If you run a startup or small business that operates in the digital space you’ve probably heard some buzz (or as the case may be, panic) about Mobilegeddon over the past few weeks.
On April 21, Google launched its new algorithm update, designed to alter the ranking of mobile search results to favor mobile-friendly sites and ultimately, to provide a better search experience for mobile users.
For most of us, the world has gone on turning. It might even seem as though Mobilegeddon was nothing to fret about after all. Or was it?
New data from Searchmetrics, a global enterprise platform for search experience optimization, reveals that there are, in fact, some clear winners and losers in the new, mobile-first world. To assess the impact, Searchmetrics looked at which companies gained and lost the most visibility when it comes to mobile search results.
The dust is still settling. But for now, it looks like brands like GQ.com and WashingtonTimes.com have come out on top while sites like Reddit and NBCSports may need Mobilegeddon damage control in their near future.
Your company’s website might not have made Searchmetrics’ list, but that doesn’t mean you’ve escaped unscathed. If your website wasn’t deemed mobile-friendly on April 21, you can expect your search engine rankings, and ultimately your Web traffic, to take a hit until you fix the problems.
Take the Mobile-First Path
The good news is, you can use Mobilegeddon as a learning experience and emerge better armed to do business. To start, consider deploying one or more of these five quick fixes for your most offensive mobile mistakes, and put your brand back on the mobile-friendly path.
Test your site on all devices.
Don’t forget — there’s more than one kind of mobile device out there. In fact, Gartner projects ultramobiles (i.e., lightweight devices with the full power of a PC or Mac, optimized for mobility), which include tablets, hybrids, and clamshells, will drive growth in the devices market beyond 2014, at a rate of 54%.
Make sure your website looks as good on tablets of all sizes as it does on the traditional smart phone screen. Use tools like Screenfly to test your website on any screen size including desktops, tablets, televisions, and mobile phones.
Make your CTA is easy to find – and click.
Mobile searchers have a conversion percentage nearly three times higher than the same search done on a desktop or laptop. In fact, 70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour.
With that in mind, pay extra attention to color and try adding an attention-grabbing hue or subtle animation. Also, tweak your CTA copy to better communicate your value proposition. Create motivating copy that drives people to take action – and be specific.
Adding just one word after the word “submit” can boost conversion rates by as much as 320%. So, try a “submit now” button instead! Finally, put some thought into placement. Position your signup form at the top of your landing page, alongside engaging content.
This strategy will deliver maximum form views without requiring visitors to scroll to the bottom. Lastly, but definitely not least, ensure your CTA and all other buttons are large enough to easily be tapped from a mobile device.
With mobile, less text is more.
According to a State of Mobile study 57% of users would not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Unfortunately, the temptation to include too much content can result in a clunky design that is difficult to navigate and frustrating to use.
The amount of space available for content on a mobile device is significantly smaller than that of a desktop browser. With this in mind, make sure your most important content displays in the top few pixels of the page.
Optimize web forms for mobile.
Don’t forget about on-site resources like lead gen forms. These conversion-capture assets are a critical part of your online real estate, so make sure they are mobile friendly. Form length is especially critical.
If your site contains a field-heavy form, try building a smart form that automatically shows or hides questions based on user response. Consider using a horizontal layout for checkboxes and buttons to create an illusion that the form is shorter.
Deploy a social auto-fill feature.
Many of us struggle to remember the slew of logins and passwords required to function online these days. Social auto-fill has unparalleled potential to improve user experience.
According to industry research from Janrain and Blue,”64% who frequently leave sites due to forgotten login information say social login is an option companies should offer.”
Yet, the best reason to leverage social auto-fill is to convert. Conversion rates can increase up to 189% when you take advantage of social auto-fill features (MarketingProfs).
As Mobilegeddon becomes just a speck on the horizon in your rear-view mirror, it may seem like the whole thing was much ado about nothing. But whether you made Google’s nice list or you have a laundry list of changes to apply, remember this: By implementing even one of these strategies, your efforts will pay off. A mobile-optimized redesign results in a nearly 15% increase in unique clicks.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Brain Sutter serves as the Director of Marketing at Wasp Barcode Technologies’ where he sets the strategic direction and oversees the tactical execution of the company’s marketing programs. This diversified role encompasses all aspects of marketing for Wasp, including brand management, direct and channel marketing, online & digital marketing, public relations, and social media. Connect with @waspbarcode on Twitter.
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