On April 21, 2015 Google began rolling out its worldwide mobile friendly algorithm update. Along with this change, ecommerce marketers will notice a difference
in the amount of page visits, orders, and revenue their website receives. Based on the mobile friendliness of each page on the site, these differences
could be either positive or negative.
Understanding the Google Mobile Algorithm Update
In the simplest of terms, if a web page properly meets Google’s criteria for a positive mobile experience it will be boosted in mobile search rankings
worldwide. The site can either be responsive or specifically mobile to pass the test, however it is important to note that sites that are meant to
be mobile friendly may not meet the criteria. Testing your top-performing mobile pages via Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool is the best way to determine whether or not specific pages meet the criteria. If a page fails, it is still eligible to instantly receive the mobile
ranking boost as long as it is “fixed” by the next time Google crawls the page. This algorithm runs in real time on a page by page basis, so once you
do fix the mobility of your website you should start seeing improvements immediately.
Why Ecommerce Marketers Should Care
Mobile usage is not going away, it solely continues to increase. In fact, mobile commerce sales reached 11.1 billion U.S. dollars for the first quarter
of 2015.1 In order for your site to thrive in an evolving mobile world, you should keep the following in mind, which all go hand-in-hand:
- Number of visits
- Site usability
- Rate of conversion
- Page load time on mobile devices
Although this algorithm update only applies to Google and organic search traffic from Bing and Yahoo remains unaffected, it is important to realize that
about 80 percent of your organic traffic originates from Google. In addition, desktop search results are not affected; only mobile search results are
impacted by this update. However, this does not mean that you should rely on traffic to your site via Bing, Yahoo, nor Desktop searches alone.
Internet Retailer tells us that
mobile devices generated 53 percent of 157 million online visits in January 2015, and the conversion rate on smart phones increased 30 percent from
January 2014 to January 2015. In contrast, desktop or laptop computer visits dropped from 55 percent to 47 percent and the conversion rate only increased
3 percent in one calendar year.
The most important thing for any ecommerce website is usability. Once your website is found, a positive user experience is needed in order to keep the
consumer there. Some questions you should ask yourself:
- Can users navigate through the site easily?
- Is there a search feature?
- Is the user experience similar across all devices (i.e. desktop, tablet, Smartphone)?
- How long does the page take to load? (consider compressing images)
The conversion process on your site needs to be easy and seamless. Did you know that 67.89 percent of shoppers abandon shopping carts?2 Many conversions
are lost because there is not a quick and easy way to checkout. People are on their mobile devices for convenience and ease of use. They do not want
to have to pull out their credit card and insert billing information. Options for ease of payment include:
- Linking out to a third party vendors for payment (such as Paypal)
It is also important to note that even if the user experience is great, a shopping cart may still be abandoned for a number of uncontrollable reasons,
such as lost internet connection, price comparison shopping, or even becoming side-tracked. Even if shopping carts on your site are abandoned, do not
fret because Logicblock does have the ability to allow you to pull abandoned shopping cart information (as long as the user is in the logged in state)
and reach out to the customer as a reminder.
1 Source: Mobile E-Commerce Spending, Statista
2 Source: cpcstrategy.com