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How will Google’s mobile update affect your ecommerce site?

Google’s new mobile update will arrive on the 21st April, meaning it has never been more important to optimise your site to be mobile friendly. Although in its February statement the company said these changes wouldn't directly affect webpage rankings, (and not paid or Google Shopping traffic) it has already decided to label sites as mobile friendly in search results. But don’t panic! Google have already started releasing advice on how to get your site back up to the top of search pages.

The easiest way to find out whether your site is good enough for Google is by taking the mobile friendly test. The tool will assess whether your pages have text that can be read without zooming, are free from unfriendly mobile device software such as Flash and can be downsized to fit a smaller screen. Luckily, Google tests sites based on individual pages, not the whole site. This means that if some of your pages are not optimised to their full, then Google won’t penalise your entire site. Google helpfully makes all algorithm changes of this update in real time, so any edits made will be live straight away.

Your site will become more accessible to mobiles just by simplifying its structure. Not using JavaScript, CSS or certain image files makes your site more mobile friendly and it will initially define how Google indexes your content, and finally your ranking. Google will also penalise your site if there is unplayable media content, broken links and slow pages. Overall, this could be an opportunity to make small changes or even redesign your site.  As visitors will be browsing on a smaller screen, page design is extremely important. Users will want to complete the smallest of tasks without any difficulty. One third of all web-pages viewed in the world last year were via a mobile-phone, and unique mobile users exceeded 50% of the world’s population. If this trend continues it’s predicted than there will be more than 200 million new mobile users within the next year. How much you embrace this new change will directly affect website performance as well as conversions.

If you weren't doing this before, you should now be tracking both your desktop traffic and mobile traffic separately. There might be no need to have two different versions of your site, but you need to make sure it performs well on all devices. Remember, a site can constantly be improved, so keep making any edits that need to be made. If your site doesn't already use a responsive design, or you would like to learn more about Google’s update, talk to your Volo Account Manager about an upgrade.

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