Over the past few weeks, we have been discussing Google’s major announcement regarding their mobile SEO algorithm update. As of April 21, the world’s largest search engine will begin updating their organic search algorithm, specifically making it easier for searchers to find mobile-friendly web pages and sites. For marketers, this means you are more likely to boost awareness of your business if your website is mobile-friendly.
To gauge marketer sentiment and gather opinions on this significant change, gShift conducted a survey of more than 275 digital marketers across a variety of industries including retail, travel and automotive. We ran this survey between March 25 – April 2 and more than 65 percent of participants were senior level decisions makers with titles ranging from Director to CMO. The responses we received showed some interesting insights into how industry professionals are preparing for the April 21st change.
The Current State of Mobile SEO
First off, nearly 70% believed their website is already mobile-friendly. However, in reviewing some of the respondents details, we discovered what they considered to be mobile-friendly or responsive, are not actually mobile-ready. The best way to review your site is to check with Google Webmaster Tools, which has added functionality to include mobile-based site errors and alerts.
- Yes – 69%
- No – 29%
- Unsure – 2%
Next, we found the majority of the digital marketers polled feel the percentage of their traffic coming from mobile devices is between 11-50%. This number falls in line with our own internal data for the average percentage of search across the web presences we track in our software.
- 0-10% – 12%
- 11-25% – 35%
- 26-50% – 36%
- More than 50% – 9%
- Unsure – 8%
In looking at our own internal data, we can see that the percentage of traffic coming from mobile has increased from 12% to 21% in just one year. This chart shows the increase as we have seen it across the more than 6,000 web presences tracked in the gShift platform.
When asked about the upcoming algorithm change from Google in Question 3, 78% of those surveyed stated they were already aware of the update. This leaves the remaining 22% both unaware and possibly unprepared.
One of the most important questions on the survey asked marketers if they felt their web presence rankings in search and their organic traffic will be affected by the Google mobile SEO algorithm update. Interestingly, although respondents had previously stated their website is mobile-friendly, over 50% still felt their web presence will be impacted after Google’s change.
- Yes – 52%
- No – 20%
- Unsure – 28%
Our next question highlighted the fact many companies, 65% of respondents, are starting to include mobile SEO strategies into their search and content marketing. However, this also reflects 35% of the companies polled are not preparing for this update at this point at all.
- Yes – 65%
- No – 14%
- Wait and see – 21%
One of the most surprising facts our survey revealed is nearly half of digital marketers are not currently using any tools to track how their web presence is ranking on a desktop versus mobile device. Given the nature of our web presence analytics platform, we understand the importance to understanding where your traffic is coming from and how your audience is finding you.
- Yes – 56%
- No – 44%
In looking at all the survey data, we can see a positive trend towards marketers who understand something needs to be done in order to prepare for mobile SEO. They are getting their web presences ready, structuring their content marketing strategies and are aware Google’s algorithm change could have an effect on their business.
However, the unsettling fact is still nearly half are of these same marketers are not measuring the results or gauging the impact to their current search rank data.
Marketers should be thinking about how to prepare a mobile SEO benchmark report to understand how their site ranks on a desktop versus mobile search now, as well as a scheduled report to see if their mobile SEO ranks change in the weeks following April 21st.
Data-driven insights will enable modern marketers to navigate the algorithm change and work to ensure they do not lose any valuable traffic for their business.
Mobile SEO How-To Guide