Over the past year, we’ve seen huge gains in mobile and search traffic for clients who have launched websites using responsive design. Now, a mass email sent from Google to website administrators indicates there will soon be a stiff SEO penalty for failing to offer a mobile-friendly experience.
It’s no longer a matter of seizing a competitive advantage in search. From now on, mobile-friendly design represents the “table stakes” for your website to appear in search engine results. Google has already gone on record that their preferred solution for mobile accessibility is responsive design. After two years, the search engine has apparently decided businesses have had enough time to adapt to the mobile revolution.
What are the takeaways for your business? First, if your website hasn’t been updated to a responsive design, and search traffic is important to your business, consider it a mission-critical priority. Even if you’re convinced your customers aren’t searching for your products or services on mobile devices, the data no longer backs up that assumption.
Second, if your website does offer a great mobile experience, expect competitors to make a major push to catch up in coming months. Once the rest of the web either adapts or is consigned to algorithmic irrelevance, you’ll need a plan for maintaining your competitive edge. That could be developing a more robust library of content assets, or advancing into the growing demand for online video. The strategy which makes the most sense will depend on your specific industry and consumer profile.
The web has always been an environment where change is the only constant. At OOHology, our mission is keeping clients ahead of the curve. If you’re curious about what advice we can offer your company, just let us know.