April 2015

Google’s mobile friendly algorithm update

With the convenience of being able to connect to the web while on-the-go, it came as no surprise that mobile usage has seen a significant increase over the years. It was only a matter of time before Google would create an algorithm update with mobile-friendliness as a factor in ranking.

Walter Analytics-Mobile Friendly-SERP

As early as December of last year, Google broke it’s usual silence around SEO factors and announced its intent to introduce a new search ranking algorithm favouring mobile-friendliness. What the community would, later on, coin this day as “Mobilegeddon”, it isn’t really as dire as they make it out it to be. Why? Because the algorithm update only affects Google’s mobile organic search rankings.

Which is not to say, of course, that it’s not important. 80% of the global internet users own a smartphone, after all, with an increasing number of users using mobile as their only online device.* From today onwards, it will benefit your website to be mobile-optimised following a number of criteria such as readable content and font sizes, among others.

How to determine if your website is mobile-friendly? If Google has already indexed your website as mobile-friendly, it will be labeled as such in the mobile search results as seen on the photo above. If it hasn’t been indexed yet, there is also the Mobile-Friendly Test tool by Google. What’s more, with this algorithm change, a website can only be either “mobile friendly” or “not mobile friendly” based on page by page mobile-friendliness instead of a site-wide ranking . With that basis, even if some of your web pages are not optimised for mobile, it would not affect the indexing of your website as mobile-friendly. That should provide enough time to make sure that pages with important content are optimised for mobile view.

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As previously stated, this update will only impact search rankings on Google’s mobile search. Rest assured that this will not impact your desktop ranking or search rankings on searches done on tablets and the like. While the algorithm works real time, the changes in ranking of non mobile-friendly websites will be expected in a few days or even a few weeks (depending on how long the algorithm has to crawl through small or large websites) with the extent of the impact still unknown as of the moment.

To find out how the change will affect your rankings, feel free to reach out.

Here is a Q&A video from Google for more information regarding algorithm change.

*Global Web Index: Q3 2014 Global Popularity of Digital Device Usage

Data in marketing – Are you making the right choice?

In this article, our Analytics guy Shaun runs through how medium-sized companies are leveraging data in marketing for a competitive advantage. Price and functionality improvements are fuelling this exciting time.

We have seen the widespread adoption of A/B testing in large companies, with medium sized companies starting to make the move to incremental data driven changes through A/B testing as well. For web insights, new features in Google Analytics include Universal Analytics and Enhanced Ecommerce, and more recently Demographic and Interest Segmenting, has meant greatly increased insights into behavioural difference between different website users. So many changes in a market can be hard to grapple, and many businesses just don’t adapt at all. To ensure you remain competitive you must make a measured move to keep your marketing budget accountable, and new analytics insights now allows you to do just that.

“You can’t make good decisions based on bad numbers”

The best business decisions are always driven by data; data that is readily available, and data that is gathered specifically for that decision. Unfortunately, this mindset hasn’t always extended into marketing decisions as much of the data wasn’t available; this is no longer the case. The most significant change in 2014 is the advent of the ability of marketers to measure – almost exactly – how many sales have been made due to each and every campaign. You are no longer restricted to previously immeasurable success metrics such as ‘brand awareness’, ‘reach’, or ‘impressions’. With the new tools at our command, we need to crack down on how these and other marketing activities account for the bottom line. To do this, however, we need to wade through all available data to find those that help to inform decisions and measure performance.

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At the end of the day, you can have all the data in the world, but if you can’t or worse don’t – do anything with it, then there is no point in collecting it in the first place. Data in marketing, just as with all data, needs to be used to inform decisions relating to business objectives. It is all too common for businesses to fail into the trap of feeling that the data is more easily available is the data that matters. Think about Facebook post reach, the number of likes, and the number of shares. I get as warm and fuzzy as the next person when I get public recognition, but if it doesn’t bring you more sales, either now or in the futures, then this data is not informative for business goals. There are many example of this, you are probably thinking of other data you check every week or so. For this reason, it is important to focus on the end goal data; sales data.

“Likes are for Vanity, Sales are for Sanity”

Get in touch to see if you are collecting the right data for your decisions.