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Are you ready for April 21st and the Mobile Friendly ranking algorithm?

By March 20, 2015January 24th, 2024No Comments

We are barely a month away from Google’s Mobile Friendly ranking algorithm. Are you prepared? If your site is not mobile friendly by this time, all of the current organic traffic you get from mobile devices is at risk.

How quick do you need to act? Well, the first question you need to ask yourself is, do you currently get significant traffic from mobile devices?

The answer to this can be found by logging into your Google Analytics account and following these steps:

  1. Set a time period of the last 30 days.
  2. Deselect “All Sessions”
  3. Select “Organic Traffic”
  4. In the left hand navigation under Audiences, select Mobile” and “Overview”

You will then be presented with a table something similar to the below


Screenshot from Google Analytics showing traffic by device type

Here you can see how much traffic you get from different devices (desktop, mobile and tablet) along with a number of other important metrics, namely:

  • Bounce rate
  • Average session duration
  • Conversions
  • Conversion rate

It is seen for this account, that mobile sessions are on average shorter, with a higher bounce rate & convert less with a lower frequency. These metrics alone might indicate, that improvements are needed with the existing mobile usability experience.

In this example, mobile organic traffic only accounts for 13.77% of visitor sessions, however for other websites mobile visitors are significantly higher (well over 30%).

So what would the impact be to you as a small business if the tap that is mobile traffic suddenly ran dry? Maybe you are not currently getting much mobile traffic anyway and see an investment in making your website mobile friendly too prohibitive. However when you consider the below, you might change your mind.

  1. In Ireland smartphone penetration stands at 61% (a 50% increase since 2013)
  2. Mobile traffic is rising fast. If you have Google analytics installed, look at your last 3 months of mobile traffic. Now compare it to the same period last year and also to two years ago
  3. It has been predicted that this year, more local searches will be carried out on mobile devices compared to PCs
  4. Google have announced that they will be using Mobile usability as a ranking factor for mobile search results and the impact will be ‘significant’

Anyone with a website that is not mobile friendly really needs to sit up and take notice. Although we don’t know how big an impact Google mean by ‘significant’ it is clear that a mobile friendly website is becoming more and more essential for your business.

If you use webmaster tools and your website is not mobile friendly you may well have received something like the below.


Screen Shot From Webmaster Tools Showing Mobile Usability Issues

If you are not familiar with webmaster tools, you can check your website’s mobile friendliness by going to this page and inputting your URL.  The tool will run a quick diagnostic over your website and identify issues and provide suggestions to help you fix them.

From our own research at SWOT Digital, we see that many businesses have not yet got to grips with mobile friendliness.  Maybe they are unaware or perhaps are adopting a wait-and-see approach before making any major changes.  However we believe now is the time to act.  The clock is certainly ticking.  You’ve no doubt worked hard to achieve your organic traffic and see a portion of it coming under threat should be a cause for concern.

Perhaps consider this an opportunity, to get ahead of your competitors.  If their sites are not mobile friendly and you can get yours to be, you can gain from Google’s update and actually drive more traffic from mobile devices.


Do you have a website that is not mobile friendly and are not sure what to do?  Why not get in contact to discuss your options.

Author: Paulo

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