Beyond ‘Mobile Friendly’

15 May 2015 | | Internet

My blog this week discusses the theory behind Googles latest algorithm update dubbed ‘Mobilgeddon’ in the industry. For those who have been hiding under a rock for the last three months- the algorithm penalises websites that are not deemed ‘mobile friendly’ by Google in mobile rankings. Google even provided a mobile friendly checker .

Google wants to provide relevant, user friendly websites to users. Using a desktop version website on a mobile is no longer acceptable for the general public and as such Google is demoting poor quality user experience in mobile rankings.

By making your website mobile friendly – your website will pass Google’s test and then NOT be penalised in the rankings. Great stuff, when can we start? Many website owners have simply created mobile versions of their websites, but this does not fully address the user experience issue with mobile.

Making your website ‘mobile friendly’ is not enough.

Here at Dental Design, we advise making your whole website responsively designed (RWD) to not only fulfil Google’s ‘mobile friendly’ test, but also to ensure your visitors are greeted with a user friendly website when using their mobile device to search for dental related queries.

Also Google has already stated that responsive design is its preferred setup for website and if you read my colleague Faye’s blog about listening to Google you’ll understand why this is important.

We have strong feelings in the office that at some point RWD will be a ranking factor too.

There are some high profile cases out there that have been studied to highlight the poor user experience a ‘mobile friendly’ website can provide.

The below is courtesy of e-consultancy’s, Graham Charlton with kind permission.

Barclays

If you search for Barclays, it looks like the site satisfies Google, with the ‘mobile friendly’ label under the URL.

So, as a user, you enter the site assuming it will work on your device, expecting a good user experience

Sure enough, the homepage is mobile optimised. It’s well laid out and easy to navigate to the various sections of the site. So far, so good.

The problem is that once you navigate away from the homepage, this mobile ‘friendliness’ ends. 

This applies to all of the sections you can reach via the hamburger menu, including loans, mortgages, banking, insurance, and help and support. The most popular sections of the site.

Here’s how the mortgage pages look. Not much help for mobile users. The savings pages on the right is similar, virtually impossible to use on a mobile:

 

Google’s mobile friendly tool identifies this savings page as not mobile friendly and explains why. Neither are labelled as mobile friendly in search results.

Barclays also ranks below many of its competitors, including Santander and Nationwide for ‘savings’ and related, though it does still rank in the top ten for ‘mortgages’, despite the page.

We can see that, post mobile algorithm, many of its savings and other non-mobile pages have dropped in the SERPs:

So, from an SEO perspective, Barclays has a clear incentive to provide more than just a mobile-friendly homepage.  It has dropped in the SERPs already, and competitors with proper mobile sites stand to benefit.

However, it’s clear that there is no such thing as a Barclays mobile site, just a few mobile friendly pages with provide a thin veneer over a desktop site.

It’s also bad for users, as finding out more about mortgages, savings or other products is a very frustrating experience on a mobile device.

Contact Dental Design Products on 01202 677 277 for dental specific SEO, mobile marketing, online advertising, social media management and traditional marketing support for your dental practice.

 

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