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Why Mobile Friendly Design Matters For SEO

Posted in UX, Posted in SEO by Josh Baldwin on 26-Sep-2016 10:30:00

Mobile Friendly Design is becoming increasingly important in the realm of search. As consumer browsing habits change and adapt, so to must your online marketing efforts. That's why I'm here to help you get to grips with Mobile Optimisation and what it means for you business and online presence.

What is Mobile Friendly Design?

Mobile Freindly Design is a relatively recent ranking factor implemented by Google in April 2015. Before the update I covered some steps on how to fix things before the rank hammer hit

This update was known affectionatley as mobilegeddon by those in the biz, as the name suggests it caused a bit of a panic... 

In a nutshell, if your website wasn't mobile firendly, you saw a significant decrease in your rankings when a search was performed on mobile.

Mobile Search Result Example

However, if your site was deemed fit for mobile browsing you most likely got a bit of a boost in mobile SERPs along with an accompanying mobile friendly tag in your meta description.

The algorithm has since had a further boost this may. Google are not mucking about, they clearly have a deep commitment to improving Mobile Accessibility across the web.

In order to qualify as  "Mobile Friendly" your site needs to offer a rich user experience when viewed on a mobile device, which means: legible fonts and images, fast page load and zero manual resizing or screen pinching.

Mobile Friendly Design

Google claims not to have a preference when it comes to mobile friendly design formats, although it recommends you implement one of the following:

If you're looking for a bit of a steer on what to go for, I'd recommend Responsive Design, it's often the most cost effective option for small to medium sized enterprises, it's the easiest to update and maintain and will cause you a lot fewer headaches in the long run.

If you already have a mobile friendly site, check it doesnt fall foul of any of these common pitfalls

Why Is Mobile Friendly Design Important

As mentioned Mobile Friendly Design is a fairly significant mobile ranking factor. It's highly likely that the weight of this particular algorithm will carry more and more heft as mobile browser usage increases, mobile ranking factors may even one day bleed into and influence traditional desktop factors if current trends continue.

ZMOT logo

And Google are increasingly talking about their Zero Moment Of Truth (ZMOT) online decision making philosophy in relation to adwords and local & mobile search.

In essence customer behaviour can be broken up into a number of moments or micromoments e.g. "I want to know", "I want to buy", "I want to go" moments etc.

Increasingly more of these decision and discovery points in a customer's journery are being deliberated and decided on a mobile device. There's a real demand for relavance during these moments, if your site isn't mobile friendly and your business isn't visible during any of these micromoments, you'll fail to reach customers at pivotal moments in the buyer's journey. 

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Tags: UX, SEO

Josh Baldwin

Josh Baldwin

Local & Mobile Specialist at Noisy Little Monkey, Josh blogs about useful tools and best practice.