On April 21, Google rolled out an update to its algorithm, expanding the ranking signals to boost mobile-friendly pages on organic mobile search results. Affectionately known as Mobilegeddon, this change has caused quite a bit of stir across the industry.
The reality of the situation is that consumers are adopting a mobile-first mindset and brands need to respond to this. Late last year, comScore reported that 60% of time online is spent on mobile. With all this time spent across the mobile web and in apps, are marketers’ sites and programs ready to adapt to the changing tide?
A survey Skai conducted in conjunction with Yahoo last year found that 82% of marketers feel that consumers are disappointed when they reach a site not optimized for the mobile experience and 62% think that consumers would be unlikely to return to a non-optimized site after the first visit. At that time, only half of marketers we survey said they were already providing a rich, mobile-optimized experience for consumers, with the remaining stating they were planning on doing this or exploring their options.
From a local perspective where there’s an increasing connection to mobile, a Hibu survey from 2014 found that only a staggering 6% of respondents with websites said they were mobile optimized.
There is a huge gap between consumer expectations and marketer execution when it comes to mobile. This Google algorithm change, while only impacting SEO, is one example of the industry driving toward a mobile-first attitude.
With eMarketer projecting that mobile advertising spend will be double that of desktop by 2017, marketers must truly embrace mobile across all facets of their programs. During this past Q4 shopping season, for example, mobile search saw incredible gains year-over-year. Mobile devices accounted for nearly half of global retail paid search clicks and drove nearly 30% of conversions during the 2014 festive season. Additional Skai data also tracked mobile app trends last year, finding that mobile app installs increased 182% from January to December of 2014.
If there’s one takeaway for marketers here it’s that having a mobile presence and an optimized site can no longer be seen as a competitive advantage – it must be table stakes.
Stay tuned to the Skai Blog as we further explore the impact of mobile for the modern marketer.