A year ago, after tracking users’ shift from searching on their desktops to searching on their mobile devices, Google dropped a bomb. Dubbed “MobileGeddon”, Google essentially issued an ultimatum to Web site operators. Your Web site better be mobile-friendly, or Google will penalize it in its search rankings.
That was a year ago. And despite risking declining search rankings – lower quality scores, higher bounce rates and reduced conversions – many home improvement companies have yet to transition their Web site to an increasingly mobile future. Whether it’s a lack of investment, a surplus of work, or general apathy, many businesses have simply let MobileGeddon pass them by.
Now MobileGeddon Phase 2 is coming. Soon, Google will standardize mobile search and actively penalize businesses without mobile-friendly designs. Mobile is here to stay, and Web sites of businesses that haven’t transitioned will get less and less search traffic from Google.
Why is Mobile Booming?
We knew this was coming. While desktop searches have remained steadily popular, only dropping a couple points over past two years, mobile searches have skyrocketed. Consumers are searching more on their mobile phones than ever before.
This is due to a few unique advantages of cellular searching: convenience, hyperlocal technology and on-demand usage. Mobile users can search anywhere, receive results based on their current location and even search using voice (“Siri, how do I make veal picatta?“). Users can find a home improvement company while waiting in line at the pharmacy or sitting in traffic. Mobile is an awesome time killer and a great productivity tool.
What Are the New Mobile Standards?
Simply offering mobile users access to your Web site is no longer enough to meet Google’s ranking standards. Here are a couple of points:
- Mobile load times are critical to Google. Users have shown they will move on from any Web site that doesn’t load quickly enough. Your site needs to load quickly on phones in order to impress Google.
- Web forms must be simple to complete and use. Users find that completing forms on their phones is tedious, and Google is responding. That means forms with 15 fields won’t cut it.
- Simple navigation is the easiest way to keep mobile users engaged – and Google happy – with your Web site. Crowding a dozen links onto your homepage does not keep your mobile users engaged. So Google now tracks the time mobile users spend with you, and how quickly they click over to another Web site. Simple navigation is the key.
The key point is that home improvement companies must optimize their Web sites for mobile users…and they must do it now.
If your Web site does not actively support mobile users, your Web site traffic and ultimately your online lead flow will suffer. It’s keeping up with the Joneses, but in this case, Google is the one judging you.