Friday, April 3, 2015

Moving On With Mobile: New Google Ranking Changes and the Impact on Manufacturers

The almighty and powerful Google has spoken! On Tuesday, April 21, Google is making a change. In a statement released by the organization:

"Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results." 

How does this impact Michigan manufacturers?
In today’s global economy, your website plays a critical role in the sales process. Your target audience has the power to research you (and your competitors) online. Through Google and other search engines, they can easily research products, parts, capabilities, pricing and reviews in an instant. If you don’t have a great Internet presence, especially in this day and age, you’re going to run into two problems:
  1. Your prospects aren’t going to find you when they’re looking for your products and services online.
  2. Your lack of participation and effort will discourage potential customers. Think of your website as a digital salesperson. If your employed, human sales person is unprofessional and disheveled, it can hurt your sales. The same thinking applies to an outdated website.
What exactly does this mean for me?
mobile responsive websites for manufacturers
In a nutshell, Google’s announcement intends to reward websites that are mobile-friendly. And, in case you are unaware, mobile-friendly sites need to be designed in a particular way to appear correctly when you’re viewing them from a phone or tablet. Google will reward these websites by giving them better mobile “search engine rankings”. Conversely, if your website is not mobile-friendly, it could negatively impact your ranking.

So, when people enter in a particular word or phrase (or products and parts!) when doing a Google search on their mobile device, mobile-friendly websites will appear more towards the top of the list. Let’s face it, people click on page 1 or 2 of search results…not page 50.

Why all the changes Google?
Google makes changes in response to technological advancements and societal trends. In this case, they realized the amount of people accessing and searching the internet from their phones or tablets has skyrocketed in the past couple of years. In fact, mobile usage accounts for 60% of time spent online, exceeding desktop-based digital media.

Pew Research found that in 2011, only about 35 percent of American adults owned a smartphone. Today, roughly two out of every three American adults, or 64 percent, own a smartphone.

AH! So how do I fix this? What can I do?
If you’re looking to navigate these changes, you have two main options:

  1. Embrace a Responsive Web Design: If you have a responsive web design, the size of your website’s pages will adjust to the viewer depending on their device. Google recommends this option. This option is highly flexible and you only have to create and maintain one website.
  2. Create a Mobile Site: Mobile sites are technically a separate website created solely for mobile devices. This option is a short-term, less expensive fix resulting in a duplicate website dedicated to just mobile. While less costly, this also means extra steps and more work for you. If you update a page on your traditional website, you’ll also have to go over to your mobile website and update it there too. Also, mobile sites are rendered for today’s devices. Next year’s devices may throw this for a loop!
While it may take a little time for the changes to full go into effect, you want to start preparing now. Make sure your website is mobile friendly and reap the benefits from Google!

For more information on MMTC's Website Effectiveness and SEO program, click here. You may also contact us at 888.414.6682 or via email at inquiry@mmtc.org.


Since 1991, MMTC has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses compete and grow. Through personalized services fitted to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at www.mmtc.org.

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