In this article we’ll be talking about mobile responsiveness and it’s impact on SEO for all websites on the web. In the industry of search engine marketing everyone talks about content being king and quality backlinks, but what about your actual website? From the looks of it if you’re not transitioning your websites to be mobile friendly, you probably won’t perform as well in search and in this article we’ll talk about why.
Why is mobile usability so important for SEO?
Before we start jumping to conclusions let’s start with the facts. According to an article by Search Engine Journal, Matt Cutts from Google announced in March 2014 at SMX West that mobile searches could surpass desktop searches by the end of the calender year. To make things more interesting as far as statistics go, users on mobile devices account for about 30% of ALL internet traffic on the planet, and there are approximately 2 billion PCs compared to over 5 billion mobile devices in the world in 2014.
With users relying on their smartphones, ipads and tablets to find and access the content they desire on the web, Google and the other major search engines have no choice but to use mobile usability as a far more significant ranking factor than ever before. We can expect 2015 and beyond will be a whole new ball game for SEO companies and entrepreneurs who attract customers by sharing good content on the web.
Does mobile usability effect SEO for websites in both mobile and desktop searches?
As stated previously, straight from the horse’s mouth, Matt Cutts stated mobile queries could surpass standard desktop queries this year, that means ALMOST HALF of all Google searches are done on a mobile device. So to ask if your website will take a top position in Google for a mobile search, without a mobile responsive website the answer is most likely no.
But what about desktop search, are you less likely to rank in the top 10 if your site won’t fit nicely on a smart phone? Although the latter may be blatantly obvious, but this is a tough question to answer. Nobody really knows what goes on inside Google’s algorithms, all we know is that they want to provide the best possible results to searchers after they type their query.
Let’s look at a few things Google (and search engines in general) does consider when choosing the best possible results to display for a search:
- Does the website answer the user’s query?
- Does the website provide a positive user experience?
- Will the user want to revisit the website again?
- Can the user revisit the website on a mobile device?
- Will the user have a positive experience if they do, revisit on a mobile device?
The first 3 considerations, are pretty obvious when it comes to search engine optimization. Without going too deep into these fundamentals, I wanted to start with those points to emphasize what WE KNOW to help create your own hypothesis on what else ‘likely’ matters.
So in regards to points 4 and 5, put yourself in the position of a search engine and and ask yourself the following question. Will users be more satisfied with our search results if we give extra credit to websites they can revisit on any device at a later time and have the same great user experience?
In my personal opinion, the answer is yes. Mobile responsiveness does have an impact on SEO and your rankings in search results, even for desktop searches. How much of an impact it has compared to other things, I really don’t know.
What you should really be asking yourself is, what do you have to lose by going mobile? Zilch.
The big question, so how do you make a website mobile responsive?
The good news is that with technology being where it is, you could probably make your current website completely mobile responsive before dinner time tonight (or breakfast tomorrow).
This a big topic for an entirely separate article, that I do hope to be writing soon. But for now what I can tell you is it’s easier than ever to make it happen. If you’re using WordPress, there are plug-ins (like WPTouch) that will literally make your entire site mobile ready no matter what theme you’re using.
For webmasters who prefer HTML sites, nearly all templates available nowadays are mobile responsive. So if you’re not already “mobilized” it’s time for a major overhaul anyways, because the fact is you’re out of date. If this is you, it’s time to start looking around to see what’s available for modern templates and begin updating your websites.
Alternatively, there’s always the option to hire a freelancer and have them rework your HTML and create some new stylesheets. For smaller sites, you can find someone at a site like Fiverr.com to make individual pages mobile responsive for as little as $5 and as soon as today.
For the marketers who aren’t mobile ready yet, take what you learned in this article and get ready for 2015 because search is going to be dominated by mobile users. And you don’t want to miss out. Make sure to bookmark this site and keep checking back for more awesome internet marketing content and tips from Remote Marketer.