April 21st – The Google Countdown Starts Now!
What happens on April 21st you ask?
This is the date when non-optimised sites are no longer going to be shown in Google search results from mobiles. Any site that is not optimised will be effectively blacklisted from Google mobile searches. This will be a quick and severe blow to sites that are not mobile optimized. Google announced this on their blog and many other sites have picked up on just how important this is going to be for not only the travel industry, but the entire process of using search engines. It is one of the most measurable changes to be implemented in years. The effects will be real and they will be quick to affect your site.
With roughly half of all Google searches now coming from mobile initial searches that result in bookings may first be done on mobiles and the actual booking done on a desktop or laptop at a later time. Taking the chance on not appearing in over 50% of all searches is not worth the risk. Even if the majority of your bookings come from desktop computers as opposed to mobiles or tablets, this is still a major cause for concern. With such a high frequency of searches coming from mobile, at least some of your customers will have had initial content with your site from a mobile search. As of April the 21st, these guests will not be able to find your site. They will be seeing sites that are optimized for mobile and, they will not know the difference, they will only notice the sites in their search results.
Property managers need to get their sites ready for this change. Mobile searches will often be used for initial research perhaps more than final bookings. But, these initial searches can be very profitable for vacation rental companies. It is a way for customers to encounter their sites outside of just the major portals, leading to repeat custom from satisfied guests that want to use their business again.
You can test your page here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
Did you pass? If not then you have less than a month to make the required changes to your site. And that’s all there is. One date, a deadline to get your site ready or suffer an overnight hit in your site traffic. Making your site mobile responsive can be a time-consuming process so if your site is not passing the test, you will need to get the process started as soon as possible. Kigo websites come optimized for mobile and are responsive on every type of device.
If you have been considering making your site mobile responsive but were not sure, then this is the time to take the plunge. There has never been a more important time to make this change to your business. This is the only takeaway. Property managers need to check their site is mobile responsive and make any changes as soon as possible. Travel searches are becoming increasingly mobile-centric, this is going to have a major effect on how vacation rental websites are found by potential guests.