact, all age segments in all industrial countries are using their mobile phones more frequently to shop, get news, listen to music, play games, and communicate.

  • According to Pew Research Center, 95% of Americans now own a mobile phone.
  • Quora forecasts penetration will rise to 67% worldwide by 2019.
  • And TechCrunch claims that Americans are spending 5 hours per day on our mobile devices, a 20% increase compared to Q4 2015.

With so many people depending so much on their mobile devices, your potential clients’ mobile user experience is more important than ever.

Furthermore, mobile optimization and local search results are also factors you should consider when designing your mobile-friendly website.

People Want Everything NOW Through Mobile Search
Because of the improved usability of responsive web design, people are searching on their smartphones multiple times daily to supplement their conversations. They want to know about everything NOW, including information about your product, your service, or your business.
How often have you been with some friends and someone mentions something? And how often does everyone frantically start searching for the answer ASAP. It’s almost like a race for bragging rights that you can get the answer first.

Millennials are now the “I want it now –– instantly and immediately –– in the palm of my hand” generation. They don’t have patience when it comes to mobile device search vs. desktop search results. And if your website is not mobile search friendly, you could be losing potential clients who want to find content in seconds, not minutes.

For a few years now, Google has been using a mobile-friendly search algorithm. So you should consider mobile optimization for your website. This algorithm can affect your mobile content visibility ranking.

Google Has Shifted the Search Paradigm – Again and Again
A few more facts about Google…

  • In 2000, Google virtually shaped the web search industry and the Pay-Per-Click paradigm.
  • The search engine giant has had a variety of algorithm updates (Hummingbird, Panda, Penguin), and some appear as random as the next.
  • Google has forced businesses to recognize that websites found on mobile must fulfill the mobile expectations for speed and usability.
  • Google has made sure that mobile usability is a gating factor just to be listed in mobile search.
  • If you don’t have a responsive web design that loads quickly, Google will likely make you suffer a site speed penalty, then punish you with lower search rankings.

Worse yet, if you use too many SEO keyword terms on a web page and don’t comply to Google’s keyword density parameters, they may penalize you by not even listing your site on their search engine.

If You’re Not Mobile-First, You’re Going To Be Last
If your competitors offer a mobile user experience that’s fast and easy to view, they’ll most likely get higher search rankings over yours –– and be found first by more potential clients.

So if 53% of visits to mobile sites are abandoned after a 3-seconds load time (SOASTA), your site should be able to render basic mobile pages in under one second. Your site should play web videos in a few seconds. And your site should use Google PageSpeed Insights to determine how fast –– or how slow –– your pages are loading.
But if you’re not sure about your load times, it may be time to talk to the experts.

Don’t Be Fooled by Your Low Number of Mobile Device Visitors
Finally, when you evaluate your mobile-first needs, DO NOT be fooled if your number of mobile visitors is low. Do not jump to a conclusion that mobile is not important to your prospective or current clients. Sometimes that data may be misleading.

That’s why you should ask yourself if the low number of visitors is because no one can find you on mobile? Because Google will not list you? Because Google has penalized you with a much lower ranking? Or because your potential customers do not own smartphones?

An interesting statistic for understanding where you stand today is the difference between the number of keywords ranked for desktop versus mobile. If you see 2,000 keywords ranked for desktop search and 100 ranked for mobile, why do you think you may have fewer mobile visitors?

We would bet the answer is because no one can find you on mobile. But we’ve actually had a few potential clients recently tell us that they think their users just don’t use mobile devices at all. While that may be true for some products, services, or information, access is always more important on mobile devices than on desktops.

Find Out More About How Google Mobile Search Results Are Affecting You
Now that you know more about mobile search results, you should also know that Moonstone Interactive has consulted with dozens of companies like yours to create mobile-friendly website designs.

As a leading San Francisco Bay Area Internet marketing company, we’re experts in mobile optimization for web design, desktop search results, Search Engine Optimization, blogs, and more. We also employ Best Practices from Fortune 1000 companies that we’ve worked for and with.

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