I go away for a week and all Hell breaks loose!

Google’s latest game-changing algorithm has finally fully rolled out after its April 21 release, with the update giving a rankings boost to websites that are mobile-friendly in mobile search results.

Some have dubbed it Mobilegeddon, and with good reason. A lot of brands have been hit hard by the change. The ‘Next’ brand is one high-profile case, with SearchMetrics reporting that the retailer had lost 38 per cent of its mobile visibility thanks to the update.

 

SearchMetrics reported that Next.co.uk had lost 38 per cent of its mobile visibility thanks to the Google mobile update.

 

But I won’t bore you with the details of Mobilegeddon, it’s already been covered extensively and the top and bottom of it is that the more user-friendly the mobile site, the more favourably Google will look on it when it comes to rank it.

Instead I’m going to be looking at the rise of mobile and, more importantly, how you and your business can make money from the change.

How have Google’s new algorithm changes affected your business? Have you been hard hit by the update? Let me know in the comments section below.

A phabulous phuture

According to statistics from comScore smartphone penetration in the US is set to hit or surpass the 80 per cent mark by the end of the year.

But the real impact of the mobile market can be underlined by the sheer amount of options and diversity on the market. Take phablet, phones which are demi-tablets and can barely fit in the pocket.

That clearly doesn’t matter too much to the market because, according to data from Flurry, phablets make up 20 per cent of all global smartphone activity and 36 per cent of the overall Android market.

With mobile ad spending set to overtake desktop by the end of the year Google’s mobile update makes perfect sense, for them and marketers too. So many people are using mobile for research and purchasing that it’s silly to ignore it.

Desktop CPCs are dearer than smartphone clicks, and mobile conversions are increasing overall. Mobile’s the place to be, and it’s not too late to build a mobile presence if you’re lagging behind.

Checkout dropout

As impressive and lovely as all those numbers are, there’s one key statistic that shows all of your new mobile rankings will be for nothing if your site isn’t up to scratch.

Data from MarketLive suggests that although smartphone traffic to retailers is growing, 90 per cent of shopping carts are abandoned, and a huge number of transactions weren’t completed in Q1 2015.

That’s an enormous amount of potential revenue lost for companies from mobile, when all that may be needed is a small investment to rejig the checkout process and make things easier for shoppers to complete their orders.

 

Data from MarketLive suggests that although smartphone traffic to retailers is growing, 90 per cent of shopping carts are abandoned

 

So while you may have mobile rankings to beat the band thanks to Google’s brand new mobile algorithm, what use is it if people are visiting your site, choosing items to buy, then don’t complete the transaction because your checkout bores them to tears?

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is – as it says on the tin – the process of changing parts of your website to encourage people to complete an action. It’s a refining of the user experience, with the reward being long-term customer satisfaction if done right.

Because while you may have invested serious money in SEO, content marketing, PR, social media, and other forms of online marketing, that traffic and online swagger counts for nothing at all if it isn’t earning money for your business.

How does your mobile website perform for conversions, especially with the new algorithm in play? Could it do better? Let me know below!

Forming a plan

Strategy is everything when it comes to digital marketing, and unless your website is making money for you and your business then it’s nothing more than a pretty front of house.

PayPal’s new One Touch Checkout, for instance, is a great combatant against checkout drop offs and has seen some retailers amass a 50 per cent increase in conversions.

The biggest problem for consumers on mobile devices is having to go through sign ups and form after form entering information, details, and more making them lose interest in the purchase.

But there are other things you can do to encourage people to complete their purchase. Take email, for example.

I’m speaking from experience. I went to buy my nephew a present on GameStop a fortnight ago and came across some of the problems I’ve described above. I was filling in a lot of forms, got bored, reconsidered my purchase, and didn’t follow through.

A few days later, as I had entered my email at the start of the buying process, I got an email from GameStop to let me know that my uncompleted order was still in the checkout phase and that I could go back at any time to complete it if I so wish.

 

I got an email from GameStop to let me know that my uncompleted order was still in the checkout phase

 

I haven’t yet but it’s a superb piece of marketing. The email’s in my mind and temptation to complete the purchase is creeping in, with the incentive there that the data I’ve previously submitted makes completing the job that little bit easier.

Some marketing automation will have been at play here, and credit to GameStop for recognising the user journey of their customers and identifying that, after customers enter their email address, something can be done to contact them in an unobtrusive manner.

This falls under the net of conversion rate optimisation, to make things as easy as possible for your customers to encourage them to stay with your brand in the long-term.

It may be something as simple as the wording on your website, cutting down on the amount of fields people have to fill in on forms, a complete overhaul of your checkout, or more.

But the payoff is a website that works for you, helps convert product sales, and lets people know that you are easier to shop with than anybody else, whether on mobile or any other device.

 

If you’d like to know more about web development and how conversion rate optimisation can help your business contact the Webpresence team today!

 

(Image credit: eGospodarka)