Google has recently announced some major changes to the way websites are listed in their search results. Starting April 21st, mobile-friendly websites will be ranked higher in their search results than non-mobile websites.
Let’s examine the impact this change will have on the average real estate investor:
Ranking high in online search results directly affects the amount of traffic your website will receive. For example, a recent online study shows that the first website listed on a search results page will receive 42% of all click-through traffic. The second website in the list receives much less attention with only 12% of traffic visiting the site. After the fourth website listing, each link gets fewer than 5% of website traffic.
Make no mistake, business owners want to be number one in online search results—the study and practice of which is commonly referred to as SEO (search engine optimization).
Google’s upcoming changes will affect the current formula used to rank websites. The old formula matched keywords from the website to what a user was searching to bring them relevant websites in the search results along with other determining factors, such as multimedia content and links to other popular websites. The new formula for ranking websites starting April 21st will still use those factors but also adds in a new variable: mobile friendliness.
This changes comes from the transition in online activity from desktops to mobile devices. In November 2014, more than half of Google’s online traffic came from mobile devices rather than desktop devices, and the online trends show no signs of change.
So what can you do to make sure you’re ranking at the top?
Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly should be top priority with this incoming change to website listings. Google has made this easy to do with several guides on updating your website to work on mobile devices. Google has also provided a mobile-friendly test so you can examine your current website and see how Google would rate it.
There are a few different ways to make your website mobile-friendly, but Google recommends responsive web design as the best practice. This means your website will detect the type of device accessing it and change itself based on whether it’s a mobile or desktop device.
Another option is to have two entirely different websites: one for mobile devices and one for desktop devices. While this will guarantee you’re prepared for all kinds of visitors, it has a few drawbacks. For example, any change you make to your website will have to be done twice—once on the mobile site and once on the desktop version.
Luckily for real estate investors, Ron has you covered.
The buyer/seller websites we build as part of the Gold Elite and Gold Elite VA membership packages are responsive websites, meaning they adapt to being mobile-friendly or desktop-friendly based on the device accessing them.
For an example, visit our sample website AnyTownRentToOwn.com on your desktop, then visit it on your phone. See the difference?
Our websites are set up within 10 business days of your order, so we can get you online and mobile-ready by the time these changes come around if you’re not already prepared. For more information contact our VIP Services department at 888-840-8389.