Google has long been a mystery battle ground for many companies. The mission to reach the top of the Google search rankings has been a long debated journey and Google themselves have kept the key to success very close to their chests. The search results are intended to be an organic process which returns the best results for each user’s needs. However, there has been many tried and tested methods to help boost a website’s place in the list, for example, optimised copy, fresh content and link building.
As technology advances users are accessing the internet from anywhere and everywhere, 24/7. The breadth of information available is vast and online customers have developed raised expectations when it comes to their online experience. This is particularly evident across the use of smart mobile devices. Users now expect websites to deliver as well, if not better, experiences across their smart phones as their desktop computers.
In response to this, Google has taken the first step towards mobile first indexing. Last week they announced that they would be moving their first sites to be indexed using the mobile versions of their sites rather than the desktop version, which has long been the tradition. Their logic is that searches from smart phones are becoming the norm and many companies have not sufficiently optimised their sites to be mobile friendly. This results in searches being shown mobile sites that are not delivering the level of services that their desktop versions do. By using the mobile site for ranking they are maintaining their aim to deliver the very best experience for searchers.
So, what does this mean for your website?
Whilst the move to mobile first indexing is going to be a slow roll out, now is the time to ensure that when the time comes for your site to be looked at, it is fully mobile optimised. This is important not just for Google, which is a key source of leads for many sites, but also for the users that are landing on your site from a mobile device. If they are being presented with a badly organised, over crowded display which has not adjusted to their screen size they are likely to leave.
Mobile-friendly sites can really improve the customer service delivered by your website. User will have a better user experience when using their mobile devices and this will make them more likely to want to do business with your company. With less space available on your screen, it is important to simplify the user journey, ensure that key tasks are easy to find and calls to action are easy to act on.
Use your website to surprise your customers. The world of smart mobile devices opens up a whole new level of functionality which can make the user’s journey easy, quick and, ideally, enjoyable. By integrating location technology, for example, you are able to deliver a personalised experience based on a user’s closest store. This is the sort of content that Google will want to deliver to their users. There is boundless opportunity to delight your users and that is the first step to increasing the number of happy customers you have.
Mobile optimisation may seem like a huge job if you have always focused on the desktop version of your site. But it doesn’t have to be. More than likely, you use many websites on your own smart mobile devices. What sites deliver a great experience? How do they guide the user through the journey on their phones? What do you want your site to deliver to users? Put yourself in a users shoes and test your site thoroughly and make improvements as you go to deliver the best customer service across all devices.
Keep in mind that in the future the majority of the traffic to your website may well come from smart mobile devices. The user experience is fundamental to the success of your website. Deliver a great experience and users will come back, deliver a bad one and you may have lost them for ever. Focus on what you can change and gradually move towards a mobile first mentality in your design and content. Google is leading the way in this move and businesses who do not take notice will be left behind.
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