Earlier this year, Google announced an important algorithm change dubbed as “Mobilegeddon” that boiled down to one big takeaway: businesses that do not have a mobile-friendly website will no longer perform well in Google’s mobile search.
In fact, the update might have meant that businesses without mobile sites would fail to rank in mobile search at all. It’s rare for Google to explicitly target the direct impact of an algorithm update to such a specific factor, and the announcement resulted in a wave of media coverage and industry hype around the importance of a mobile website by the impending date of the Mobilegeddon algorithm update.
A few months later, some of the hype surrounding this algorithm update has died down, but the update has indeed caused non-mobile friendly websites to fall in mobile rankings on Google, while mobile friendly sites have gained.
The truth is; the “Mobilegeddon” algorithm update is just one of the many reasons businesses need to have a mobile-friendly website today. Consumer behavior and search engine results are both increasingly evolving to emphasize the critical role of mobile. And the story isn’t over yet—shortly after Google’s announcement, Bing also stated that it is evolving its mobile search results to be more mobile-friendly as well. The Mobilegeddon algorithm update represented a moment in time in which a major web company drew a line in the sand on the side of mobile-friendliness.
Here are three reasons it’s more important than ever for businesses—especially local ones—to have a mobile website.
1) Consumer Buying Behavior is Influenced by Mobile
The latest Internet Trends Report shows that mobile is driving expanded web access to consumers. Today, 64 percent of consumers in the U.S. own a smartphone, and 75 percent of adults in the U.S. have two or more devices connected to the Internet. What's even more surprising is 60 percent of consumers use their mobile device exclusively to make purchasing decisions. Smartphone adoption and mobile search behavior influences the consumer purchase path.
Today, consumers rely on mobile devices across their buying journey, so it’s important to ensure that your business shows up in mobile search—both through a mobile-optimized website and a mobile inclusive advertising strategy.
2) Mobile Websites Can Boost Paid Advertising Results
The “Mobilegeddon” algorithm update specifically relates to the importance of a mobile-friendly website when it comes to organic search. However, having a mobile-optimized website could also help your paid search advertising effort as well. Your Quality Score takes the relevance and performance of your search advertising’s landing pages into account. If your search advertising directs mobile searchers to a non-mobile optimized landing page, it could negatively impact the performance of your search advertising.
So, not only is a mobile-optimized website important for organic search results, but it also matters from a paid search perspective as well. A mobile responsive website enables you to improve your search advertising conversions on mobile, and it can also help you lower your mobile bounce rate and allow you to use your product or service pages on your website as mobile-friendly, relevant search advertising landing pages.
Related Article: M-Day is Almost Here: Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly Yet?
3) Mobile Drives Local Search
The statistics are clear: search is increasingly mobile, and mobile devices are a key driver of local searches:
- Over half of all searches now take place on mobile devices
- About 80 percent of “nearby” searches happen on mobile devices
- “Near me” searches have grown by 33x in the last four years
- 88 percent of mobile users search for local information from their devices
Mobile users are actively looking for information about local businesses, and mobile devices are becoming the primary channel consumers turn to for local information. Search engines like Google and Bing want to give consumers the best possible search experience they can, so the shift to a mobile algorithm that favors mobile websites, which perform better and provide a more seamless experience for their users, makes sense.
While you may or may not have yet to see an impact on the search traffic you’re getting from mobile, mobile is and will continue to be an important factor for search.
The good news? Investing in a mobile website can do more than just improve or sustain your mobile web traffic. Taking the opportunity to create a mobile-responsive, conversion-optimized website can help you boost conversions from users across different device types, enhancing your overall marketing ROI. As mobile grows in importance for the consumer buying journey, search engines like Google and Bing are emphasizing the critical importance of mobile-friendly websites to improve user experience and consistency across the Internet ecosystem. The trend towards the mobile responsive website and mobile-optimized marketing will only continue to evolve over time.