The countdown to “mobilegeddon” has begun – no, that’s not the really bad sequel to the classic 1998 Bruce Willis blockbuster, Armageddon, but what Google’s upcoming changes have been dubbed by the cyber geeks and as specialists in digital media, this is certainly something we will be keeping a close eye on for our clients.
On the 21st April, the search engine giant is altering its algorithms (the formula they use to work out how high on the search results a website page will appear, for those not in the know) to prioritise mobile websites when users are searching on their mobile phones. This basically means companies that don’t have a mobile-friendly website by that date are going to appear much lower in the results and therefore will more than likely see a big dip in potential online customers as their search visibility decreases.
This may sound like something technical whizzes say to scare those amongst us who may not be as tech savvy i.e. the millennium bug, but don’t dismiss it – there may have been a time when not having a mobile-friendly website wasn’t a big deal but that is no longer the case!
According to Google itself more than 60 per cent of all their searches are now performed on mobile devices – just think of how many times a quick Google search whilst you’re out and about has solved an argument or the very important question of ‘where should we go to eat?’
More importantly, the amount of people using their phones to actually buy products has steadily increased and doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon. According to research from Barclays, mobile consumer spend is expected to surge from the current £9.7bn a year to over £53bn within the next 10 years. Unsurprisingly (or at least to the shopaholics at JAM towers), clothes are the most commonly bought items, with £2.3bn being spent in 2014 alone and expected to rise to an impressive £7.8bn in the next five years.
In other words, if a business wants to continue to be successful they are going to have to ensure that their website works properly on their customers’ phones – either adapting their existing site or having a separate mobile version. All that matters is that it works properly and they can access everything they need to, because if it doesn’t they will simply go to a competitor’s that does.
So the moral of the tale is don’t ignore Google’s warning and put off making your website mobile-friendly because your competitors certainly won’t be…and before anyone points the finger at our very own JAMpr website, our developers are currently working hard to ensure that we practice what we preach.