Mobile Readiness for Real Estate: Google’s New Update
Brace yourselves. Mobilegeddon is coming. Okay, maybe “mobilegeddon” is a little dramatic, but the search engine world is all atwitter after Google’s latest announcement. Last month, Google announced that as of April 21st, it will incorporate mobile-friendliness into its search algorithm’s many ranking factors. In their words:
“…we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”
So how do you know if your website is mobile-friendly? You can test your website here to find out. You can also check out the Google Webmaster Tools usability report to discover potential issues with your mobile site (ex. the use of Flash, improperly sized content, and poorly spaced touch elements). Google’s announcement isn’t surprising. According to recent studies, over 50% of search engine queries are conducted on mobile devices. In 2014, over 58% of American adults owned a smartphone, and that number is growing by the day. In our own data, we’ve seen mobile traffic double across our websites from 2013 to 2015. Union Street Media has incorporated mobile-friendly strategies into its websites for a long time. Our websites have a defined viewing area that fits easily to the mobile device’s screen with no necessary zooming. Our fonts are easy to read on a small screen, and our touch elements are effectively spaced from other touch elements. While it may be obvious that smartphone use is ideal for on-the-go people, this is especially true in the real estate industry. For agents and their clients alike, mobile sites need to have specific, clearly presented options to me the visitor’s needs. Whether homebuyers spot a “For Sale” sign on their way to the store or if they want to contact a local agent who serves their desired town, it’s vital that our mobile sites cater to these needs. When we look at mobile and desktop conversion data on our sites, it’s clear what buyers and sellers need: click to call buttons, contact us buttons, listing detail page forms, and the ability to share listings online. In today’s competitive real estate world, mobile-friendliness is not just a suggestion; it’s a necessity. If your website isn’t mobile-ready by April 21st, your mobile traffic will likely take a significant hit as your rank drops in the search engines. This drop in rank means that you will likely lose out on valuable buyer and seller leads. Curious about how your mobile website stacks up in the market? Feel free to ask us for a free evaluation.