Google recently announced their implementation of mobile-first indexing. For websites that aren’t optimized for mobile, this could be devastating news. However, if your B2B eCommerce site is built using OroCommerce, you don’t need to worry about it as OroCommerce conforms to Google’s mobile-first responsive web design requirements. But still, we think it’s important to discuss these changes and provide some food for thought around the continuing importance of mobile connectivity.
Why Did Google Make this Change?
Google is committed to providing its users the digital experience they want. B2B eCommerce will be well served to follow Google’s lead. Google knows that people are spending more time on their mobile devices and research backs this up.
- 48% of buyers start their search on a smartphone
- Users spend an average of 69% of their time on mobile devices
- Android was the world’s most used operating system in 2017
- 60% of global mobile consumers use their mobile device as their internet source
Google is clearly investing and looking to optimize their mobile experience. So, instead of crawling, indexing, and ranking based on the desktop version of a website, they will now use the mobile version first for indexing, ranking and displaying search results on mobile devices. If your site does not have a mobile version, it will still be crawled and ranked in traditional desktop search. But as you can see from the usage stats above, not ranking in mobile search could lose you substantial traffic from the evergrowing mobile users.
What You Need to Know
Google’s move to mobile-first indexing confirms that mobile is changing the way we interact with digital media. With mobile-first indexing, the Googlebot will crawl and index your mobile pages with its smartphone agent. Google’s best practices for mobile first indexing depend on the type of website you have. Websites that use separate URLs for desktop and mobile sites or utilize dynamic serving must carefully audit their sites and make the necessary changes. Fortunately, websites built on the OroCommerce platform automatically incorporate a mobile-responsive design, so you don’t need to worry about this change.
Just keep an eye on your Search Console for Google’s notice. Once the notice is received, you may see more traffic from the Smartphone Googlebot in your logs and snippets from your mobile site will begin to appear in Google’s search results.
Are You Maximizing the Power of Mobile?
So far in 2018, 52.2% of the world’s website traffic was generated through mobile phones and that rate is continuing to rise. So what can your business do to optimize the mobile experience? Once Google’s smartphone agent crawls your site, the mobile version of your site might be given preference in rankings. Make sure that when mobile visitors get to your website they receive the user experience they expect. Don’t forget about the bigger picture, you need to care about your mobile strategy not for Google’s sake, but for the sake of your customers and your business. While B2B buyers may not complete their purchase on a mobile device during their first visit, they will likely access your site with smartphones or tablets to perform product research and form impressions about your business. Quick-loading sites are more likely to keep the attention of mobile visitors and make them want to come back. You can find more information about mobile optimization in our recent guide Growing B2B eCommerce Website Traffic and Revenue.
But the mobile version of your site isn’t just for customers and visitors. It’s a tool for sales reps too. Your sales reps in the field are more powerful when armed with mobile access to your eCommerce site and other business applications like CRM.
Maximize the power of mobile and use your site as a tool that supports both your sales force and your customers.
Google hasn’t been shy about its bias towards mobile friendliness. As early as 2015, Google announced the increasing importance of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. As Google’s ranking algorithms have adapted to support more mobile users, savvy eCommerce companies have been adapting as well.
Even if you don’t care about your company’s search rankings (as if that‘s even possible), Google has profound knowledge and data about web users. Google knows that people are using mobile more than ever which means mobile performance and the mobile user experience are critical to every company’s long-term survival and profitability. Companies that ignore mobile do so at their own peril. If you haven’t made the move to a mobile-friendly platform, the time is now.
OroCommerce offers a mobile-friendly eCommerce platform that provides a B2C-like experience for your B2B buyers. Contact us to get a personal demo.