If you’ve invested time and money to ensure your retail website is SEO-friendly, but did not include a responsive web strategy to make your site mobile-friendly, now is the time to make it a priority. Google has another major algorithm change around the corner, April 21 to be exact, that will reward websites with higher rankings that are optimized for mobile devices, while penalizing those that aren’t.
The reasons for this mobile move are clear, as we’ve indicated in our series of mobile-related retail blogs. 2014 mcommerce sales accounted for one-fifth of all retail online transactions, which added up to $57.79 billion in sales versus $42.13 billion in 2013. Our constantly-connected culture “has made a huge contribution to the fact that 48% of all traffic to websites now come from mobile devices,” said Creare, a Brightpearl web development partner, in their recent post on Google's algorithm change.
Beyond the data validating shoppers’ growing use of mobile, having a website that requires people to pinch and zoom to view your content is not the optimal shopping interface buyers desire. “Users find this a frustrating experience and are likely to abandon the site,” Google stated in their Mobile Guide.
Google recommends the following to get started:
- If you’re unsure if you meet Google’s mobile-friendly standards, their test takes just a moment to run.
- Didn’t pass? The next step may be easy if your site’s design uses a web template that already supports responsive, which adjusts the web layout depending on the device, be it desktop, smartphone or tablet. Follow Google’s guidelines to activate this feature.
- You may need to hire a web developer to make your site mobile friendly, and if so, Brightpearl has partnered with a number of companies that are certified by Google, Magento, Wordpress and more.
- If you’re looking for inspiration to help you envision your mobile-friendly website, turn to your web developer to provide you with compositions and to Google’s mobile web success stories.
Last year Google made other algorithm changes, and did so with a consistent priority: the user experience. Its focus on quality of content hit some retail websites pretty hard, pushing their top rankings down twenty or more levels. This latest play to focus on mobile should be taken seriously. The Googlebot has already been collecting the data it needs to flip the switch on April 21. So when “mobilegeddon” comes along, the change will impact websites immediately. Taking the needed steps now will not only provide your rankings from being hit, but most importantly, you’ll be prepared to support your customers’ growing mobile shopping demands.
We also invite you to check our other blog posts on the rise of mobile and its impact on retail commerce:
- The Disruption and Mobile Takeover of Fashion Commerce
- How Mobile Commerce Impacts Small and Medium-Sized Retailers in 2015
- A Cashless Future?
- Supporting mobile shopping | Preparing for profitable holiday sales
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