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John Hayes
By
April 30, 2015

#Mobilegeddon Guide for Engineering Marketers

Are you ready for Google's mobilegeddon search udate?

 

In case you haven’t heard, Google made a major change to their search algorithm last week.  Dubbed “Mobilegeddon” by some marketers, this major update reflects the search giant’s recognition that sites must be mobile friendly to serve the vast majority of Internet users.  And yes, that includes engineers.

This change will lower your site’s ranking if it is not mobile optimized, and may drive more traffic to sites that already are. Let’s take a look at early results, one week after Google’s mobile search algorithm rolled out.  

Our Early Analysis of Mobile Traffic after Mobilegeddon

We recently acquired a site that has not yet implemented a mobile strategy.  Here’s what happened to their traffic.  Prior to the change, they were trending towards daily 7,400 mobile sessions every Monday.  This Monday April 27, the first Monday since the switch, we saw mobile sessions decline for the day to 6,600.  There are so many other variables that could explain the decline, however, that we may be overstating or understating the impact.  I can’t directly relate this exclusively to the Google change, but it certainly seems to be the leading cause. 

ENGINEERING.com, on the other hand, is mobile friendly.  Prior to the change it was trending towards 5,500 daily mobile sessions on a typical Monday.  After the Google algorithm switch, we saw mobile sessions increase to 5,900 this Monday April 27.   

While the data set is certainly incomplete, the 2 data points provide a consistent direction – mobile traffic for the mobile friendly site went up and mobile traffic for the non-mobile site went down.

What can you do now to make your site Mobile friendly?

I mentioned this Google change in a previous blog post, but here is the link again to Google’s test for mobile.  Note that in that same post we pointed out that 79% of manufacturing websites aren’t useable from a mobile device.

So if you find yourself in the unhappy majority of marketers with a non-mobile friendly site, here are a couple steps you can take:

If you don’t have the technology budget to jump into a mobile redesign right away, consider partnering with an agency to host your landing pages.  If they have a mobile-friendly landing environment, they can likely brand it to match your site so that you don’t lose mobile visitors.  This isn’t a solution, but it could be a stop-gap measure until you have a full mobile offering.

If you do have the resources for a mobile redesign, your main priority is to identify the navigation elements and content that will appear on the smaller screen sizes.  Most people advocate starting with the smallest screen size and adding design elements as you work up towards larger screen sizes.  This post from Distilled.net takes you through a step by step approach with excellent visuals.

This is not the time to panic

Various sources suggest that the Google algorithm changes should not have impacted your search rankings for desktop and laptop users.  Although more than 30% of total Internet traffic is now mobile, if your web site is set up to serve engineers during their work day, your company likely had less than 15% of its traffic from mobile devices last month. 

Our engineering industry tends to lag behind digital trends in marketing.  If your site isn’t mobile friendly, making it so could lead you to more visits than your competition.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

John

 

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