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Mobilegeddon: Quick and dirty tips to save your Google ranking

Earlier this week Google announced it was making major changes to its mobile search algorithm that changes the way websites are ranked when users search from their mobile devices. The change, quickly labelled as Mobilegeddon, could potentially have major effects on small businesses, including those in New Zealand. 

Google’s update, which went live on April 22nd, designed to provide a better search experience for mobile users, means companies who fail to meet the new criteria, could see their website ranking on search results take a hit. 

Formstack, a solution to increase conversions, says it’s important for businesses to be mobile friendly, no matter what industry. “After all, consumers spend nearly 60% of their time on the Internet on mobile devices,” the company says in a statement. 

Formstack has put together some quick and dirty tips for businesses to save their rank.

 Tip #1: Create a specific and well-placed CTA button. 

Mobile users who find your business online have a conversion percentage nearly three times higher than the same search done on a desktop or laptop. In fact, 70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour. But to make this magic happen, users need a clear, easy-to-find, and easy-to-use call to action button.  With that in mind, pay a little extra attention to this element. Change the colour to an attention-grabbing hue or add some subtle animation.

Also, tweak your button copy to better communicate your value proposition. Create motivating text that drives people to take action – and be specific. Adding just one word after the word “submit” can boost conversion rates by as much as 320%. 

Finally, put some thought to placement. Position your signup form at the top of your landing page, alongside engaging content. This strategy will deliver maximum views to your form without requiring page visitors to scroll all the way down to the bottom. 

And last but not least, make sure your CTA and all other buttons are large enough to be easily tapped from a mobile device. 

Tip #2: Embrace Social Autofill.

Many of us struggle to remember the slew of logins and passwords required to function in 2015. Social Autofill has unparalleled potential to improve the consumer experience. Not only does it reduce your customers' time on site – it’s a sanity saver, too: 64% of users who frequently leave sites due to forgotten login information say social login is an option companies should offer.

But the best reason to leverage Social Autofill? Our data shows conversion rates can increase up to 189% when form users take advantage of Social Autofill features. Tip #3: Pare down the content on your mobile site. 

On mobile, less truly is more. According to one study, 57% of users would not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. And unfortunately, the temptation to include too much content on a mobile site can result in a clunky design that is difficult to navigate and frustrating to use. 

The amount of space available for content on a mobile device is often significantly smaller than the space available on a desktop browser. The screens are smaller, it’s harder to scroll, and it’s impossible on many devices to scroll horizontally. 

With this in mind, make sure your most important content displays in the top few pixels of the page, and reduce your viewers’ need to scroll whenever possible.

Tip #4: Make sure your Web forms are mobile-friendly, too. 

When you’re refining your website for Mobilegeddon, don’t forget about on-site resources like forms. These conversion-capture assets are a critical part of your online real estate, so make sure they are as mobile friendly as the rest of your site. 

Form length is especially critical when optimizing for mobile. The 2015 Form Conversion Report found that the average survey now contains 22 fields. And unfortunately, 22 fields might feel daunting to a consumer completing your form on a mobile device. 

If your site contains a field-heavy form that just can’t be shortened, try building a smart form that automatically shows or hides questions based on how users respond. Or, consider using a horizontal layout for checkboxes and buttons to create an illusion the form is shorter.

Tip #5: Be ready for all mobile devices. 

Don’t forget — there’s more than one kind of mobile device out there. In fact, Gartner projects ultramobiles, which include tablets, hybrids, and clamshells, will take over as the main driver of growth in the devices market beyond 2014, with a growth rate of 54%. Make sure your mobile site looks as good on tablets of all sizes as it does on the traditional smart phone screen.  If you take the time to implement one or more of these quick and dirty tips, your website be better armed for Mobilegeddon. Your efforts will pay off, too: Mobile-optimised redesign results in a nearly 15% increase in unique clicks.