Is your site healthy? The trending article in all my social feeds includes Google’s “Mobilegeddon,” as search marketers are affectionately calling it. Did you know that according to eMarketer:
[keystat number="8 in 10" width="50%" height="200" text="Healthcare professionals use smartphones for work" last="no" align="left"][/keystat][keystat number="32%" width="50%" height="200" text="Of consumers research health-related information from a doctor's office" last="yes" align="right"][/keystat]
That’s right: Mobilegeddon isn’t just for retailers. Give your site a health checkup and make sure it’s mobile optimized.
On April 21st, Google’s mobile algorithm officially began favoring “mobile-friendly” sites — this means that sites not optimized for mobile may begin to drop in rankings for users searching on a smartphone, which could cause a loss in business. Want to learn more? View an on-demand webinar titled “Google’s Algorithm Changes and SEO Impact” that takes a dive into the changes and how they might effect your organization. Mobile searches aren’t just for consumers — eMarketer reports that specialty/clinical content and pharmaceutical prescribing information are the two most popular health-related content areas viewed on smartphones by US physicians.
Since mobile-friendly sites are going to begin outranking non-mobile-optimized sites, it’s crucial to reach the large healthcare audience that searches for information from a smartphone. Even some responsive design sites don’t follow Google’s best practices, so it’s possible to get dinged without even realizing it. It’s easy to identify mobile usability issues with a site, so take the time to check your site’s health!
Give Your Site a Check-Up
If you have a mobile or responsive site, ensure it’s functional and recognized by Google — not every responsive design site is mobile friendly! But what makes a mobile-friendly site vs. a non-mobile-friendly site? Touch elements that are too close together and content that requires zooming are both considered non-mobile friendly.
Check your site’s mobile health:
- Google’s Mobile Friendly Tool is great for spot-checking pages
- Have the development or web team check the Mobile Usability report in Google Webmaster Tools
Remember, a site is either mobile friendly or it isn’t — there are no degrees of friendliness. Go responsive or mobile now, or risk falling out of mobile search results.
Leverage Paid Search to Pick Up Lost Organic Traffic if Necessary
Have your organic rankings dropped because you don’t have the resources to go mobile or responsive right away? Don’t panic. Leveraging paid search advertising is a great way to maintain presence in Google while finding the resources to go mobile.Making the switch from a desktop to mobile or responsive site can require heavy lifting — both financial and personnel resources are required. Increasing mobile paid search spend can help to maintain share of voice where organic real estate is lost.
Although it’s not a best practice to drive mobile searchers to a desktop site via paid ads, it’s a quick fix that can suffice in the interim while a mobile or responsive site is being developed. Identify top converting paid search keywords and compare against the organic keywords that may have dropped in ranking. Then, it’s easy to allocate spend to keywords that drive KPIs and qualified visits — Merkle recommends our clients increase bids on keywords that have fallen out of organic search to maintain share of voice.
Keep Your Site Healthy
Don’t forget to keep your site healthy! Checking Google Webmaster Tools frequently is essential even when Google isn’t rolling out a new algorithm. Google provides webmasters with warnings and pertinent information to their sites, making it easy to diagnose any threats to search performance.
Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm update doesn’t affect desktop searches — it is specific to mobile. Here are some quick facts to keep in mind:
- Google’s algorithm update will only affect a site’s mobile search ranking, and it only impacts searches on smartphones — not tablets
- The update applies to individual pages, not entire websites
- To be considered “mobile friendly,” text must be readable without tapping or zooming, and tap targets need to be spaced appropriately
Consumers and healthcare professionals have embraced the shift to mobile, and Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm only provides another opportunity to optimize toward a better experience. Don’t miss out on valuable opportunities to connect with your audience online — go mobile now and get ahead of Google’s continued shift toward favoring all things mobile.