Google recognizes the frustrations mobile searchers face – scrolling side to side to see all of the content on a page, zooming in to click on links that are too small – and will now reward websites that meet mobile-friendly criteria with a label that is visible to consumers on mobile search engine results pages (SERPs). The addition of mobile-friendly labels highlights the importance of user experience in digital marketing strategies.
According to Google, a page is eligible for a mobile-friendly label if it meets these criteria:
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
- Uses text that is readable without zooming
- Sizes content to the screen so users don't have to scroll horizontally or zoom in
- Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
The introduction of the mobile-friendly label comes as a beacon for marketers with responsive websites wanting to convert more mobile searchers to leads. Savvy marketers who implement a digital strategy that includes responsive websites will gain the trust of consumers and avoid the fear of missing an opportunity to measure success.
Mobile-friendly labels are rolling out globally over the next few weeks. Google is experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal, meaning anyone who doesn’t have a mobile-friendly or responsive website could be featured less prominently on mobile SERPs. Additionally, any site that has a “mobile version” could struggle to rank because it’s a separate site from its primary site.
Having a mobile-friendly digital strategy involves more than just having a responsive website. Marketers should use mobile Pay-per-Click (PPC) campaigns in addition to standard PPC campaigns and should drive this traffic to responsive pages. Users expect mobile-friendly experiences across all of the digital channels they access daily. It’s important to mention that social strategy also has a mobile component, as one third of Facebook’s 1.32 billion monthly users only log in with their phones and Facebook pages show up in mobile search results.
Google continues to place an emphasis on user experience metrics like bounce rate and time on page, which means making sure a website is usable on any device all the more important. When your website’s organic listing features Google’s new mobile-friendly label, it could make a noticeable difference in your organic traffic and the conversion of searchers to visitors, and of those visitors to leads.