How Financial Advisors Can Survive Google’s Mobilegeddon

It’s being called “Mobilegeddon” and is creating a tremendous buzz by forcing businesses, including financial advisors, to change the way they look at their websites. More specifically, on April 21 Google will be expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in mobile search results. According to Google, this change “will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”

Considering how much time mobile audiences spend online, the impact of “Mobilegeddon” could be significant. eMarketer predicts that mobile search (which includes smartphone and tablet traffic) will surpass desktop search in 2015. According to comScore, mobile usage as a whole accounts for 60% of time spent online, while desktop-based digital media consumption makes up the remaining 40%.

However, many of the leading independent financial advisors are behind the curve when it comes addressing the mobile-friendly recommendations from Google. In fact only one of the top ten in Barron’s list of leading independent financial advisors has a mobile-friendly website.

What that means for these firms is a significant portion of their search related traffic could quickly disappear to their mobile-ready competitors beginning on April 21. Many of my clients who are financial advisors typically receive between 15-30% of their new visitors from mobile search. Obviously, losing that type of traffic could have a major negative impact on traffic, leads and new business.

So what exactly does “mobile friendly” mean? According to Google, when reading from your mobile device, if the text is too small to read or the links are too close together without zooming, your website is probably not mobile friendly. In fact, most mobile-friendly websites are already branded as such with a gray “mobile-friendly” label in their description snippet on Google when using a mobile device. If you don’t see the words “mobile-friendly” next to your website on Google, it’s time to take action before you lose traffic.

If your website is mobile friendly, congratulations, you could expect to see a nice jump in search traffic in the coming weeks. The next few months could be a great opportunity for you to attract a larger audience and convert significantly more new business.

However, if your website does not pass the Google mobile-friendly test, here are some options. Most mobile-friendly websites are constructed within three main categories, each of which provides a different experience for mobile users:

Responsive Design – all of the website copy, code and images remain the same, but is changed responsively based on browser width.

Dynamic Serving – the web server dynamically provides different web page versions based on what type of device is requesting the page.

Separate Mobile Site – a separate version of your website, usually hosted on a subdomain (e.g.

Google has recommended the use of responsive web design for a number of years, so this is probably the best route if you’re serious about providing your users with a great mobile and desktop experience. It’s also typically a more manageable experience since you only create one version of each web page.

Many of my financial advisor clients use the WordPress content management system. It’s free, flexible and offers lots of different mobile responsive “themes” that can be easily edited and look great on any mobile device.

Take The Next Step - How to Manage Mobilegeddon

  1. Find out if your website is mobile-friendly, take Google’s Mobile-Friendly test.
  2. If you have a website that uses third-party software (or if you want to create a new site), learn how you can customize your website and make it mobile-friendly.
  3. Did you build your website in-house? Learn how to configure your site for multiple devices.
  4. Did an outside developer build your website? Learn how to ensure a good outcome when working with a developer to build your mobile-friendly site.

Still Have Questions?

If you’re still unsure about what to do next, or you would like a professional review of your current website, contact us online or by phone at 708-586-9754. We’ll personally review your site for any issues regarding mobile usability and provide recommendations.



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