Mobile Friendly – Mobilegeddon Has come and gone
What a week it’s been! On April 21st, Google officially set the world on fire with a new ranking factor. In case you didn’t know, there are over 200 ranking factors that go into an Algorithm. Basically, as an online Marketer or SEO professional, we really only know a hand full. Today however, we can add another one to the list – mobile friendly!
This past week, I’ve witnessed absolute panic – this started when many realized there was a significant difference between responsive and mobile friendly versions. I have to say, I am a little ashamed of my industry at the moment for putting the fear of ‘Google God’ into the hearts of millions of small business owners online. They purposely set forth a theme of destruction for millions of online businesses, making it seem like Google would punish those not mobile friendly on the 22nd of April; I for one am incredibly disappointed. Let’s get one thing straight and out of the way now – YES, you do need to be mobile friendly, but not for the reasons you might think.
read also: Mobilegeddon has come – by Yoast
In this blog, I am going to go through a few things that I think will give better explanation for the mobile friendly rules, and I will help you understand the differences between mobile friendly and responsive themes. I am hoping to convince the rest of those online business owners currently sitting on the fence about the motives behind this change. Of course, I will also provide a bit more insight as to why Google has decided to make this more of a rule than an option.
Of course I welcome any comments you might have in the section below.
Mobile Friendly Means Real Customer Service
Let’s get back to the basics for one moment. As small business owners, you are providing a service or product for customers; with that comes basic customer service or care. Okay, so this is just common sense right? Yeah but in the online world, I think people have forgotten what it means to really concentrate on the customer experience. In all honesty, I think we’ve lost our way. I decided it was high time to dedicate some blogs to a series that brings us back to basic customer service. For now though, and back to the point at hand, if your site is mobile friendly you are in fact improving customer service. At the end of the day, mobile friendly stats and figures tell us that people will drop you like a hot potato if things aren’t fast enough, this includes load time and whether or not your website is now mobile friendly.
How about Google’s motives? You see, when it comes to marketing online or successfully implementing SEO on a website, we have no choice but to adhere to certain guidelines that are put in place by Google. There are several popular search engines out there, of course we are not excluding Bing, and Yahoo who like Google, have a set of guidelines they would like followed by webmasters. Google is responsible for over 80% of the searches online, making them by sheer numbers alone, a figure I personally as an SEO professional, bow down to. Lately, with regard to including mobile friendly in their algorithm and ranking factors, Google has stirred the pot filled with conspiracies.
I should have read Google’s FAQ about the mobile update more closely pic.twitter.com/qUqyuhoy0t
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) April 24, 2015
Okay, so let’s state the most obvious reason for Google’s mobile friendly rule – money. Of course money, but let’s not forget some of the predictions being made by industry leaders and organisations.
By the year 2020, many believe including me that most of our media reading and viewing will be done via tablet. Not to say desktops or laptops will be added to the technology extinction list; however, more of a generalized warning of things to come. I really do believe that tablets will rule or “phablets” as they are sometimes called. Even Microsoft is in on the future, and so designed their new Windows 8 based on this prediction. But, I think it’s safe to say Microsoft might have jumped the gun a little with that one…..sheesh what a mess eh!
But let’s get back to the topic at hand – Google is forcing our hand for an abuntant of reasons, and yes mobile ads and money are one of them. Is this something we can fight back on? No absolutely not, and not because Google is the big “man” with a table full of lawyers at their back. It’s because whether you are willing to admit or not, your customers want Mobile friendly.
Bottom line people – mobile friendly is a good thing, it’s something YOUR CUSTOMERS want, and it’s here to stay
What’s the difference between responsive sites and mobile friendly sites?
Here is what I encountered the past few weeks:
“But my site is mobile friendly see! It fits perfectly on the mobile and all you do is “pinch out” to make it bigger.”
“I specifically bought a responsive theme so I wouldn’t have to worry about this issue when it finally came along.”
I take full responsibility for this – I should have written a blog long ago or personally contacted all current clients along with old one’s to tell them. At least now, because of this incident, I will dedicate more time to blogging for small businesses and helping where I can. The thing is there is a big difference between responsive and mobile friendly.
Go on your mobile or tablet right now and check out www.plush-media.com
You will see up in the corner of your mobile or tablet, a little box with 4 lines – just touch that and a new “mobile friendly” menu pops up. The menu as you will see is completely user friendly. At the end of the day, user friendly is all that matters to Google. In fact, if you make your site user friendly, and forget about appeasing Google God, you stand more of chance getting ranked. These are topics I will be exploring more in the coming weeks.
Responsive sites are website that fit nicely on a mobile; however, you have to do some work by pinching out to make the text appear bigger. This is considered “hard work” for the general browser….(rolls eyes). I know it’s so annoying, and most of the time small business owners can’t grasp the reasons behind some of these new rules. But, like I stated above, we have to look at the stats, and the stats tell us that unfortunately, browsers and mobile shoppers leave after 4 seconds, they won’t wait for it to load if it’s to slow. Stats also tell us that browsers or mobile shoppers will leave if we don’t make the shopping experience easy for them. This means, we have to make our sites mobile friendly, with easy navigation including an easy to see “Shop or Buy Now” button.
Honestly, if you want to truly be successful online, then you have to make the investments. For an incredible ROI, you need to budget in a mobile friendly site, but more importantly you need to budget in SEO and Marketing Online.
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