On April 21, Google will begin making major changes to its mobile search algorithm. Known (un)affectionately as “Mobilegeddon,” the search community has seen this change coming for a while. With websites, news articles and conference sessions specifically dedicated to this looming end-date, those who are not familiar with the technical jargon of the search marketing world may be concerned that their website will suddenly cease to exist if they don’t update to a mobile-friendly platform. While these new changes are less frightening than you may think, Google’s new mobile algorithm should inspire some serious consideration about updating your site.
It would be a major understatement to say that consumers rely on mobile devices during their home search. In fact, as of the end of 2014, Google reported that over 50 percent of all search traffic came from mobile devices. Similarly, Homes.com saw a 192 percent increase in mobile property leads since 2014. This demonstrates the huge potential opportunity to grow your real estate business if you are able to provide a mobile platform that your audience can rely on, and Google will love!
So what should you do to prepare for this “Mobilegeddon”? Here are three actions to take to be sure you won’t be left in the dust of your competition.
1. Run Google’s “Mobile-Friendly Test”
To find out whether your site passes Google’s mobile test, your first step is to use their helpful Mobile-Friendly Test tool. This tool will determine whether your site is up to par with Google’s general mobile requirements. The test itself is fairly simple—just enter your website’s URL and click analyze. From there, Google will generate a checklist displaying the key areas used to analyze whether your site is mobile ready or not. If your site fails the test, the tool provides a report that identifies problems along with potential solutions.
2. Check Out Google’s Webmaster Resources
After completing the Mobile-Friendly Test, look into Google’s Mobile Usability Report in their Webmaster Tools (you’ll need to have this set up on your site), Webmaster education articles and developer notes within the Webmaster help center. Webmaster tools displays both desktop and mobile errors through a Google lens, and offers great insights into site architecture, content and server challenges. Webmaster education provides courses and resources to help you create an even better—Google-friendly—site. Finally, the help center is exactly how it sounds. If you’re having issues, learn more about Google and its guidelines to create a more user-friendly site.
3. Invest in a Mobile-Friendly Platform
Another great way to prepare for the upcoming “Mobilegeddon” is to research and invest in a mobile-ready real estate platform to replace your existing website. Responsive IDX websites, such as those provided by Homes.com, keep your Web presence consistent across all devices. This means your website will look flawless no matter how a user views it. Responsive design websites are both mobile-ready, as preferred by the new Google search algorithms, and still look great for desktop users.
There are more benefits that come with having a mobile-friendly website than simply creating a more user-friendly experience on smartphones and tablets. One of the most important advantages is the role that it plays in an overall search engine optimization (SEO) strategy; Google wants the best mobile-user experience and will add a “mobile-friendly” tag to search results and demote site rankings that aren’t mobile-friendly. The bottom line is this—your website will have a better chance of being discovered and clicked on in mobile search results if it meets Google’s mobile standards.
The new Google mobile algorithm is just around the corner. Don’t fall behind your competition because your website isn’t up-to-date. Homes.com’s Studio is an intuitive IDX and Responsive platform designed specifically for real estate to keep your Web presence consistent—and visible—across all devices.
Do you need help determining whether your website is mobile ready? We’re here to help. Click here to schedule your website review today.