2015 is the Year of Mobile: What You Need to Know About April 21
March 07 2015
If you’re a Texan, you may be familiar with the constant dealership ads that proclaim it’s “Texas Truck Month.” Does it ever feel like every month is Truck Month in Texas? Well, it’s begun to feel like every year is the “Year of Mobile” in Internet Marketing. But unlike other years, 2015 really is the year of mobile. On April 21, Google is officially making mobile-friendliness a ranking signal, which is predicted to make a large impact on mobile search results. This means that if you do not have a mobile-friendly version of your site, your mobile visibility, traffic and conversions could be impacted.
Think your target user isn’t looking for your product or service on a mobile device? According to Google, 42% of manufacturing queries start on mobile. How people interact with the internet is changing and mobile has surpassed desktop in terms of usage.
If you haven’t given mobile much thought or have been resisting, it’s time. Below are some resources to help get you started.
How to Look at Your Mobile Traffic
Knowing how much mobile traffic and conversions you’re actually receiving to your site is really important for estimating the potential impact this mobile update may have on your site. You can look at this data within Google Analytics or the Mobile tab of your report.
If Google Analytics is installed on your website, you can go to Audience > Mobile > Overview.There you can see a breakdown of desktop, mobile and tablet traffic for the time period you’ve selected. Look at different time periods to understand if and how your mobile traffic has grown over time and where it is now.
An example of device breakdown in Google Analytics.
Things to think about when looking at mobile traffic:
- What percentage of traffic is mobile?
- How many conversions are brought in by mobile? If you have Goals properly set up, you can click on Goal Set 1 to see yourconversion rate.
If Goal Completions are set up, you can view the goal conversion rate specifically for your mobile traffic.
We made a video walk-through on how to view your mobile traffic in Google Analytics!
Are you a TopSpot Internet Marketing client? In your report, you’ll see a Mobile tab that details mobile traffic from all your sources (Organic, PPC, Direct, Referral) along with top devices and any available keyword data.
Example of TopSpot mobile reporting
How Do I Know if My Website is Mobile-Friendly?
Go to your website on your smartphone.
Are your thumbs having to do a lot of work? Pinching and zooming are some of the miracles that smartphones have introduced into our lives. But if your site is requiring a lot of pinching and zooming to get information, your users are probably not happy about it and could be going somewhere else for a better mobile experience.
Test your site in Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool.
Google provides a great resource for quickly understanding if you pass the “mobile-friendly test.” Plug in your URL. If you pass, you may see something like this:
If you don’t pass, you’ll receive some tips on how to improve your site for mobile.
Google Webmaster Tools – Mobile Usability Alert
If your site is verified in Google Webmaster Tools and isn’t mobile friendly, you may have received an alert letting you know of mobile usability issues. Google has been issuing these alerts with detailed notes on any issues and how to address them.
How Do I Make my Website “Mobile Friendly”?
Common types of websites that are considered mobile friendly include responsive websites and “m.” (m dot) websites. A responsive website is a website that responds to your screen size. So if you’re on your desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone, you get the same website tailored to fit your device nicely. An “m.” website is a separate version of your current website that usually has fewer pages than your desktop site and requires redirection of your users.
Generally, we recommend a responsive design for a few reasons:
- All pages of your site are accessible to a user and search engine in a mobile format
- It offers a similar experience for your users across all devices
- It is a long term solution for your website’s mobile-friendliness
- Requires less time to maintain and update pages on the site since it’s built in one platform.
- Search engines only have to crawl a page once rather than crawling multiple versions of one page.
Back in 2013, we made our own site responsive and have been making responsive sites regularly for our clients ever since. We’ve even won a few awards!
The solution that is right for you is dependent on the size of your website, mobile analytics data, the nature of your products and/or services and of course budget. In some cases, an “m.” can make sense for your business if you have a very large site, e-commerce site, client logins or sections or functionality of your site that aren’t a good fit for a responsive format. It all depends on the data and your users.
Whether a responsive or separate “m.” mobile website, taking a hard look at your mobile traffic and leads has become necessary with April 21 around the corner. Contact us today if you have questions or are interested in discussing your mobile-friendly website options.