Let’s be honest, the marketing world is rife with hyperbole. In fact, that’s pretty much what advertising is, exaggerated statements meant to attract attention and move people to take action.
It’s no surprise then that, when the term ‘mobilegeddon’ first started appearing a few weeks back, it caught our eyes but didn’t exactly send us running for the hills, tails between our legs and visions of doom in our mind’s eye.
The reason? We’ve been talking about mobile for the better part of the last fifteen years at mobileStorm, all along warning people that they need a strategy. And as the years passed, that need became more and more apparent. As of this writing, we are now at 70% smartphone penetration and still climbing. 99% of all text messages are read within 3 minutes. 50% of app usage is driven by push notifications. And more people now access the net thru apps than mobile browsers. Consequently, when Google announced its latest update, it certainly shouldn’t have caught anyone off guard. So if you don’t yet have a mobile strategy, what in the hell are you thinking?
The writing has long been on the wall before Google decided to shake up the marketing world (again) this week, specifically in the area of search ranking. They didn’t make any efforts to hide this fact either, as witnessed by their recent Webmaster Central post saying that the coming changes will “affect all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” Pretty heavy stuff, even coming from the undisputed king of online search.
What does it mean for marketers online worldwide? Simply this; if your mobile strategy isn’t prepared for these new and significant changes, it might feel as if you were just carpet bombed, leaving your ROI and CTR in the dust and rubble.
For example, on April 12 Google significantly expanded “mobile friendliness” as one of their ranking signals. What this means is that if your website, for whatever reason, isn’t optimized for mobile devices (i.e. mobile friendly) Google will skip your site in favor of other websites that are, resulting in a significant drop in ranking and the resultant drop in visitors and sales that comes with it.
Maybe more important is the fact that app content, specifically for users who are signed into a specific app, is being given more weight as a search factor by Google than ever before. This has been happening since February of this year, putting app content on the same footing as all other online content, and making it all the more important that your app’s content is optimized for mobile devices.
Are your websites, apps and content really mobile friendly?
If you’re a seasoned online marketer it’s highly likely that you already know this and it’s possible that you’ve already experienced a significant drop in your CTR due to these significant changes. The question is, what have you done about it?
Have you made sure that your web and app content is truly optimized for mobile devices, and that your marketing strategy is “mobile first.” Have you gone back through all of your content, your websites and your apps to make sure that, when viewed on a mobile device, the experience is just as good (or better) than on a laptop or PC?
If you haven’t, you better.
That’s not to say that you should ignore desktops, but simply make sure that all of your online content can be enjoyed on whatever device your users might choose to view it. For example, it’s been shown that mobile users don’t like reading large blocks of written content on their mobile devices. Restructuring your content to make sure that they aren’t forced to do that might sound trivial, but the results can be huge.
By the way, prioritizing online content for mobile shouldn’t be random but instead a standard process that’s in place so that, every time new text and images are added to your websites and apps, they’re already prioritized and mobile ready, and focus on the end of actions that you want your users to take.
Effortless mobile isn’t an option, it’s a necessity
What this all boils down to is this; yes, all of the online content that you currently have needs to be changed and optimized for mobile, and all of the content you’re going to create in the future must be mobile friendly.
Your apps and websites need to load in the blink of an eye, and your content needs to be bite-sized and topical.
Why? Because the vast majority of the world’s people (you know, your potential customers) are consuming content in the grocery store, in line at the bank and while they eat their burgers and fries at Mickey D’s, and they’re doing it on their smartphones and tablets.
If the content you offer isn’t optimized for those devices, they’re not gone to stick around to view it. Even worse, Google’s not going to be sending them your way to begin with, no matter how compelling your content might be, or how awesome your goods and services.
In short, it is mobilegeddon. The question is, is your company, and your content, prepared to survive?