I recently attended a conference held by Google and the speakers there were very hot on one subject.
That subject was Mobile.
Not just mobile.
But Fast mobile.
Because here's the reality of what statistics are showing.
According to Bright Edge research, nearly 60% of online traffic now takes place on mobile devices.
Which has created two huge issues.
How responsive is your website to different devices
One, Google researchers have found many websites are not doing a good job converting to mobile.
They are ringing the warning bells to let people know the importance of mobile.
Sure, it's a challenge. A site has adapt not just for iPhones but Android phones as well. And not just for cell phones but tablets as well.
That means the text needs to adjust correctly. Photos too. The site must be easy to navigate, which is not easy to do on a 4-inch screen.
To make people aware of this situation, Google has provided a tool where you can check the mobile-readiness of your website.
Now the focus is on mobile speed
Many people aware of this and have made the transition to mobile-ready.
But what Google is concerned about now is that many of these mobile-ready sites seem to be dragging their feet when loading. Some major advertisers have complained about the low response rates they are generating on mobile.
But Google has pointed out that on average, many of those websites are taking upwards to 15 seconds to load.
Google doesn't like that. Nobody does. They know, mobile users are not going to stick around for long if a website on their phone takes too long to appear.
So they created another tool that lets you check how well your mobile site performs for speed (and the desktop site too).
Google (and Bing right along with them) are obsessed with user experiences. Rightly so.
Therefore, they are letting everybody know they will reward those websites that load quickly. The way they reward them is with higher rankings for keyword searches.
A broker or agent might have the fanciest real estate website on the planet with a cool design and eye-catching photographs.
But if it takes too long to load when someone searches for homes in that area, that website is going to be relegated to Search Siberia somewhere on page 7, 8 or beyond.
Be sure your webmaster is paying attention to this paradigm shift in search. Google says they are talking to major websites out there about getting their mobile act together. In fact, they created a program called Accelerated Mobile Pages to help sites load faster.
Consider mobile-ready WordPress Real Estate Themes
One possibility is to consider switching to WordPress Real Estate Themes for your website. WordPress is one of the most popular in the world for content management.
Developers at WordPress' parent company, Automattic, constantly update their code to keep up with these mobile demands.
Some companies don't have to worry about mobile as much.
But everybody in real estate knows that when people are hot on the trail of finding a home, they will check their smartphones constantly throughout the day.
Google is putting their foot down. They have even created a whole new separate set of algorithms to measure and rank mobile websites. Just because your website ranks well on your desktop does not mean it will rank the same way on mobile.
At this conference, Google speakers emphasized we are entering the "Mobile-First" age. (By the way, Samsung has just introduced a "foldable" cell phone that opens up to a bigger screen. It might soon be time to say goodbye to the laptop).
Their message is clear - get mobile-ready, get fast and you will get the higher rankings and the phone calls.
Note:If you are interested in learning more about responsive mobile websites or how to increase loading times, contact a real estate technology company such as Home Junction.