Google’s Mobile Update and Online Visibility



Digital PR Chat mobile

Friday’s #DigitalPR Twitter chat with Rafferty Pendery was all about the need for businesses to embrace mobile and prepare for Googles’s next mobile update.  Here is the transcript:

Q1:  83% of small businesses say a website gives them a competitive advantage – is this any site or is it only true of a good site?

You’d think that just any website is better than none, but that’s not always true. A site that doesn’t get found is like owning a Ferrari when you don’t know how to drive–nice to look at, but useless!

To give you that competitive advantage your website has to be visible in search and appealing and easy-to-use, so that when visitors arrive there they find exactly what they’re looking for.  They spend more time on your site and take the actions you want them to take – download content, watch a video, fill in a form or purchase your product.

Q2:  Google has another mobile search update scheduled for May.  Surely every business is ready for mobile now?

Well, you’d think so, but that’s not the case.  And since Google has almost 70% of all search traffic it might be a smart move to pay attention to what they say and do. 🙂

Google doesn’t make major changes to their algorithms based on a whim.  They’re focusing on mobile search because more searches are done on mobile devices than desktops.  Just look around you – pretty much everyone has a mobile device. And they use it all the time. This article has some in depth data on why Google is updating the mobile algorithm and what you need to focus on.

At Studio98 we’ve just done a study on how many of the fastest growing businesses in America are mobile ready and surprisingly, almost one-quarter (22%) of the Inc. 500 company websites don’t pass the Google mobile-friendly test.

Inc 500 Infog final

Once you move further down the list (Inc.5000) that number increases. In some industries it is much higher.  Almost 40% of manufacturer’s websites are not mobile ready.

Q3:  So what will this new update mean for those businesses who are not 100% ready?

Let’s look at the B2B companies -the profile of B2B buyers and researchers is changing. Almost ½ of B2B buyers are now  Millennials.  They’re smart and they’re wired. They all use smartphones & tablets to do their work.

Google’s data shows that 42% of all B2B buyers use a mobile device to start their search for information prior to purchase. The new update means that without a good mobile site you won’t have good search visibility on a mobile device.

57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a brand with a bad mobile site and 40% say they turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience.

And for the PR pros – this applies to your newsroom and media researchers too.

Q4:  Researchers on mobile devices tend to use brand sites and brand apps (Source: Google)  So how does this impact companies with no or sub-par mobile sites?

The use of brand sites on mobile indicates that a business absolutely must have a good mobile site.  And a brand app that helps mobile researchers find info about your facility, products or services would be a very smart move right about now.

Q5:  What is the best way to design a website today?

Every website should be fully responsive.

That means the site can detect what device you’re on & adapt the content to fit the format. And you need to think about the visual impact of your content on mobile devices too – smartphone screens require images 2X higher res than desktops.   A fuzzy, pixelated, hard-to-navigate mobile site will turn users off.

PR pros note – media researchers are looking for excellent images too, so make the most of your images in your newsroom and be sure that they look amazing on mobile devices.

Now that you can deliver a superior experience on mobile, do it! See these best practices

Q6:   At Studio98 you talk about showcase sites – what does that mean?

Your website should be a showcase for your business, not just a “ho-hum” online brochure. Almost anyone can build a website these days  and there are even places where you can build them for free.

A Showcase site is based on your goals and helps you achieve those goals. It shows your strengths and really highlights what makes you different.  It is much more than just a good looking website. 

Q7:  92% of Americans use search engines. Is just having a website, even a great website, enough?

No, unfortunately not. That’s just building the car.  To get on the racetrack you need inbound marketing and all that entails: SEO, PPC, content marketing, PR, social media.  Today you need the whole nine yards.

Q8:  Can you do SEO without content today?

 There is a lot to SEO, but one of the major components is great quality content. You need to follow Google’s quality guidelines

What you need is content that is 10x better than your competitors and that takes a content strategy based on data – you have to know your audience and know what they want, as well as what they respond to.

Content for content’s sake is just more internet litter.

Q9:  Give us your best tips for improving a brand’s online visibility

  • Use a clean, easy-to-use fully responsive design
  • Make your site content relevant and interesting
  • Do your research and know what content your prospective visitors want
  • Update the content regularly – Google loves fresh content
  • Write content that will attract links from authority websites (Google loves natural links that occur because your content is excellent)

 Q10:  Tell us about Studio98

 Studio98 has been in business for 10 years.  We started with custom web design and now we have a talented team of online marketing and PR pros.  We cover as much, or as little, of the marketing spectrum a client needs.  We can consult on strategy or implement the whole shebang.

 Thanks to Rafferty and Studio 98 for sharing their insights with us today.

Be sure to join us on Friday April 15th at 10 am P 1 pm E  with guest Lisa Buyer ( follow her @lisabuyer) author of Social PR Secrets.

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