Google Updates Show Just How Important Your Mobile SEO Strategy Is

Are you starting to notice something different when searching Google lately? If you’re using your mobile when searching, you’re probably starting to see this little “Mobile Friendly” label in search engine results pages (SERPs).

While we knew that mobile-friendly Web design plays at least some role in Google’s algorithm, this new feature shows very tangibly just how much importance Google is placing on mobile-friendly websites.

The Mobile Friendly Label

Google released the mobile friendly label feature in November. Currently, it only shows in searches when performed on a mobile device (you won’t see the label when searching from your desktop, for example).

You can see an example in the image below:

Google Updates Show Just How Important Your Mobile SEO Strategy Is

Why Does the Mobile Friendly Label Matter?

A key metric for any ad is the click-through rate (CTR). If your ad shows 100 times (impressions) and is clicked on twice, the ad’s CTR is 2%. Increasing your ad’s CTR from 2% to 4% would essentially have the same impact as doubling the number of impressions.

If we look at your listing in a Google search as an ad, you want the CTR to be as high as possible. Factors of your listing’s CTR in Google include how close it is to the top, the title (pulled from the page’s Meta Title), and the description (often pulled from the page’s Meta Description). And now, the mobile friendly label will start to affect your CTR.

Mobile Friendly Matters to Mobile Users

If Google continues with the mobile friendly label, users will inevitably start to pay attention and begin to click only on the listings with that label when searching from a mobile device.

A study cited by Search Engine Watch shows us just how important mobile friendly is to users (your potential customers):

  • 72 percent of mobile users say that mobile friendly is important to them.
  • 79 percent of users will go back to the search engine (bounce) to find another website if yours is not mobile friendly.
  • 67 percent of users say that a mobile friendly site makes them more likely to buy a product or use a service.

This is where the rubber meets the road. These are your current and potential customers.

How Is Google Determining Mobile Friendly?

Google has shared the criteria it’s using to determine whether a website is mobile friendly. The criteria include:

  • The Web page does not include software that is not mobile friendly (ex: Flash).
  • The Web page has text that is easy to read without having to zoom (pinch).
  • The Web page does not require the user to scroll horizontally on a mobile device.
  • The Web page does not have links that are too close together to tap easily.

As you can imagine, you certainly want to take the mobile friendly label into consideration in your mobile SEO strategy. But instead of chasing Google updates, you should always try to do what’s best for your users – usually that is what makes Google happy as well.

You want your website to load well and be user friendly for all potential and current customers, whether they are on their desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. The mobile friendly label doesn’t change this, but it does act as a reminder of just how important a mobile friendly website is.

Next Steps

The next steps for your mobile SEO strategy should include the following:

  1. Do a Google search for your company from your mobile device. See whether the “Mobile Friendly” label is showing for you.
  2. Google is providing a mobile friendly test to see easily whether Google sees your Web page as mobile friendly. Test your website out here.
  3. Responsive Web design (RWD): if your website is not currently responsive, get a plan in place to make that happen. Your website should adjust for all major platforms: desktop/laptop, tablet, and mobile). If you’d like help, schedule a free consultation with us to see whether we can help.