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Mobile Retail is Here to Stay

Woman shopping using mobile smartphone

On April 21st, the search landscape for Google on mobile devices will change drastically. Will your website be ready? Google announced a new algorithm change that will be much bigger than any of their past algorithm changes, leaving a lasting impact on mobile searching. The winners in this change: optimized, mobile-friendly websites; the losers: everyone else.

Using Google Analytics to discover the number of mobile users in your audience

That’s right—if your website is not mobile friendly, you will no longer show up on the first page, or possibly even the second on a mobile search. The impact this will have on your business may vary, but even if you get a few visits from a mobile search today, you may want to think about optimizing your website for the future.

View your current mobile traffic

If you have Google Analytics for your website, you can check how much of your traffic comes from mobile. Under Audience--> Mobile--> Overview:

When you click on that, you will be able to see your traffic broken down by source (computer, mobile, or tablet). It’s great to look at what that number stands at today, so you know how much potential traffic you may start to lose after the 21st if you’re not mobile-friendly, but it’s also important to see how that number has changed over time. Is mobile traffic up 50% from last quarter? That could be a sign that more of your target users are starting to use their cell phones to search—you won’t want to miss out on these users!

How can you tell if your website is mobile friendly?

Google has stated this change is all or nothing—either your page is friendly or not. You can check how friendly your website is by simply doing a search on your mobile phone. If your website says “mobile friendly” next to it in the search results, you’re good to go. Or, you can type your URL into Google Webmasters Tools, and Google will tell you if it is friendly or not.

The nice thing about the checker is that it will tell you what parts of your website are hindering it from becoming friendly. It will also give you a guide to making your website mobile-friendly, depending on what type of CMS you use.

How to become mobile friendly

Unfortunately, there isn’t an “easy” button to making your site mobile friendly. There are multiple ways you can do it—you can choose to use responsive design, where your site automatically resizes to the browser window size (and thus, being flexible to fit any size device), or you can choose to have a mobile- specific website. Either way, it takes some time and effort.

You’ll need to work with someone who knows how to design and code mobile friendly websites. As mentioned above, after you check to see if your website is mobile-friendly, Google will give you a handful of resources to help guide you in your process to a more mobile-friendly design. Share these with your web designer!

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Although it may not be possible to have your entire site mobile friendly overnight, you can start by making sure key pages where people are likely to convert, spend more time on mobile, and are important for your business are mobile friendly right away.

Change is coming, and this is one trend your business will want to jump on! Make sure you start planning internally how you’ll make the change if your website isn’t ready for these changes.