Mobilegeddon is coming…Is your site ready?

The headlines came fast and furious on the heels of Google’s unprecedented declaration that beginning April 21, 2015, the mobile status of a website will count as a ranking factor. Numerous Internet marketing companies capitalized on the hype, urging customers to convert their sites now or risk being relegated to the Google abyss.

Many braced for a tsunami, but what they got was really just some light rain.

The rollout is complete and ranking changes have been limited, at best.

So why did Google push so hard to get website owners to go mobile? More than 80% of mobile devices use apps such as Shazam, Trivia Crack, Candy Crush, and the like when online, according to PEW research. In other words, mobile users are not spending their time on websites. This hits Google where it counts—their wallet. Search engines make money selling advertising, which means they need us to use our devices to find websites, not play with apps. The only way to exact this type of sea change is to set the stage for a mobilegeddon.

Mobilegeddon was a flop, but mobile-friendliness still matters. There is no question that it’s important for a site to be responsive or mobile-friendly. Just as Google is trying to capture more users on their smartphones, plastic surgery practices should aim for the same. Your prospective patients are searching on their phones during stolen downtime, and if your site isn’t up to mobile snuff, they will look to your competitors.

Think about how irksome it is when you hit on a site that is not mobile friendly. The text is too small, the links are not exactly thumb-friendly, and you have to scroll sideways to see all the content.

Mobileggeddon may have come and gone, but you can still get in the game. Here’s how:

Step 1) Find Out Where Your Site Stands

Check if your site is mobile-friendly via Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, or check the status of your entire site through Google’s Mobile Usability Report in Webmaster Tools.

 Step 2) Give Your Site a Mobile-Friendly Lift

If your site isn’t mobile-friendly yet, don’t panic. If you have the budget, get your site converted. it will be helpful. But remember content still counts… a lot. Many non-mobile websites of plastic surgeons continue to rank above those that are mobile-friendly for highly competitive search terms, like “breast augmentation + market.” This tells us that mobile-friendliness is just one factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. Google must deliver the best resources online in response to search queries, or searchers will lose faith.

Step 3) Fast-track the Indexing Process

Once you have completed your mobile conversion, expedite the indexing process by using Fetch to request a recrawl. Your pages will be recognized as mobile-friendly in a matter of days, and any ranking benefit can be obtained as quickly as possible.

David Evans, PhD, MBA, is the CEO of Ceatus Media Group, based in San Diego. His column, “The Edge,” appears in every issue of Plastic Surgery Practice. He can be reached via [email protected].