October 12

Episode 101 – Why You Need a Mobile Optimized Website for Your Business


Paul: Hello, welcome to this episode of The Marketing Guides for Small Business Podcasts, our hundred first episode. I’m Paul, today joined by our panel marketing experts, Ken, Ian, and Jen.

Today we’re gonna talk about mobile optimization and how it affects your rankings or how it can affect your rankings. And so Jen, I’m gonna start with you. I’m sure a lot of people have heard the term responsive web design, and Google has even stated that they support that. What is it and why is it important?

Jen: If you’re not in the web design area and you don’t know anything about it, you have experienced response of web design. And what that means is the very same website that you open up on your laptop or on your tablet or on your phone, you’ll notice that you still can go to that website, but it might look slightly different and it’s responding to the size of the screen. It’s funny because I guess we’re all around the same age. I was gonna say back in my day, back when the web first started, and then the first available mobile phone came out that you could access the web on, it was a very different experience, right?

You had this tiny little webpage that you were looking at and pinching and scrolling and spreading out on your screen to be able to see it. But these days it just works for the size of the screen. So in technical terms that’s called responsive design. Quite literally, the website is responding to the size of the screen and what it’s doing is changing how the elements show up on the screen to give you all that kind of information.

So if you’ve go onto a website on your laptop where it’s more horizontal, when it comes onto your mobile phone, it might be stacked more vertically. You still get the information. It’s there per screen size. What’s so important about this, at the very heart of it, businesses have websites so that we can convey the products and services that we sell. For e-commerce we’re making a sale off of it. If we’re in a larger ticket item, we’re building trust and providing information on the website. And it’s important that no matter what device somebody comes to look at your website on, that they can get that information and have a good experience based on your website.

So that’s responsive design. It’s virtually in every website. It would be very shocking today to come across a website that doesn’t load very well on your mobile phone. And you’d know it right off the bat for sure. 

Ken: Yeah. Where do you have to pinch and zoom? 

Jen: Yeah. 

Ken: You still find them. 

Jen: You still find them. You do. 

Paul: And actually the precursor to responsive web design was adaptive design. You’ll know that because it’ll say like M dot some domain.com. It’s actually a different website, which is why people move to responsive design because it’s the same website, it’s not a separate website, and it’s using something called the viewport size, which I won’t get into, to decide when to show those different structures and layouts. 

Ken: Yeah. But even then with a dot mobi, a lot of the technologies, those were completely separate websites. So you had to maintain two different ones. And thank goodness we don’t have to do that anymore. 

Paul: Ian. We’ve probably all run into businesses that say my website’s fine on desktop. I don’t need mobile optimization. But they do. So can you talk about that a little bit? Why is it so important or why has it become so important? 

Ian: Let me start by sharing some stats. People spend around five hours a day on their smartphones. 70% of web traffic comes from mobile phones. 80% of top ranked websites are mobile friendly. 61% of users will never return to a website that is not mobile friendly and the stats go on and on. So really the first reason that you have to, as a business have a mobile optimized website, and these statistics grow every year. Being in the business, we’ve seen it dramatically increase, in fact on the Google Analytics side, regardless of what industry you’re in.

We work with business to business companies, we work with business to customer companies, and business to business is always trailing because if you think about it, most business to business, depending on the industry, of course, a lot of business to business people are behind computers when they’re at the office. Even there, we’ve seen a dramatic increase where even business to businesses, it’s 24% mobile traffic for some of them.

Some of them it’s 50 to 60% now. Two years ago, it was much lower. The key thing there is that, you have to present a website that will look fantastic and convey the information and be fast to the people that are looking for it. It’s all about the people. It’s all about the searchers. That’s the people side.

And Jen’s great at explaining this when she talks about how website has to be built for people and for robots, and so I love your terminology with that, Jen. The robot side of, and we’ll use Google as the main example cuz 90% of searches are Google. Google has moved to a mobile first algorithm for most business websites.

So if your business has been hit with this change, which started two to three years ago for a lot of businesses, your website is basically being penalized if it is not mobile optimized. And the reason Google did that is again, that’s what people want. They want that exceptional experience regardless of what device they’re on.

So that’s really important. Google is the main conduit that your website is gonna get visitors to, whether it’s Google Ads, organic. Organic is the biggest conveyor of people to your website, so you really need that. Jen did a great job of this, but just to explain a little bit more about why it’s so important, Google also invented Core Web Vitals, which is really about user experience, and a lot of that is related to mobile user experience. 

So it’s about speed, it’s about the experience of what happens as your page is loading. Those things are really important from a mobile standpoint, and those directly affect your SEO. So it’s not just about the experience of being on the website that’s so important. It’s also about getting people to your website.

So as a business, you’re hindering your success if you don’t do a mobile optimized website. Did I convey enough guys? 

Jen: You did. 

Paul: And so Ken, Ian went into this a little bit. What is mobile-first indexing? And I’ll explain what Ian was talking about with the Core Web Vitals thing. I’ll go into that a little more. They’ve moved to mobile-first indexing, so what does that mean for a business?

Ken: That means that from a search ranking perspective, Google is gonna look at the performance of your website on mobile before it’s gonna look at desktop. Usually the mobile devices and maybe even the bandwidth are frequently a lot less than you might have on a desktop, especially if you have a wired internet connection in your office, for example, or your home.

You don’t have that pipe necessarily as fast on a phone. So the Core Web Vitals really is, it’s all about user experience. Google now consistently, as Ian was talking about almost every industry now, the majority of people who are hitting business websites across the majority of industries is coming from mobile.

If you’ve got a younger audience of people who are coming to your website, they may not even own desktops anymore. Their primary way that they surf the internet is from their phone. So Google recognized that and it embraced this and launched this concept called Core Web Vitals. And it really comes down to three things.

One is how fast does your page load? What is the ease of the interaction? And by there, if you have a lot of script code on your website that slows down the loading and the experience of the user on that site, then that’s gonna degrade your score when you measure it against the Core Web Vitals.

We’ve all seen this before. When you load a website, sometimes you see that stacking and alternating of loading of pictures and stuff like that. So that visual stability aspect, Google says that’s not a great user experience, and I think anybody who’s seen that agrees. It’s like you’re about ready to click on something and all of a sudden it jumps on you. You click on something you didn’t want. How many times does that happen? Just pisses you off. 

Ian: Usually an ad, right? 

Ken: Yeah, It’s always with an ad and for me, I am constantly amazed how many times I go to websites and they’re just inundated with crap on their sites, that load slowly, that does all this stacking.

That’s a horrible experience. Honestly, if I really need to be there, I’ll stay. But if I have another alternative and I found another interesting search result before I decided to click on the one that I did that’s performing like crap, I’m gonna close out that tab or that window as fast as possible and I’m gonna go to the next result.

Google knows. Look it understands people’s behaviors. I’m not alone in this. I’m sure you all do it too, but one thing I do wanna say too is now that we are in a world, and look, there are certain industries, and certain businesses, even within industries that are outside the norm. You may have an insurance agency where the bulk of your clients are maybe 40 and above.

You may have practically no mobile visits to your website. It’s still possible, it still happens. You always have to think about who are my customers? Who are my likely ideal customers and prospects? What devices are they using? And you need to think about that. If you think and your analytics and everything else that you have access to, to look at the performance of your website is telling you that most people are coming via mobile device.

Your website should be designed first with mobile presentation. So it’s not only a performance issue, it’s a user experience issue. If you don’t have a simple, easy to follow and understand website, you’re gonna confuse and you’re gonna lose people right away, especially if they’re hitting on a mobile device, because the problem is compounded when you’re looking at websites on a phone.

So it’s really important to think about how you design your website now, thinking mobile in mind. A lot of customers we talk to, they’re like, I don’t want a big, long scrolling homepage. I just wanna say this. Basically, they want it to look like a PowerPoint slide, and that’s their website. That’s not the user experience today, even from a user interaction perspective.

If you’re on social media, what do you do? You swipe down or you swipe up. You’re very accustomed to and doing that. So having a long scrolling homepage, as long as it’s designed with the Web Core Vitals in place, meaning you’ve got lazy loading of images or videos, meaning that they don’t need to be loaded when the website’s first pulled up.

They only need to be loaded as the user is navigating down toward that content. That’s an aspect of what Google is trying to do with Core Web Vitals. It’s really become a major design decision. Even though we have a great technology with responsive design capabilities, it still doesn’t mean that you should design a website the way you used to design ’em when you were designing specifically for desktop.

Maybe it’s fine, maybe it’s not. You gotta think about who your ideal customers and prospects are and what devices they’re gonna be using. 

Ian: Hey Ken, I just wanna add something cuz something you said there really tweak a point I think that’s important for our listeners and viewers to know. Is that if you use your own Google analytics as your only data to determine whether people are on mobile or desktop, and your current website is not mobile optimized, it will give you false data because Google will be trying to send you mobile users, but when it comes back that they’re bouncing because their mobile experience is horrible, Google will stop sending mobile users to your website and your data will reflect that. So it’s almost like a false positive, right? And it can be misleading. So industry stats are really important to guide people and the industry stats are super clear, right?

You need a mobile optimized website in order to move forward into the future. 

Ken: Yeah, great point. 

Paul: If you do have a business where you have older demographics, they’re probably gonna die at some point and you’re gonna need younger people. 

Jen: Oh, that was so well said. 

Ian: I don’t know if you guys have seen this, but we’ve actually seen a huge rise in especially the last four or five years.

Seniors are not, yes they were trailing initially with smartphones and tablets. They’re the fastest growing demographic because they didn’t have them before. But it’s a huge number now. They’re big into Facebook. They’re big into a lot of the social media because it’s how they connect with their family and friends now.

So, I wouldn’t discount seniors at all as non-tech users. 

Paul: So, we’ve talked about the web vitals, Core Web Vitals. So there’s three main components of that. And Ken, you were talking about with things jumping around. That’s called cumulative layout shift, and that’s where things move around on the screen before it’s fully loaded.

Another one is Largest Contentful Paint. Don’t know where Google came up with that, but it’s the largest, whatever the largest piece of content is. It might be a hero image, it might be a gif. 

Ken: Explain a hero image real quick. 

Paul: That’s that big image across the top of the website. 

Ken: Before you go on to that, people need to realize it’s really easy to upload a picture and put it on a website.

Paul: Yes, too easy. 

Ken: And if you grab it from your camera and you just upload it, it’s gonna be massive more than likely. So you don’t wanna do that ? 

Paul: Yeah. And that’s before we started the podcast Ian was talking about a website he was working on that. What did you say? It was like three megabytes or something like that.

Ian: Yeah, the previous developers had actually uploaded this lovely gif depending on your pronunciation of it. That was a video walkthrough of a tool, a quoting tool on the website, and it was over three meg. And so it was being flagged by Google as slowing down the whole loading process cuz it was at the top of the page too.

Paul: Whatever that largest piece of content is, that’s what Google’s gonna look at for that Largest Contentful Paint of the website. And then there’s something called total blocking time, which is how many scripts because every time, and you probably, you may have heard. Defer loading of JavaScript. Defer loading of scripts, because every time the website has to call a script and the worst ones, and it unfortunately, it’s necessary evil is where it calls the social media. 

You have the Facebook icon on your website and the LinkedIn, and those are all external scripts, so you wanna put those in the footer, not necessarily up in the header, cuz every time the website has to make a request for that, the loading stops. Now it may only be a millisecond, but it adds up. If you have 10, 12, 13 of those, it adds up and you want to keep your total load time under two seconds. And some would even say that’s a little bit too long. 

Ken: Yeah. So Paul, just to be clear, if you put social media icons on your website where you’re just linking to your social media profiles, that’s not a script.

Paul: Correct. 

Ken: So that doesn’t create the loading issue that you talked about with the script. So just I wanna make sure that’s clear. But if you took a plugin that pulled in your Instagram feed and put it onto your website, that’s a script because it’s pulling content from Instagram and plopping it on your website.

That’s the kind of thing that can really slow down the performance. 

Ian: Do you guys find the worst culprits I always come across are actually Google’s own properties. So YouTube and Google Maps? They’re horrible. 

Paul: It’s okay for Google to do it cuz it’s cool . 

Ian: But they don’t ignore it at the Core Web Vitals, right

Paul: No, they don’t. 

Ken: How do you overcome that? 

Paul: You put ’em in the footer for one thing and then you can delay the loading of scripts and then I won’t get into the technical ways to do that, but there are caching plugins which have a really light footprint. They will do that for you, or you can get like a real hosting platform that does a lot of that at the server level.

They may not minify JavaScript or CSS files, but they can do a lot of this caching and deferring at a server level, and then you don’t have to worry about it. 

Ken: So that’s another reason why you don’t want to just buy the cheapest hosting plan. 

Paul: I didn’t wanna get into the technic aspects of that and start boring everybody.

Ian: And I just wanna say I think it’s important to intervene here and just tell our listeners that Paul is showing great restraint because one of his superpowers is understanding.

He gets so deep in this area and he’s so good at it that even in your language, Paul, I have to commend you. You’re staying very restrained and trying to make sure that this is very understandable for the common person. So that’s a public service announcement to all our listeners and viewers. You doing a great job.

Paul: It’s one of those areas that can get very technical. I think it’s important for people to understand it’s important even though they don’t necessarily need to understand the details or the how, but they need to understand why that this is important. To help ’em know the right questions to ask if they’re looking at a marketing agency or a web developer there’s certain questions that you have to ask. 

Jen, so let’s talk about content a little. There are different types of content that help SEO . Is that content different for local SEO than for what we refer to as traditional SEO? 

Jen: Yes. Let me tell a story about a local SEO situation that we had that may lead into my answers a little bit better, but we had a dry cleaner as a client.

There was some pushback of, like why would a dry cleaner need to produce content on their website? What was the big deal? Doesn’t everybody locally know where the dry cleaner is? Why would they wanna produce content about what was going on in the neighborhood? Or how to get coffee stains out of your favorite blouse or whatever it was? It’s much bigger than that because we dug in trying to find some information about neighborhoods and what happens in neighborhoods and how people flow through neighborhoods and what we found out and in this particular neighborhood. This is in Boston, fuzzy stats here, but about 700 people moved out of that neighborhood every year and roughly the same amount moved in. So it was not necessarily growing, but there was movement throughout the neighborhood of people leaving that used to know about the dry cleaner, new people moving in, obviously where’s the grocery store? Where’s the dry cleaner? Where’s the best pizza place? That kind of thing. 

And what we found out is that local search. So people pulling up, where’s the nearest gas station, pizza shop, dry cleaner in my neighborhood? There was a significant amount of search that people would do on their mobile phones about where do I find certain local services.

And so if you’re thinking about having a local business in your own neighborhood or your own region, or your own catchment area, there are people coming in every day that are just brand new to that area that need to know where a store or a service like yours exists. And so that would be just the case for why it’s important a local business to producing local content very seriously because people are searching for local products and services that you sell. So examples of local SEO . I’ve got a list here. Examples of some content that you could have up on your website that count, or that help you get found locally would be any kind of content that is city, neighborhood, region specific. Dry cleaners in Back Bay, Boston, HVAC serving the southwest of Calgary or, whatever region it is. So that kind of content, those kind of words, really specifically talking about what the service or product is that you have to offer and the region or area where you service.

FAQ’s alway work. Any kind of specials. So if you think, if you’re a local business, you have a special on, people probably aren’t flying across the country or driving across the city to get that special, it’ll be local within your catchment area. Any kind of local events that you have that you are putting on or any kind of local events that you’re partnering with, this is really helpful.

If you can become a sponsor of a local event that’s happening in your city or region, that can help you. The last one that I noticed, I hadn’t really thought about this before, but it makes a lot of sense, is a Best of Guide within the region or the local area of you. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to listed on the guide.

You can develop your own guide, but of course it’s all gonna be locally focused local business, and that will help. So local SEO differs from traditional SEO is that it is specific to local area, local neighborhood, local catchment area where you serve as opposed to larger than that. 

Paul: Something to keep in mind when people do use those geo modifiers, as we call them in a search phrase.

Or even if it’s near me, because if it’s on your phone, Google could use a gps. But if they type in plumber Boston or plumber in Boston, that’s gonna trigger a different search algorithm on Google’s end. Because the local search algorithm is different and that’s another reason that’s important.

All that being said, Ian how would we go about optimizing for mobile? How is it different than traditional website optimization? 

Ian: I’ll come at it from two different angles. One, I want to share about drawing off of what Jen has talked about from an SEO standpoint, cuz I think that’s a really great starting point to talk about it and then share some other aspects of it as well.

But from an SEO standpoint, you talked about how it’s a different algorithm, right? We talked about that at the beginning. You just reinforced that now, Paul. It’s important that you actually do keyword research for mobile devices. When we’re doing keyword research, we can reference the desktop algorithm when we’re doing the research, we can reference our mobile algorithm.

We can also focus on a geographic area. So for businesses that’s really important. Whoever you’re working with to develop your website or your SEO plans, they should be providing that kind of information in the keyword research in order to produce and find the gold within the keyword research. Because that will actually then decide what you put on your website as far as content, words, pictures, guides, all of that kind of stuff, because you’ll know what people are searching for.

That’s the beauty of SEO research is that, or keyword research is, it’s handing you here is the lowest hanging fruit for you and the highest volume searches so that you as a business can try to displace the people that are currently ranking on there and get found, because that’s ultimately why you’re building a website anyways. That’s really important to know. 

On the technical side of optimizing, creating, optimizing a website, I think the biggest difference a business needs to know, but also web developers because quite frankly, it’s not always true depending who you hire. Mobile should not be an afterthought depending on how you develop websites it might be in tandem with desktop or it might actually displace desktop to some degree as here’s how we’re going to develop the website and here’s why. And if the data is telling you that mobile searches far outweigh desktop, then you need to absolutely make sure that is your primary development goal and desktop needs to be important on there as well. 

So I think it’s a mindset shift. You need to actually shift your mind because most people when they’re reviewing websites are on their desktop. Even presentations that we do for the client when we walk them through the website, it’s on the desktop.

Just a mindset shift. It’s important also, I wrote down some points here, and one of them that kept coming up when I was thinking through this process was quality control. A lot of quality control is done for the desktop, cuz again, that’s where most businesses are reviewing websites. In fact, when we build websites for clients, we tell them, go to your phone, load up the website before it’s launched, the staging site and walk through it. That’s a real life interaction with the website so you’ll understand how it works, how your clients and prospects will see it. But it seems to be an afterthought and part of that creating and optimizing your website to work well. We’ve covered this I think in enough of this discussion, but you need to absolutely make sure your images are at the right resolution for mobile.

You need to make sure that your videos can be viewed properly. One of the big things I see is spacing. If something is primarily designed for desktop, even if it’s responsive, sometimes designers, developers put a lot of spacing around the edges and then they don’t realize that they have to make sure on the mobile, it doesn’t transfer that spacing over.

I see this all the time when we’re reviewing websites. Maybe you guys too. You end up with text that’s half a sentence wide and you’re scrolling just to read one paragraph. I don’t know if you guys have seen that, but it’s horrible. And that’s even on mobile optimized websites that have not been properly quality controlled.

And the last thing about that is, I think forms and calls to actions because that’s actually your primary purpose is to drive action. Test those on the mobile, see how it works. And then, yeah, just make sure you have this mindset shift that your website has to work really well. Did I forget anything?

Paul: No. I thought that was great. 

Ken: I would just say traditional SEO, whether it’s local or when I say traditional, I don’t mean local versus the traditional or international SEO. The traditional things you used to do for SEO. There’s now a whole brand new task list associated with reviewing and optimizing the performance of your website for mobile that now has become a major factor for SEOs. It’s like probably what, 50 to a hundred percent increase in the scope of SEO work that’s needed on a monthly basis? 

Ian: You’re talking about Core Web Vitals, testing it on those. 

Ken: Yeah going in, finding the pictures that were uploaded because there was a developer who, that we’re all probably guilty of it at times. We just put on a picture, and we didn’t take time to resize it. There are some image compression plugins that can help with that and all that kind of stuff too. But still you wanna go back through your website on a very regular basis and fix the stuff because even what’s not a problem today might be a problem tomorrow because your competitors are gonna change.

And if they’re starting to create lightning fast websites and your website used to be pretty good and pretty solid and maybe it still. But it’s no longer anywhere near in comparison to the performance of other sites of your competitors, you may see a degradation in your search rankings because of stuff like that.

So it’s not anything that you can ignore. It’s certainly not, once you achieve it you’re done. You constantly have to go back and revisit it and I think it’s important for people to realize the scope of what we used to do from an SEO perspective at looking at links and keyword mapping to content. And are we ranking for the right phrases? Are we building blog posts that are targeting? Are we using language that communicates with the customers, as the user experience? All of that is still there but now you have all of these extra things to go in and fix the problems that are showing up with tools that show you what your problems are related to the Core Web Vitals.

Ian: That’s a great point, Ken. The one thing I find too, especially is if it’s a website managed by the agency that manages the SEO, usually you keep it pretty clean, right? Because it’s to your own benefit to get great SEO results. The ones I find really get bloated fast, and you do need to integrate some sort of self auditing process or have your agency audit your website on a quarterly basis at the minimum. Is those websites that are self-managed, where a company is uploading their own blog posts, uploading their own image galleries, because those things can be massive really fast. Something else you said there Ken, reminded me from an SEO standpoint, we haven’t even touched on this, but it’s really important for mobile, is voice search.

You were talking about how SEOs become more complex, and part of that too is voice search because we all use Siri, Google, Alexa, to get answers to questions. You’re driving, you want a coffee shop near you. You say, Google, where’s the closest coffee shop? Pulls it up on your map listings, and you go I want that one.

There’s actually SEO strategies to help you get found on those that need to be done so that your business shows up to answer those questions. And that’s almost a whole other topic, but an important one these days because voice search is growing rapidly. 

Ken: Absolutely, big time. 

Paul: Ken, you had mentioned image compression plugins, algorithm. If you’re starting with a 15 megabyte picture, it can only compress that so much. 

Ken: That’s true. 

Paul: So back to your point of using the correct image size and the correct resolution, because that’s where you get the most benefit from image compression, is if you start with the proper image size and resolution in the first place.

Ken, I’m gonna preface this by saying you have to understand what the data from different tools is telling you, but there are some free tools and resources out there that a local business owner could use. Could you talk about what some of those are? 

Ken: Probably the one that I would start with is GT Metrics.

That’s gonna give you a real good indication of the performance of how fast your pages are loading. Google also has a page load speed tool as well. You can use either one of those two. But I like GT Metrics because it tells you aligned with the Web Core Vitals, the issues that you’re facing, and it gives you website an overall grade based on the performance and the load speeds.

So it’s really my go-to tool for that. You can learn a lot just by looking at your Google search console, I assume has tools it would allow you to see what’s going on there as well. Ian mentioned Google analytics, which is certainly a valuable to help you understand the traffic that you’re getting to your website. But again, like Ian said, it may also be skewed because if your website’s not performing well, then the number of mobile visitors that you normally should be getting, maybe you’re not getting because of those issues. There are probably a whole host of tools that you can find on marketing company websites that will give you a free analysis.

A lot of those tools are solid, but not always accurate. You might stumble across some of those if you’re wanting to look at paid tools I think you look at tools like MAZ and Semrush and Ahrefs and things like. But you have to have probably more technical understanding to work with the results of what those tools are telling you.

So there are a lot of different tools. The reality is, and there are website tools that are out there that I don’t personally recommend. They’re all in one, build your own website, have it hosted, that kind of stuff. They have things that try to address common mistakes that a novice user’s gonna make, like uploading the 15 megabyte picture and things like that.

But if you’re really serious about it, you probably need to have some technical review from time to time. Maybe not all the time, maybe not an ongoing thing. It’s always gonna depend on how big your business is, what your budget is. Some of this stuff, there are plug facilities that pull in content from other sources onto your website.

You’ve got tracking codes, on and on before you know it. Then you upload a bunch of pictures to your website without any thought about using 300 DPI images. First of all, that makes no sense on the web because the web can’t interpret that, so you’re just needlessly adding bulk to your website.

What novice person is gonna know that, right? So we need these tools to tell you what the problems are, but I still suspect that many times you’re gonna have to hire an expert to fix these things. 

Paul: One thing I would say it’s, it has a little less to do with mobile optimization, but you’re, Google business profile. There’s this thing in there called insights that can give you some really good information, not necessarily from an optimization score, but it can help you see how you’re performing on Google Maps. And if you suck, then you should probably find out why, what’s going on. 

Ken: So Paul, having said that, I’m glad you brought that up because one of the things that popped into my mind while we were talking earlier, I can’t remember what made me think of it, but for many businesses showing up on the Google Maps and the three pack is the Holy Grail, right? That’s like a prime property. What impact does the mobile optimization of your website have in terms of helping you show up on the Google Map results, if any? 

Paul: Pretty much everything, because you’re showing up that three pack that’s the local search algorithm, it’s pulled from maps. Google will penalize you if your performance is poor on mobile and if it’s bad enough, it can actually, like Ian said earlier, they will actually stop showing up for searches on mobile devices. Which is where a lot of that comes from. If someone’s doing a search on a mobile device, Google’s going to use that GTS to see where they are and show the closest results.

I’m not saying that can’t show up in that three pack without mobile optimization, but if your competitors are mobile optimized and you’re not, you’re probably not gonna show up. Does that make sense? All this being said, should we care about desktop optimization? Does it matter? 

Jen: Yes, it does because, okay personally, I don’t have any stats on this, this second, but insurance documents, long white papers, serious articles I need to read and think about. That’s the kind of thing that I wanna be looking at on the desktop or on the laptop, or if I’m doing some research work in order to, right now, I have two screens set up and it just helps me organize my work.

So for certain content, for certain pieces of work, I think it’s really important that the desktop still performs as well. 

Ian: I would agree with that, Jen. From my perspective, I was sharing kind of the stats of my existing clients from Google analytics, how the breakdown is on their mobile optimized website and why it’s so important.

But the reverse, I was using it as a support for mobile optimization, but it’s equally true on the inverse that for some of those clients, say 10% of their visitors come from desktop, say 20%, say 30, say 40, say 50, say 60. What business in their right mind would just say, I don’t care about those. I don’t care about 10% of the people coming to my website, I don’t need them. 

No business in their right mind would stop 10% of people coming through their door to buy a product or a service. That’s essentially what you’re doing. If you were to ignore desktop users or on the inverse, ignore mobile user. I think it’s part of a holistic approach to marketing that you need to attract the qualified people that are  searching for your product or service on whatever device they’re on.

It doesn’t really matter except to know that you need to be there and show up properly. 

Paul: Desktops aren’t going away. I was reading an article a while back. Consumer behavior that a lot of people, they will do their initial searches on mobile, but then they’ll go to their desktop and actually purchase the product. So just from that standpoint alone it matters.

Jen: I do that. 

Ian: I can say I’m actually reversed in some ways in that when I’m doing heavy research, whether it’s for hotels, products, whatever it is, I love doing it on my desktop because I can have tabs open. What were the specs of that one? Or what were the reviews of that hotel?

I actually find it easier. Even Amazon, I do that where I’m comparing products I’m looking at, and then, yeah, sometimes I’m on my phone, but a lot of times I’m on my desktop. I don’t know if I’m abnormal that way, but that’s how I research. 

Jen: That’s very interesting because, and also too for purchasing, if it’s a small repeat purchase, I feel comfortable on mobile.

But if it’s a larger purchase or involves some more thinking, I just feel like I have to be sitting down at my desk. 

Ian: It’s your serious spot.

Jen: At a purchase. Yeah. I don’t know why. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. It’s just a better feeling of I’m just looking at my two screens right now. I have the information. I’m gonna make a wise decision. Here’s my credit card. Where you go. 

Ian: Just another point to this whole question about desktop, ignoring desktop. We talked a little bit about the difference between business to consumer and business to business and how for a lot of business to business businesses mobile is very important, but it’s still trending up at a greater degree.

The number of mobile users for a lot of business to business businesses is smaller than if you were to look at business to consumer, because most businesses, if it’s an office job, you’re in front of a desktop. But then if you’re a landscaper and you need to rent equipment, you’re on mobile, right? So it totally depends on your industry.

But yeah, I thought I’d share that. 

Jen: Good insight. 

Paul: Seems like a pretty good place to wrap up. Thanks everyone for listening, and we will talk to you next week. 


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