A Responsive Website Helps Aviation Marketers Reach Vy.
Why is Google’s mandate for responsive websites design a concern for aviation companies?
Aviation companies are subject to lots of external forces — weather, traffic, regulations, fuel price increases, pilot shortages, labor disputes etc. Now, they have another issue to deal with – Google. The problem is Google has the power to hurt your aviation business by stifling your online visibility to your target audience. Less visibility means less awareness and less awareness – well, you get the idea.
Google announced that they were giving all their advertising clients until April 21 of this year to make their websites and other digital marketing platforms “responsive websites.”
What is a responsive website? They are websites designed to look great no matter what device you view them on, from older CRT monitors to the new widescreen LEDs, including iPads, iPhones and Android tablets and smartphones. Responsive websites will look good on large desktop computer screens. When viewed on cell-phone-sized screens – they will adapt to provide a good user experience. Non-responsive websites either require a lot of scrolling, or they shrink so much they become illegible.
What happens if you’re “unresponsive” to Google’s new regulations?
Google will begin to penalize their clients whose websites are unresponsive by downgrading their SEO rankings on mobile devices. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is a process used to improve how high a website appears in the search results found in Google (as well as Bing and Yahoo). That means a search term that used to put your website at the top of Google’s search rankings may now sink you to a lower altitude on the rankings if your website has an “unresponsive” design.
Remember, Google is first and foremost a search engine. It searches the web for requested search topics and brings a listing of appropriate websites back to you. In the process, advertisers related to your search topic will appear at the top of your search results. They appear in a pecking order relative to how much they bid for top position AND by the appropriateness of the content they provide (including if it is responsive website design or not).
Responsive websites go to the top of the list on mobile searches.
Naturally, it’s up to the advertiser to make sure his or her messaging is clear and intriguing, but if Google penalizes you for not having the proper responsive programming, your company is going to get a lower position, even if you bid higher than a competitor.
That is because a responsive website will go to the top of the list when a search is performed on a mobile device. Furthermore, a better designed website will get preference over a poorly designed one. Because a better design will be easier to read, easier to navigate and will create more clicks and dollars for Google.
Google’s responsive website mandate is not limited to those who use Google AdWords. Non-responsive websites will also be affected in Google’s organic (non-paid) results on mobile devices. While Google has stated that this latest change will limited to mobile devices, don’t be surprised if lacking a responsive website doesn’t negatively impact your organic search ranking on desktop computers in the near future.
Why aviation companies should be concerned:
In case you haven’t noticed, the web is in a constant state of flux and change. What was all the rage yesterday is old news today. The introduction of smartphones back in 2007 caused a paradigm shift in digital marketing. Seven years into this change, the effects are beginning to become seismic. Here are some of the facts you should know:
- The number of smartphone users will surpass 2 billion by the end of 2015 and by 2018 half the world’s cell phones will be “smart;” this year alone mobile traffic is up 3.5%
- Smartphone users are impatient: 74% of them will only wait 5 seconds for a website to load
- 72% of data users use smartphones when traveling; 64% when dining; 63% in online stores
- 57% of users do not recommend non-mobile-friendly websites to other users.
All of this is bad news if your website is unresponsive. The good news is that there are many pre-programmed, responsive website templates and designers, who can update your website and make it responsive to the navigational features and format requirements of mobile devices.
Your problem is really Google’s problem. Their solution? You fix it!
For those who wonder how Google makes its money, the answer is simple: advertising. In the world of digital advertising, the number of clicks an ad message generates means more dollars for Google. Basically, when you advertise on Google and a member of your target audience clicks on the ad’s interactive button, it takes you to an online store where you can purchase the product or service advertised.
The problem for Google is the amount of money advertisers have been willing to pay per click has been declining for the past several years. Part of the reason for the decline in pricing is because of mobile ads.
As more consumers turn to mobile devices for their information, Google clients who don’t adhere to mobile formats do not come across clearly or attractively. Worse yet, because they find the advertising and product information inferior they turn to methods other than Google to find information and buy online.
Google is partially responsible for this situation because in their eagerness to maintain clients, they originally told clients not to worry about creating separate campaigns for mobile. Google users continued to use the same online stores they always had. These stores, however, were not very easy to use on mobile devices. This resulted in fewer transactions and ultimately less revenue for Google.
Google’s current solution to the problem is to make their all clients change their websites to responsive designs. That puts the onus and the cost on the advertisers, not Google.
Why should you have to play it Google’s way?
Regardless of whether there are other ways to buy online, Google still commands the lion share of online searches and is the search portal where most consumers begin looking for information. If you’re an advertiser, you still want Google to find you that key prospect.
Furthermore, from a logic point of view, why would you not want your website to be the best it can be? Without being ready for mobile, companies risk not reaching their best potential audience.
With mobile trending upward and desktop downward, it is simply a matter of math.
Why aviation companies should accommodate Google’s demands now.
Many aviation companies are service companies such as charter airlines, airframe and engine rebuilders and flight schools. These kinds of businesses rely on customers who are looking for information on the web. The power of Google taps interested customers every second of every day.
Because aviation is a niche business, search engine advertising serves it very well.
Keeping in step with the mobile trends should be a no brainer for aviation much the same way glass cockpits and GPS systems make flying easier and more reliable.
Get some professional help before it is too late.
Regardless of whether Google is making you modernize your digital marketing or not, it’s simply the smart thing to do. There is lots of help available to make the transition to responsive website design, including professional marketing communications agencies like Advertising Marketing Consulting.