“Design is more important than technology in most consumer applications.” –Dave McClure
Statistics released by Google in 2015 showed that more searches take place via a mobile device than a desktop or laptop computer. Google further elaborated by saying that mobile queries include both browser-based searches as well as those coming from mobile search apps.
These statistics prompted Google to work on a mobile-first ranking algorithm which at this point (September 2017) has not been rolled out. Gary Illyes, in his presentation at SMX Advanced, noted that the earliest webmasters could expect the mobile-first algorithm is early 2018.
It is also worth noting that Google does not include tablets in its definition of a mobile device. Therefore, only a smartphone is considered a mobile device.
What is the mobile-first algorithm?
Before we look at the importance of employing a mobile UI design services company, let’s look at what the mobile-first algorithm means to the eCommerce website owner.
The Google mobile-first index is similar to their standard web page index, except that web page content is ranked based on the mobile version of the content.
Before the mobile-first index, Google treated a desktop or laptop web pages as the primary site. Mobile pages were dealt with as necessary, but not as important as the desktop pages.
With the new mobile-first ranking index, Google has made it clear that they are prioritising the mobile versions of each website as the primary site. The desktop version of the site is not as important as the mobile site.
The definition of a mobile-friendly website
Google defines a mobile-friendly website as one that displays correctly on a mobile device.
Ergo, does the screen load with all the content fitting correctly on the screen?
Can you read the page content clearly without having to move parts of the page around?
And, is it possible to interact with any buttons, type in text, and select available options from drop-down boxes, etc.?
The impact of the mobile-first algorithm on the eCommerce site owner
It is important to realise that the mobile-first algorithm will not necessarily have an impact on your website’s search engine results page (SERP) ranking. Your site will not be rewarded or penalised based on how mobile-friendly your site is.
However, the biggest change will come in the way that visitors to your website view your site. For this article, let’s assume that you have two different versions of your eCommerce site, a mobile and a desktop site, and the mobile version has significantly less content than the desktop version.
Because Google’s mobile-first algorithm will regard your mobile site as the primary site, the visitors to your site will end up with a negative impression of your brand and site. This fact can (and will) have a major effect on your customer conversion rate, your sales figures, and ultimately, your bottom line.
Therefore, in conclusion, it is well worth making an effort to design and implement a mobile-friendly website from the outset. Therefore, contact Polished Pixels right now. They will ensure that your eCommerce site is ready for the mobile-first algorithm role out.