More and more people are using their mobile devices to visit websites and buy products online. Most websites are already receiving more than 30-40% of their visits through mobile devices. Google is aware of this increase, which is why you should ensure that your digital marketing strategy takes mobile traffic into consideration.
Google is now warning users on mobile devices about websites that are not mobile friendly. Through showing a crossed-out mobile icon, users are warned that the site they are about to visit has not been optimised with their needs in mind (see below). Though this feature is currently only in the testing phase, it will likely be made available to all users before long. You definitely do not want users to encounter this warning when they attempt to visit your site, so make sure your site is mobile friendly before it’s too late.
Google is also warning users about sites that automatically redirect to the homepage, as opposed to the specific page listed in the search results. It can be difficult to navigate to specific pages on some mobile websites, which is why it is particularly frustrating for mobile users when they find themselves redirected to the homepage. As you can see in the image below, Google now warns mobile users when they suspect that a website might automatically redirect to a homepage, and this warning might be enough to turn away potential visitors. Again, you don’t want users to see this warning when they are trying to access your site, so lose those pointless redirects.
Fast loading times
For mobile users, page load speed is essential. Since most mobile devices now use 3G or 4G networks, Google is now taking into consideration loading speeds when ranking pages for mobile users. You can run a test here, which will give you good estimates on how long your pages will take to load on both mobile and desktop.
In the example below, you will see how the tool identifies possible issues, before giving you tips on how to resolve them. You should have no trouble at all, then, in ensuring that your pages load as fast as possible.
Whether they are designed exclusively for mobile, or designed in such a way as to be responsive to the user’s means of access, mobile sites invariably require a lot of specialist coding. This means that things can, and often do, go wrong. Google takes such errors very seriously, and thus uses them as a ranking factor in mobile search results. Common errors include flash content or videos that work fine on desktop websites, but not on mobiles. Look out for these errors, and be prepared to act as quickly as possible.
When looking at how incredibly fast the mobile market has increased during the last year, we can only conclude that being mobile friendly, and having a mobile strategy, is a must for every business. Now that you know about the sort of things that Google takes into consideration when ranking sites on mobile search engines, you should take some time to ensure that your site is responsive and functional enough to rank well.