In case you missed it, Google is about to shake up your marketing world yet again on April 21st with a new and revised algorithm created to make sure that everyone is onboard the mobile revolution. Here’s the company’s official announcement, which positions the change as an attempt to deliver “the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps.”
We spoke to Tyler Cook, an SEO expert at online form-building company Formstack, to learn more about what PR teams need to do to prepare their clients.
He even gave us a handy infographic.
Why should PR care about the pending changes to Google’s algorithm?
Any old business needs to be concerned about growing trends in mobile apps; it’s only been a year since mobile usage bypassed that of desktops. Mobile is where consumers are getting their info and data, so your client wants to make sure that these consumers visit their site instead of their competitors’ sites.
This is not the end of Google as we know it; they’ve been trying to tell businesses to go mobile for years, and now they’re setting up a baseline.
Which clients will be most affected by the change?
The sorts of companies that fill immediate needs will be most affected.
10-15 years ago, our computers relied on our phones. Now the opposite is true: we are consuming both large and small pieces of content on our phones, and any site that can give me something immediately is where I will go first, whether that service involves breaking news, accident response, or e-commerce.
What’s the most important thing to do to get ready?
First, you need to understand that just because the website is mobile-optimized does not mean the mobile experience is good — and that visitors will bounce if your client still has things like pop-ups or text that’s difficult to see/scroll through on phones and tablets.
An algorithm can’t determine that.
How can we convince clients that this issue needs to be addressed ASAP?
At the end of the day, every business knows that they can’t take visitors to the bank from their website.
That said, mobile visitors often have their wallets (and credit cards) on hand. So if mobile sales affect your bottom line, you need to move as soon as possible.
What’s your take on how urgent his change is from Google’s perspective?
This is what you might call Google’s “firm hand.” They’ve launched a tool in the “webmasters” section to help determine whether a client’s site is optimized for mobile, but a “yes” answer is not the end of that story.
This is Google saying “step out of the Bronze Age.” They’re not trying to fight businesses, they’re trying to get them to embrace new tech to make the end user’s experience more relevant.
Here are several relevant tools shared by Cook:
- The mobile site audit checklist
- The “definitive guide to mobile SEO”
- A list of WordPress plug-ins to make your site more mobile-friendly
- The “Mobilegeddon survival checklist”
…and here’s the infographic: