It’s OK, you can admit it.
When asked about the traffic stats on your website, you either want to hide under a rock or plain exaggerate.
Because the real answer stings.
You know that clients don’t make contact or reach out to you out of the blue.
The customer of the 21st century has an indispensable tool at hand called Google.
…and of course smart phones TOO.
From looking for a hairdresser to finding a new home, everything gets “Googled” these days.
It’s obvious that if you want more business, you want Google, the search engine that dominates 75% of its market share, sending more leads to your website.
So you keep trying different ways to boost your traffic. You apply every new hack in the town in the hopes to gain more incoming traffic, especially when compared to your competitors.
But nothing happens.
Well, if that’s you, I’ve got some good news.
In about two weeks, on April 21st, Google plans to launch a new mobile-ranking algorithm for websites. Recently, after months of testing, the mobile-friendly lable was officially launched. The new algorithm is a larger addition to this change.
Here’s more, straight from the horse’s mouth:
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices. – Source: Google Webmaster Central.
Of course, we don’t know what Google is going to change in its algorithm but the company does say they are incorporating mobile-friendliness in their ranking results.
But to give you a taste, here is a warning message my client recently received in their Webmaster Tools that finally convinced her to redesign her site:
Ouch! This explains where Google is heading.
Why Go Mobile-Friendly?
Remember the last time you had to view a standard website on your smartphone? You had to constantly pinch, stretch, double-tap and zoom on your screen, thus straining your eyes, right?
When interaction was difficult, the last resort for you was to abandon the page and move on to another option.
Put in this position, your prospects will do just that – run over to your competitor’s website.
Because here’s the thing: A favourable chunk of your prospects prefers using smartphones.
A 2012 survey found that 74% of the visitors were more likely to return to a mobile-friendly site whereas 61% were likely to leave a site if it didn’t render properly on their phone or tablet.
So What Does All this Mean for You?
Simple. If your website is not mobile-friendly, it will take a massive hit in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) now that Google is officially getting involved.
In other words, you may be ranking at the top for your keyword in real estate but if your website is not mobile-friendly, you could soon lose that spot when a prospect is searching on a mobile platform.
Without further ado, here are 5 steps to make your website mobile-friendly and attract massive traffic in 2015:
1. Look for the Mobile-Friendly Label
Check if your website has a “Mobile-friendly” label on SERP. This will only appear when you do a search on your mobile phone. See the gray label after the URL of each top result in the screenshot below? That’s what you’re after for your own website.
2. Try Google’s New Free Tool
How do you know if you’re website is up for the mobile challenge? Take the test.
You can test your site for free in the new Mobile-Friendly Test tool by Google. This tool will tell you precisely whether or not your website is up it when it comes to mobile platforms.
There will be no “70% mobile-friendly” or “40% mobile-friendly” results – your website will either qualify or it won’t.
Google has been dropping hints that they acknowledge the importance of mobile-friendliness. Naturally, they want to reward websites that are specifically designed or re-designed with mobile in mind because that brings the best user-expereince for the customer.
3. Review the Guidelines
Along with the above two tests, review Google’s mobile-friendly guidelines here. Study what they say and then implement them
4. Make Use of Mobile-Friendly Software Packages
Really, if your website sits on a bulky Flash platform, it is long-due for a refresh, especially if you want to rank well on mobile.
Google asks you to avoid software that’s not common on mobile devices. Instead, keep it simple and use common Content Management Systems such as WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, Blogger, Bitrix etc.
5. Adopt a Responsive Web Design
Responsive Web Design or RWD is a setup where you specify the same HTML for content but use a CSS file to render according to different platforms.
For this, you use the “meta viewport tag” that will give instructions to a browser to load the page accordingly across various devices, including phones and tablets.
Image source: Google
When this tag is absent, the browser will take the default desktop view which doesn’t render well on a mobile platform. In short, the dimensions, font sizes, distance between anchor links should be adapted to smaller screen sizes for ideal user experience.
Many users land on your mobile-unfriendly site only to get frustrated with the constant tapping and zooming to see the content.
They might eventually leave the page, increasing your bounce rate, which is again a negative factor as far as analytics are concerned.
Of course, you don’t have to do all this on your own. Hire a web developer and ask for help in converting your website to mobile-friendly.
Or, you can get in touch with me so we can discuss the best way forward from here. Mobile-friendly websites are the wave of future, so make sure you’re riding the wave before your competitors beat you at it
Is your real-estate website mobile-friendly? Have you recently seen a drop in results because your website lacks the “label”? Are you taking proactive steps and using responsive design for best user-experience? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!