The time has come once again — Google has changed its algorithm. As the most powerful and widely-used search engine in the world, it’s not surprising that businesses across all industries scramble when they hear this news. They need to make sure that their websites will still maintain their search engine results rankings and that they remain relevant despite the new algorithm. The B&B industry is no exception.
Here’s what you need to know:
More people are using mobile devices rather than desktop devices
The data cannot be denied — mobile is leading the way, and that isn’t going to change any time soon. In fact, about 59% of website users are using a mobile device, and 51% of page views are generated from a mobile device. People are ditching their desktop devices in favour of handheld mobile devices that are increasingly powerful and useful.
Google is now indexing mobile pages for its search engine results
The mobile-first algorithm prioritises mobile page indexes over desktop page indexes. This is a first for Google, which since its inception has always scrolled the desktop page indexes first. However, the increasing reliance on mobile devices has led Google to make mobile its new priority. Now, the content of your B&B’s mobile website will determine whether you grab one of those coveted top spots on the results page.
You need a responsive website design – now!
B&B operators have slowly but surely been moving over to responsive website designs — which is an innovative website design that automatically adapts to the screen the user is utilising at the time. Now, with this new algorithm, it’s more important than ever that B&B operators have a responsive website design in place.
Your metadata should be identical on your mobile and desktop pages
Metatags have long been used in SEO to help the search engines identify the topics that are included within that specific page. Previously, website content curators may have used separate metadata for mobile and desktop pages. Now, in order to stay relevant and to keep up with the mobile-first algorithm, it’s important that metadata on mobile sites is identical to its corresponding desktop page.
You should verify your site speeds
The reality is, mobile users are often dealing with slower data than desktop users who are typically connected to high-speed Internet. If your mobile page has large content that slows down your site speeds, Google will penalise your B&B website on the search engine results page. Your site should be quick and efficient.
While Google frequently updates its algorithm, this change is more significant. This is the first time that Google is using mobile websites as a primary factor in determining your search engine results page ranking.