As Google goes live with its latest algorithm update on 21 April 2015, there are some key considerations that brands need to take account of in their digital marketing that can’t be ignored. Many are dubbing this change as one of the most important since Panda and Penguin.
For some years now, everybody has been talking about the growth of mobile and with the plethora of devices in the market and the always-connected user; brands have to ask themselves “are we delivering content when and where the user wants it?”
When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should be able to get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the Internet, Google’s algorithm has changed to adapt to these usage patterns. Two important changes to help users discover more mobile-friendly content include:
1. More mobile-friendly websites in search results
Starting 21 April 2015, Google will expand its use of “mobile-friendliness” as a ranking signal affecting mobile searches globally and will have a significant impact on search results. As a result, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimised for their devices.
2. More relevant app content in search results
Google will also begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, it may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search results.
Getting the technical right from the outset
For brands it’s critically important to get the technical basics right by improving their content and adopting responsive design if they are to make the most of Google’s algorithm changes. They need to be mindful of the fact that people carrying out searches on their mobile devices spend much less time reading results than they do when browsing on a desktop. They are “on the go” and are searching with intent, which means they want relevant information…fast. So, make sure that you have everything that is important in your first paragraph if you can.
As mobile responsiveness is going to become a key ranking criterion, publishers with sites that are not mobile-friendly could see their search performance suffer. Whilst those using responsive design for their websites, and therefore look good on screens of all sizes, stand to benefit from the latest algorithm changes.
Keep the user front and centre
After all is said and done the end user still has to be the focus. Whenever you publish content, make sure it is for the user not the search engine. Content is still king. Make your content relevant, make it clear, concise, up-to-date and of value to the end user.
Understand context and that Internet access speeds vary greatly across regions, countries and even across town, so bear in mind page load speeds on image heavy websites.
Key reasons you should mobilise your website
- Users reach for their mobile devices first to research their buying decisions – especially their smartphones
- They move from screen to screen and expect the same seamless experience whether desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone
- Google helps those who optimise for mobile than those who don’t
- Building multiple sites for multiple devices is costly and inefficient
- Opportunities abound for mashing up disparate sources of data to give your customers the right information in one easy to use interface
- The fast pace of online development will require continuous innovation to stay ahead of the competition
What it means for your business
Get closer to your customers, understand and anticipate their needs and deliver valuable content and useful information when they want it and where they want it and you’ll have a recipe for success. By bringing together information about your products and services eases the research process for your prospective customers and ensures that your brand is top of mind, and only a screen tap away, when they reach that critical buying decision stage.
At Digital Garden, our clients are already on the path to making their websites mobile optimised with websites designed and built to mobile first, content first requirements. With company-wide buy-in to this new wave of consumer sentiment and behaviour they make valuable and useful content available exactly where and when their customers and prospects want it. They’re fully committed to what is now termed Customer Experience Management. Everything from generating new leads through to nurturing them through to a sale and beyond into loyalty and advocacy. Talk to us today about how we can help your business leverage responsive design to your advantage.