Be mobile friendly or perish!

mobile_first

Every organization – be it micro, small, or large thinks about mobile as a strategic pillar these days. Irrespective of the industry, and use-case; mobile has become the new talking-point. Whether you talk to a business owner, marketer, publisher or HR partner – considering mobile-friendliness is a key objective in their portfolio

Mobile First – from user experience perspective

Irrespective of the application you are developing, it has become an imperative to consider mobile-friendliness as a requirement; in-fact mobile has become the first priority in many sectors, overtaking the traditional desktop based applications. Availability of smart-phones in various price ranges and associated technology back-up has been the driving factor for this thinking philosophy. By mobile first, everything is taken into consideration – be it the basic website offering, the application under use or Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work philosophy

Mobile First – from marketing perspective

By far the most important impact when it comes to mobile first strategy is marketing. Lead by the search engine behemoths, this is also evident in user behaviours. More and more users are stitched to mobile devices for both purchase research and final purchases. Increased social media interaction has also been driven by technologically advanced mobile phones and associated technology. Many niche players have popped up catering to brands in improving mobile engagement. Similarly many players exist opening up offering from advertising opportunities to analytics to business models.

Impact of mobile friendliness for businesses

If you are an ardent follower of search marketing domain; am sure you would have come across various industry terms coined for search engine algorithm updates. For a quick glance over the various updates and algorithm components of search engines, have a look at this presentation

The recent industry discussion topic around this is how friendly is your website for mobile users; and how search engines are giving importance to your efforts. It all started in 2015 with the update from Google to its search engine algorithms called Mobilegeddon. This was the first formal step by the search engine to consider mobile friendliness in search ranking factors. Inclusion of factors involved in mobile friendliness to show the search results of normal websites was also part of this update.

Contrary to usual requirements, mobile friendliness is captured on a page by page basis. So one will not be penalized at a website level if some of web pages are not mobile-friendly. It’s just that only mobile-friendly web pages have better chance of showing up with a better search rank compared to non-mobile friendly pages. Also it has affect only on mobile search; not the usual desktop based searches.

Interlinking Mobile Apps and Web properties

A key strategic change when it comes to products and offerings (especially in the case of aggregators) is interlinking app content with web content. The industry term called deep linking, involves linking to specific content within an app, rather than to the homepage. With the release of search engine algorithm updates like app indexing, app content will be shown in mobile search results. This helps a two way traffic generation opportunity for organizations.

Increased mobile usage and speed of access

Though we are in fourth generation of mobile networks, the speed of networks is often dismal. Moreover, in many countries prevalent mobile usage is still in second generation. At the same time, mobile devices are getting sophisticated day by day. In order to tackle this and improve the speed of internet access in mobile devices, key industry players including Google have come up with projects like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to make browsing in mobile devices faster.

AMP has gained traction with its increasing number of supporters (like comScore, Analytics vendors, AdTech vendors and so on). The basic problem this project tries to address is a loss of a visitor because of slow page loads. This is a lose-lose situation for all — the visitor is not able to read what she wants, publisher is losing a potential reader or a customer, advertising revenues; advertisers in the page loose secondary traffic. Google claims that AMP relies on a new open framework built using existing web technologies, enabling publishers to build light-weight webpages.

All these aspects make mobile the first and key component when it comes to strategy…

About Vijay Sankar 42 Articles
A techie turned business professional; presently living in Cochin, India. For bread and butter, exploring the domain of marketing attribution. I hold an Electrical Engineering degree from College of Engineering, Trivandrum and Executive MBA (PGPEM) from Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

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