What to Expect from Mobile Friendly Update: Expert Views

Google’s Mobile Friendly Update released on 21st April this year has definitely created a buzz in the Digital Marketing world. You can find lots of posts about the “#mobilegeddon” update on the Internet, from where you can figure out how various Webmasters and Digital Marketers are reacting to the Update. As the Mobile Friendly Update has rolled out and affected the websites on the basis of their Mobile Friendliness (and will keep continuing doing so) in the Google Search Results, we decided to interview some Digital Marketing Experts and asked them few really sensitive questions every Digital Marketer is wondering about after the Update. Read the post and do add your comments related to any question/answer in order to make the discussion healthier.

Questions we’ve been discussing:

Q. After the Mobile-Friendly Update, how Google has revolutionized the web once again?

A. seph cadiz (Internet Marketing Entrepreneur )

The idea of extending mobile friendly UIs as a ranking factor has been around for a while now. And anyone who keeps a close eye on Google knows that a main priority for Google is to provide the best possible user experience. Now I think it’s important to ponder whether or not if Google didn’t exist today if we’d still be moving towards mobile search? Yes. Will lolly gagging website owners who fail to see the value of responsive design sit on the sidelines if MobileGeddon did not happen? Yes. Google has revolutionized the web once again in a sense that it has improved the overall user experience of the general user with a simple update. Can you remember the last time you had to coast through a non-responsive website? It’s incredibly frustrating…

However the real MobileGeddon is the day Google integrates into everyday homes and ultimately creates the world free from hardware and all we have to do is flip on a switch and talk to our home, robots, and holographs and the Internet is just everywhere…

B. Steve Counsell (Mr)

I don’t think Google have revolutionized the web again, rather that they are able to accurately track trends in user behavior and positively react to that trend in order to force the rest of us to provide a better user experience for the end users.

The world has and is moving more towards a mobile experience for everyone. Every day, there is an increased number of web searches performed on mobile so it stands to reason that the people providing search results (Google etc) would want to show the best performing, most relevant web pages. This is the basis of the move by Google to a more mobile-centric approach.

C. Darmawan (Founder of PanduanIM)

The newest update from Google forced a lot of website owner to create a mobile friendly version of their site. Even the biggest community, Reddit, now have a mobile version.

Now that mobile search volume is larger than desktop search, this is necessary. As a mobile user, I’m glad Google released this update honestly.

D. Ashley Faulkes (Online Marketer)

I would not say Google has revolutionized the web with this update, but that they are simply adapting to the changing environment. People are using mobile more and more, and they expect companies like Google to deliver. If Google wants to keep their search domination, they have to serve up mobile optimized results to their mobile users. And this is what this new update has done.

Q. What should be the Marketing Strategy for Mobile SEO?

A. seph cadiz (Internet Marketing Entrepreneur )

If you have zero mobile SEO strategy implemented you’ll want to adhere to the best practices of website optimization first.

Now while you’re in the process, you’ll want to ensure you have the following:

1) mobile friendly website that is responsive across all devices (you can go to Google’s Developer’s page to figure it out).

2) invest in PPC mobile advertisements and own the sweet spot on the mobile screen.

3) get a mobile application lined up on your site and promote the crap out of it, get it reviewed etc.

4) get active on social media and push content to drive leads straight to your site and landing page. Make sure your landing page has a strong call to action.

5) ensure website content/pages are up to snuff with keywords and key phrases (think Google Hummingbird) and hit the majority of keywords from your planned lexicon, this helps you prepare for voice search, which is going to be huge.

B. Steve Counsell (Mr)

The move by Google to focus on mobile experience is not really to do with SEO as such. More to do with how your website is displayed on a mobile device.

What is needed is a rethink of how websites are shown on mobiles. Much of the work is already done on modern websites with HTML5 and CSS3 that used together can reformat the website structure, text and images to display in a way that is more suitable and easier to read on a mobile device.

Marketers need to check and test the websites they’re working on to make sure that the user experience is really excellent on mobile.

C. Ashley Faulkes (Online Marketer)

I don’t believe that a specific strategy is needed for mobile SEO, only that you are aware of mobile, test your website for mobile readiness, and ensure that your content can be consumed as easily on mobile as on a larger screen. This is an overall best practice that is becoming more and more important as things like smart watches come out, challenging screen size boundaries even more.

Q. What is the Impact of Mobile Friendly Update you have experienced after it has rolled out?

A. seph cadiz (Internet Marketing Entrepreneur )

Haha! In the words of Shakespeare: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…” I think the “MobileGeddon” name was a great choice: an over hyped name that got a lot of people’s attention; including, the stubborn website owners who fail to see the value in great mobile design. And it’s true, “MobileGeddon” has yet to live up to its “end-of-days” reputation.

However! Let’s remember each ranking factor is important, especially if you’re looking to compete. Being prepared and meeting your competition on game day at the right time standing strong on your feet is the right move.

I’m sure we’ll see more results in the next few months.

Right now it’s too early to tell.

B. Steve Counsell (Mr)

Mainly there has been no effect for the sites I work on. However, I have one website that recently updated to a more mobile friendly structure and I’ve seen a 25% improvement in traffic over the same period last year.  I cannot say that this is due to the changes by Google as it may just be coincidental.

C. Ashley Faulkes (Online Marketer)

Honestly, I have not seen any notable impact on my websites or those of my clients. I have read some articles on various SEO websites where some companies were affected, but the changes have been minimal in most people’s experience. However, I certainly would not dismiss mobile because of this, as not being mobile friendly will definitely affect your bounce rate and conversion, even if you do manage to rank well (but are not mobile friendly).

Q. Google officially confirmed that Mobile Search Queries will overtake Desktop Queries at some point of time in this year. What lesson should a Digital Marketing Agency learn from this?

A. seph cadiz (Internet Marketing Entrepreneur )

The number one lesson is for agencies to stay sharp and stay flexible. In other words, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” If you hate change, you’re in the wrong industry. If you’re working digital, your working with new innovations and a community who really want to disrupt the system — any system. Change is the norm, get used it.

B. Steve Counsell (Mr)

The big lesson for any of us is don’t ignore trends. The move to mobile has been an inexorable tide for the last 10 years and is just increasing in speed as our mobile devices become more usable and mobile data connections become faster.

If mobile searches are to overtake desktop in the next year, marketers must focus on “Local” now more than ever.

C. Ashley Faulkes (Online Marketer)

For me this trend has been coming for a long time, and it is no surprise that the cross over is happening (or has already). However, I don’t think this changes much for most people. Mobile readiness should be an integral part of any website, and therefore online strategy, and any marketing agency that has not taken that into account needs to do so – immediately.

Q. What do you recommend for an Online E-commerce Business: A Mobile Application or a Mobile Friendly Website?

A. seph cadiz (Internet Marketing Entrepreneur )

Right now I recommend a mobile friendly website which gives you and your products a home base with 100% full control. With a mobile friendly website you’ll have the ability to monetize your site, start your own news room, roll out your own content marketing plan and still have room to create a mobile application — it’s a win-win.

B. Steve Counsell (Mr)

Mobile application and mobile website should not be seen as mutually exclusive. For some an App on their phone will be ideal while other and the more casual customer / visitor will need to have a mobile savvy website to navigate. Downloading a mobile app takes up space on the mobile device so may be a pain to fit in if you’ve already got hundreds of apps installed.

From a business perspective having a mobile app can make the customer experience much more engaging so having a mobile app available for your regular and loyal customers is almost a must while a mobile website will cater for everyone else and keep them happy.

C. graemezen

A mobile friendly website would be essential to an e-commerce business. Without this they would run the risk of not appearing in organic searches conducted through mobile devices. In addition any users visiting their website on these devices would get a very poor user experience and would be reluctant to return in the future. A mobile app could be used to complement the mobile friendly website, providing a more streamlined service.

D. Ashley Faulkes (Online Marketer)

There is a belief that everyone needs to have an app, perhaps because it is cool? However, if you are a business owner or website owner and are wondering if it is useful for you (whether that is ecommerce or otherwise) I think it is important to ask yourself what benefit that app will bring to your customers. People already have enough apps, and getting them to move to yours will take some effort. There has to be an obvious benefit, and it has to be as good as if not better than the website. Just copying your website into an app does not make sense, is costly to maintain, has to be ported to multiple platforms and so on. This idea always needs serious consideration.

Q. What should be the role of a Marketing Agency when it comes to Mobile Website Promotion?

A. seph cadiz (Internet Marketing Entrepreneur )

The marketing agency’s role is to help businesses adjust and adapt in today’s marketing world; clearing the path of uncertainty and leading clients to the highest possible return that banks on both emotional currency and dollars.

If you’re a traditional marketing agency unfamiliar with the mobile arena then it’s your job to essentially apply the philosophies on a digital level, adding a millennial twist and understanding the value of search, social media, and mobile applications — all which carry a lot more water for lower rates than traditional.

And again at the end of the day, the marketing agency’s role is to provide clear creative direction and a degree of professional execution that consistently maintains a brand’s message by not only pushing out crafted ideas into target demographics, but also creating something magnetic; attracting the right people from digital sources — acting as a master of the art of push and pull.

B. Steve Counsell (Mr)

Website promotion is the same whatever the website format. The change that Google has made should not affect a marketers approach to SEO and promotion. Maybe a bigger “shout out” about the fact that the website is fully mobile aware and offers the best user experience for mobile users. Marketers should not be looking to create a separate website for mobiles.

C. Ashley Faulkes (Online Marketer)

Mobile friendly websites should be an integral part of any marketing proposal that involves a website change or creation. The client should be made aware of the importance of it, and the need for it, but the fact that you deliver it should be standard. We are at the forefront as marketers, so we need to educate and convince our clients to take on these best practices, but in my experience if it is a part of your standard website creation, there is not much convincing necessary!

We hope that you will find it helpful. We would like to hear your views.

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