To keep an eye on your search rankings and traffic via Google Analytics.
Why? Because April 21 is the date Google will start rolling out their newest algorithm update, which will start to give mobile friendly websites a higher ranking in mobile search results than sites that are optimised for desktop only.
Should you care if your site isn’t mobile friendly yet?
Not so much if:
- Most of your organic search traffic comes from desktop devices at present, this is not likely to have a huge impact on your traffic UNLESS your main competitors are optimised for mobile search and promoting mobile search as a source of traffic.
- None of your competitors are optimised yet for mobile search (with a responsive site or a separate mobile site) then this is going to be less of a major issue, but also provides an opportunity for you to improve your rankings in comparison with them. And it is only a matter of time before everyone catches up.
- You are happy to invest plenty of your budget in mobile search advertising to drive people to your site (while keeping in mind that people on mobile devices are more likely to bounce from a non-mobile friendly landing page or website.)
A great deal more if:
- All of your competitors already have sites optimised for mobile and you don’t – and if this is the case they are probably already benefiting from higher traffic levels and lower bounce rates for users on mobile devices
- Some (rather than all) of your competitors are mobile friendly, this is still likely to give them a lift in mobile search over and above your site – exactly how much is still to be seen once the stats start coming in.
What should you do right now (if you don’t already have a plan in place)?
Panic!? No seriously, there are a couple of short terms things you can do while you are rebuilding your website in a responsive template (which is really the best idea for most companies).
- Focus on making your home page responsive at least. This could be done inside your existing CMS or as a separate CMS within your domain if you are planning to rebuild in a different platform. A responsive/mobile friendly home page will continue to rank, even if the rest of your site doesn’t, so you will still get traffic from that source. Information from Google tells us that the ‘mobile friendly’ test will be applied to individual pages not site-wide.
- Compensate for lower mobile search traffic by boosting your investment in targeted advertising to the deeper content or product pages in your site. This may only need to be a short term boost until you get more long term changes in place, but can also be a great way to test the effectiveness of various PPC platforms. Again keep in mind that if you use Facebook advertising, most FB users are now on mobile devices.
- Talk to your website company about the best way forward and develop a plan.