At a glance: mobile-first indexing…
Due to the changes in the digital landscape, Google now uses the mobile version of your site when indexing and ranking your website. Previously Google would prioritise your desktop content when evaluating the relevancy of content to a user’s search query, however, now with the majority of all users accessing google through a mobile device, Google will now prioritise your mobile content when indexing a website.
July 1st 2019 sees all new websites being indexed by Google will come with mobile-first indexing enabled by default, however, for all existing websites Google will continue to monitor and evaluate pages based on it’s best practices and enable mobile-first indexing when a site is deemed ready. So…
How to optimise for mobile-first Indexing?
If you have an existing website which currently is not eligible for mobile-first indexing, amending your site to meet with Google’s best practices will be key for mobile-first indexing. Below is a breakdown from Google on what to do to meet best practice.
Your mobile site should contain the same amount of content as your desktop site, including all images (with alt-attributes), videos and text, however if your current mobile site is a more stripped back version of your desktop site, you’ll need to focus on getting all content accessible across all devices whilst not jeopardising the user experience for mobile users.
Structured data will also need to be present on both versions of your site. Making sure URLs in structured data for your mobile site is updated to the mobile URLs for your site. The metadata across your sites also needs to be equivalent to each other, including the page titles and meta descriptions for all pages.
You can find Google’s best practices here to find out more details.
If your website is currently desktop only or has a responsive design, then mobile-first indexing isn’t going to have a much of an effect. This is because your site is serving the same version of your website to both mobile and desktop users. However, if you’re currently not happy with your search engine rankings, then preparing and implementing updates to your site for mobile-first indexing optimisation should be a key step in your overall SEO strategy.
When indexing and ranking sites based off relevancy, Google also now prefers mobile versions of a website, otherwise known as m-dot sites for their use of m.example.com domains. With Google now prioritising the mobile version of a site over desktop, ensuring that your websites mobile experience is a good as can be is more important than ever.
So, here are 3 Key improvements for your websites mobile experience:
- Page Speed: Mobile users have come to expect fast load times from the websites they’re using, with Google aiming for half-second load times. By optimising images, minifying code, leveraging browser caching and reducing redirects, you can drastically improve the mobile performance of your website.
- Mobile-friendly design: Designing for mobile devices is a key step for optimising for mobile search, including the removal of any use of flash elements across your site, as well as any pop-ups. Remember to design for fingers when building your website.
These are just some of the key top-level ways to optimise for mobile search, if you’re concerned about the mobile performance of your website and feel lost with what you can do to better the experience of your mobile users, talk to a member of our friendly team today and see how we can help.
Moving forward with mobile-first indexing
If you currently have a responsive website, then your priority going forward should be to provide the best user experience possible for mobile visitors, with the plan to switch up to a dedicated mobile version of your content during the next major update to your website.
If you’re currently happy with your rankings, then mobile-first indexing likely won’t have much of effect… for now.
However, if you’re actively looking to increase your rankings then if you don’t have a separate mobile version of your site then this should be one of the key next steps for your business, with Google now prioritising this over desktop only/responsive sites.
If you’re ready to start transforming your mobile experience or need a hand with getting started, get in touch and see how we could help to add value to your business…