Over the last two weeks, I've been detailing why it's important to have
a correct mobile setup
for your website. Google's decision to use mobile friendliness as a ranking factor has a lot of people worried that they will get clobbered by #mobilegeddon
Since I've already weighed in on mobile usability topics, I want to dive in a little more about why Google is forcing this mobile-friendly move on us now.
You see, many other industries are already reporting that more than 50% of their website users are using mobile
devices. Although, when you look closely at those 50% mobile reports, you often see that they are referring to mobile commerce rather than just mobile usage.
Naturally, if you are in business, everything you do online should drive sales in some way. It doesn't matter if it's an online sale (direct m-commerce) or some type of engagement that leads a person to your store (indirect m-commerce). Just to be clear though, all the reports really do leave off information about mobile websites that drive in-store traffic.
As it turns out, the jewelry industry is lagging behind in website technology. I seldom come across a modern website during the Friday website reviews I publish every week. I don't know if it's a cause or effect, but the number of mobile users to jewelry websites is also lower than reports from other industries.
Take a look at this chart showing the user percentages according to device type as measured across retail jewelry websites:
In 2010, we all thought that mobile websites were going to catch on a lot faster than they did, but even in May 2012, smartphone usage was still at a meager 14.5%.
It wasn't until December 2014 that I finally measured 51.41% combined smartphone and tablet usage across retail jeweler websites during the 7 days just prior to Christmas, i.e. Dec 17, 2014 - Dec. 23, 2014. That 51% isn't represented in the above chart because it shows the average for the entire month.
During that 7 day period in December 2014, I was able to measure smartphone usage at 40.01%, which is the highest I've measured so far. By February 2015, the smartphone usage rate had dropped back down to 33.46%.
Here's a pie chart representing the mobile/desktop/tablet percentages for February 2015:
I really expect all these measurements to drastically change after #mobilegeddon hits on April 21, 2015. I assume the number of desktop visitors to stay the same, but the number of mobile visitors will drop.
I don't report actual visitor numbers in any of these Daily Golden Nuggets. It's common in all public SEO reports to convert everything to percentages to make the numbers more understandable.
After #mobilegeddon, the percentage of tablet and smartphone users will drop drastically, and the desktop percentages will jump suddenly. That's how percentages work. When this happens, the worst thing you can do is assume that everything is okay because it appears that you now have more desktop visitors.
The truth is that you will have lost 40% or more of your overall website visitors and it will be a huge uphill battle to get them back.
Fear #mobilegeddon... it will have a real impact on your bottom line.