Mobilegeddon: A Story of SEO

MobileCompany A was on an SEO roll. Their marketing department had taken the time to fully embrace SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by including well written and helpful content on their website, blogging frequently, sharing their content on social media, and following the top SEO guidelines available. Because of their efforts, they sailed through major Google updates with such cute names as Penguin & Panda and they were rewarded by continually high rankings on Google and strong visitor metrics on their website.

Their closest competitor, Company B was not quite as successful. Their marketing team was slow to pay attention to SEO and the guidelines provided. Their website metrics were good, but not as strong as Company A. A search using the major keywords and phrases related to their industry always showed Company B lagging behind in the rankings.

Then one day something changed. It seemed to happen almost overnight. The number of visitors referred by Google to Company A’s site started to decrease as did their overall visitor metrics. Company A had always seen a high percentage of mobile visitors on their site and suddenly they were falling away. A quick search by the marketing team found that not only did they drop from the first page of many mobile searches, but worse, they weren’t even showing on pages 2 or 3. And to top it off, their competitor, Company B, was suddenly ahead of them in the rankings.

What happened? How could their best SEO efforts have stopped working so quickly? What did their competitor know that they didn’t?

In a word, Mobilegeddon. The mobile friendly update potentially gives a ranking boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results. This was not a surprise. Unlike Panda or Penguin, Google announced its intentions to everyone in February to allow ample time for businesses to make the necessary changes and updates to their sites. While Company B did not follow all of the best SEO tips and tricks, they did have a well crafted website that had been created using a responsive design to ensure it was mobile friendly. Company A did not. They had spent their time improving their old website with little thought to the increased use of smart phones or other devices.

Are you in the same boat as Company A? It has now been 2 weeks since the launch. Has Mobilegeddon had an impact on your search rankings or website metrics?  How do you know if your site passes the mobile friendly test? The best way to know if your site is already indexed by Google as mobile friendly is to see if your site has the mobile friendly label in the mobile search results. Using this mobile friendly testing tool will show if you pass the test.

If you did not pass the test, all is not lost. Here are the top 2 ways to remedy the situation:

1. Build a mobile website where smart phone users will be directed when they visit your website. This inexpensive option provides 1 or more scaled down pages from your website featuring the information people are most likely searching for.

2. Build a new responsive website that adjusts itself to the size screen it is displayed on. This is the recommended option for best SEO results and for overall user experience. Your full website is made available to users at the appropriate size regardless of the device they are using.

The move to mobile has been a trend for some time now.  Updating your website will not only provide the means to survive Mobilegeddon, it will also provide a better user experience for your customers.  This could be the update that pushes you ahead of your competitors and helps you grow your brand.

Contact us for more information regarding these mobile friendly options, SEO, and our other online marketing services.