Google’s Big Change for Small Business
Google (and Bing) recently made a big change to their search algorithm which included a shift in the way it considers a website’s “mobile friendliness.” Now, when users “google” something from their mobile device, mobile-friendly websites will receive a boost in search rank and appear higher in the search results. This is a significant development for all websites and one large group will be hit particularly hard by the change: local small businesses.
The skyrocketing use of mobile devices to access the web is no secret to anyone. The big guys like Walmart, McDonald’s and “enter major brand name here” have long since launched mobile-friendly sites to adapt to changing consumer behavior. It is the small businesses and local retailers who have been slow to make that pivot, likely because of lack of time, resources or a clear incentive to do so. With this change and a look at consumer behavior trends, the incentive becomes crystal clear.
Consumers are spending an astounding 15 hours a week researching purchase decisions on their phones, with 93% of them completing that purchase. Over half of them plan on making a purchase within an hour, most of which are occurring at a brick and mortar location. [any data on online purchases by comparison!?] You can read more details about their behavior here.
Consumers are not only using their phones A TON to figure out what they’re going to purchase, but most of them would like to make that purchase quickly and locally. If you’re a local retailer, it’s imperative your website is easily found in order to get in front of these customers before they make that purchase from someone else!
Mobile-friendly sites are not cost prohibitive. Even website builders like Wix give businesses the ability to quickly put up these websites without breaking the bank. Responsive design is so commonplace now that even custom development can be affordable for almost any business. Consider the opportunity cost involved with ignoring this behavior!
So what are you waiting for? If you are unsure if your site is mobile-friendly, use Google’s free test here. Have any other questions or need help? Let me know!