What Affiliate Marketers Need to Know About Google’s Mobile Algorithm
Google’s April 21st Mobile Algorithm changes have created quite a stir online. Yet, these changes are a good thing and with the ever-increasing popularity of mobile, something we’ll need to be mindful of going forward. After all, over 700 million(!) people currently use mobile devices and as mobile content “consumers” we’re only going to get more sophisticated both as searchers on mobile devices, and, as mobile individuals.
Across every age demographic there are a substantially higher number of multi-platform and mobile-only internet users than ever before. To put this in perspective there are expected to be over 788 million mobile-only users this year! Rakuten Marketing
As mobile devices continue to become a convenient form of accessing digital media, affiliate marketers need to make sure they understand the importance of having a user friendly mobile website. If Google’s goal is to have its first several mobile search result pages bring back mobile-friendly sites (for the sake of exceptional user experience), it only makes sense to take steps to make sure your sites are there.
If your affiliate site is already mobile friendly (i.e., you have a responsive or “m.” site) then you should be just fine. But if you have not yet prepared your site for mobile, you need to attend to this asap…
1) GET Mobile – make sure your website passses Google’s mobile friendly site test…
If your site does not pass, Google lists reasons why and provides tutorials for fixing them. This is particularly important if your analytics show a significant number of your viewers coming from mobile. You do not want to lose your mobile rankings due to being penalized for not passing the mobile test. And you don’t want to experience a drop in your affiliate income as a direct result.
2) GIVE Mobile-ready navigation, content and imagery across multiple mobile devices. Some of the top elements Google now looks for include…
- responsive design
- font size and whitespace
- scannability of content
- button spacing
It’s all about user experience across any type of mobile device viewers are using when visiting different websites. If your site doesn’t look good on mobile devices you’ll more than likely be penalized in mobile search rankings.
From here on out, it would be wise to always be thinking “I need to meet my visitors on mobile (from my website)” and approach search engine optimization strategies with the mindset of the people we reach on any device. There are testing tools available where you can view what your entire site, new page or post looks like across various mobile devices before publishing it.
When referring affiliate products, also be sure to check that your merchant’s sites render properly in mobile too. The last thing you want is to spend a couple of hours writing an epic blog post or web page where you recommend a great solution to your readers only to have them click from mobile, and find a desktop designed web page. When that happens, “click”, they’re gone and so is your potential commission.
If you recommend a great affiliate product and have done well promoting it to date, but for whatever reason the merchant site isn’t mobile friendly, contact them and ask them when it will be. Let them know you’ll be suspending your affiliate promotions until your referred visitors have a user friendly page to visit across multiple devices. Even some large well known brands with vibrant affiliate programs were caught by surprise on the 21st and had to scramble to make their sites mobile friendly. Don’t overlook checking their sites too.
The time you take upfront to make your site mobile friendly and refer your visitors to mobile friendly sites, will be time well spent rewarded by an increase in your affiliate earnings.
Mobile is no longer “the future” of search. It has arrived.
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