The Google mobile update is rolling out in just over a week, 21st April. Marketers will be either overjoyed with an influx of mobile traffic or they will be frantically trying to figure out where a chunk of their traffic has disappeared to.
Google announced the update over a month ago. They want their users to be able to find mobile-friendly content easier. Their message is simple, sites which are mobile-friendly will receive a ranking boost and those which are not will be pushed down the search results.
A Google spokesman said this update is likely to have a bigger impact than their Panda and Penguin updates.
The £53bn opportunity?
Currently £9.7bn is spent through mobile devices in the UK, this is set to top £53.6bn a year in the UK within the next decade according to Barclays.
Worryingly of the 221 UK retailers surveyed, 70% did not have a mobile website or app. This research was carried out before the Google mobile update was announced, I wonder how many of these retailers have changed their minds with Google forcing their hand.
Richard Lowe, Managing Director and Head of Retail & Wholesale at Barclays, said: “The size of the retail opportunity is clear for all to see. The question every retailer should be asking themselves is what they are doing about it to not only satisfy today’s consumer but, also tomorrow’s.”
Retailers will have to satisfy Google first in order for their consumers to find their mobile website. In the UK approximately 90% of mobile searches are made through Google.
Tablets and Apps
Let’s not forget about tablets. Although tablet ownership rate is lower, tablet owners were twice as more likely to make a purchase (43% vs. 19%) than smartphone owners.
Sales made through apps now account for a third (33%) of all retail spend on mobiles.
The second part of the Google mobile update announcement referred specifically to apps. Google will be allowing for deeper app integration within their search results for apps which the user already has installed.
What should marketers do
If you haven’t already got a responsive website or a dedicated mobile website, your first step is to start planning for one and implement it as soon as possible.
If you have already got a mobile website in place, Google have created a guide to help you make sure it is optimised. Check your webmaster tools to ensure there are no mobile errors listed, and start tracking your mobile rankings and analytics to measure the impact yourself.