After Mobilegeddon: Why You Still Really Need a Mobile Website

Why you still need a mobile website after Mobilegeddon

Last month, search engine giant Google made a huge splash in the online marketing world by releasing a mobile algorithm update. This update, dubbed “Mobilegeddon,” emphasized that websites would need to be mobile-friendly in order to perform well in mobile search.

In the weeks that followed Google’s mobile search update, there have been mixed reports about the impacts of this algorithm on mobile website traffic. Some have stated that the full results of the update may not yet full be realized, leaving many to assume that they don’t yet need to worry about complying with the mobile website mandate Google set forth.

But, the reality is, “Mobilegeddon” is only one example that illustrates how both consumer behavior and search engines themselves are emphasizing the importance of a mobile website.

In fact, following in Google’s footsteps, major search engine Bing recently announced it also would be implementing its own mobile-friendly algorithm with a mobile-friendly tag similar to Google’s.

Here are three reasons that now, more than ever, it’s critical to have a mobile website (especially if you’re a local business).

1) Local Search is Increasingly Mobile

Take a look at the following stats:

Google and Bing are both standing behind their commitment to emphasize mobile sites and content in their mobile search results. That’s because providing a good experience to their users is what they’re all about – and today that includes a great experience on mobile, too. So, even if your website has not yet been impacted directly by this mobile search algorithm update, you could start see a higher bounce rate or a drop in conversions over time if you’re not providing a mobile-friendly website experience that meets consumers’ and search engine’s expectations.

Plus, while “Mobilegeddon” may or may not have had a substantial impact on the amount of web traffic your website is receiving – yet – there’s still ample time for this algorithm update – or subsequent ones – to significantly impact your organic traffic. Plus, consumers prefer to visit mobile websites from mobile search, so you are more likely to convert local searchers on a website that’s easy to navigate, call, and fill out a form using a mobile device.

2) A Mobile Website Can Boost Paid Advertising Results (It’s Not Just for SEO!)

While Google’s mobile algorithm specifically affects what organic results are displayed, having a mobile website or landing page can also make a positive impact on your search engine advertising results. Since your landing pages are factored into your overall Quality Score, having non-mobile landing pages for your advertising could negatively impact any ads that may be triggered by a mobile search. That means your ads could show up lower in the search results than your competitors – or not at all.

So, in addition to having mobile-friendly landing pages that you direct your search advertising to, make sure your entire search advertising campaign is optimized for mobile with key factors like:

  • Mobile-preferred ads with keywords and ad copy written with mobile searchers in mind
  • Ad extensions including click-to-call and location that help searchers contact you or visit your store
  • Geo-targeting that enables your ads to show for nearby consumers who may be searching while on the go

When you invest in a mobile responsive website, not only can you improve your search advertising results in mobile (and lower your bounce rate), but you can leverage your product or service pages from your site as landing pages for your advertising, creating a more seamless experience for mobile users who are discovering your business.

3) Mobile Continues to Grow in Importance to Consumers

According to the latest Internet Trends Report, consumers are more connected to the web than ever before, a trend which will continue to grow thanks to mobile devices. In fact, over 64% of the U.S population now owns a smartphone and 75% of US online adults use 2 or more devices connected to the Internet.

As mobile continues to grow in importance for users, Google and Bing are making it clear with these recent updates that mobile is also huge factor they are using to determine what results they are showing to mobile searchers in order to positively impact the mobile experience of their user bases. And it’s likely that other major search engines will soon follow suit as more and more web usage shifts to mobile devices.

Learn More About Mobile Marketing for Local Businesses

As this trend only continues to grow, mobile should be a vital component in your digital advertising strategy. See all the places you need reach mobile consumers in this infographic and check out this video from our CEO on mobile advertising for local businesses.

Tamara Weintraub

Tamara is a content marketing manager at ReachLocal with over 7 years experience in B2B marketing and has a nerd-level affinity for software and technology. She specializes in helping local businesses succeed online, writing and learning about Google, search advertising, SEO, and social media marketing. When she's not writing about online marketing, you can find her watching cult TV and hanging out with her Doberman.

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