While the Mobile First index from Google may be filling you with fear, this is actually a great opportunity for affiliates. Leveraging that mobile traffic and bringing in new users will ensure your sites are gaining the traction in new niche area’s to support your customer acquisition growth.
Mobile traffic now overtakes desktop traffic in Google
Google have made it clear that their intention is to create a search engine that is indicative of their users’ habits. As mobile search has now overtaken desktop search volume, they have made a new index that crawls mobile sites first. Those affiliates that have a functional mobile optimised website will then receive a boost, which will be reflected in the algorithm.
This is a massive shake up for the search engine and with big changes like these, there’s an opportunity for affiliates to use this to their advantage and come out on top. Right now, your top competitors may be sitting pretty at the top of the rankings, but without a mobile responsive site, they won’t be in that position for long. This doesn’t mean that you should entirely neglect your desktop site, but focus on a design that works well for both sets of users.
In the early 2000s, the desktop version of a site was king and the mobile version was something of an afterthought. This is no longer the case for the new index, as your mobile version has to be as good, if not better than your desktop version.
Pulling in mobile traffic
Prepping your site for this mobile traffic will allow you to take advantage of the big changes to come. This is going to be a roll out, which will be tested on groups of sites and users before it will be accessed by everyone.
Monitor your SERPs closely during this time, either with Search Console or a third party tool. Then, you can begin to assess trends and take advantage of your competitors paying less attention.
Audit your site and make sure that it’s fast enough to impress these users. If you have a lot of banners on your site, then you have to understand what kind of strain these external requests can put on your site. Consider hosting internally and compressing images to give a lightweight mobile version of your site.
Annoying elements like pop ups and hard to press buttons won’t get this mobile traffic to your site. Google is more than smart enough to figure out if what you’re doing is helpful or a hindrance to your user. They’ve been lambasting these practices for a long time and if you’re not taking heed of this then you’ll end up dropping down the rankings again.
Effectively using this traffic
It’s not going to be enough to just bring in more mobile users to your affiliate site to make your earnings grow. You need to be using your site effectively to convert these customers once they get there. Think about your site navigation and design, there is nothing more irritating than getting to a page, and not being able to find your way back to where you started or worse, where you actually want to be.
Creating tailored content and mobile CTAs will allow these users to convert with your operator brands – think about what brands you put in mobile positions and what the user experience is after they leave your lovely site to engage with an operator platform. UX still applies when you’re considering your mobile users, as if you don’t create a nice experience, they’re not going to convert and your efforts in attracting them in the first place would have been lost.
Split testing is a great way to find out what your mobile users are looking for. Creating different landing pages might seem like a hassle but when you realise it can boost your conversion rate a significant percent, it’s worth the effort. There are tools like Unbounce that will help you to split test and track your success.
As you direct this traffic to partner operators, you want to make sure that they give your mobile users a good experience too. If they don’t have a responsive design then this could mean you have to send them to a separate site or app, so bear this in mind. If your traffic makes it to the site and it’s not optimised, they’re not likely to convert and make the deposit that earns you commission.
This big shake up around mobile first indexing – is yours to make the most of! If you fail to take advantage of this, then you’ll be missing out on a major step up, which your competition may use instead. Don’t disregard this mobile traffic or you’re passing up millions of potential users.