How Businesses Should Be Preparing For Google's Mobile First Index
Our mobiles have become a huge part of our daily lives. They’ve changed how we shop, how we eat and how we communicate and as a result, businesses have had to adapt to our demands with mobile use. However, with Google’s recent implementation of the ‘mobile-first index’, having a high-quality mobile site that reaches the criterion for ranking via mobile has led businesses to have to prioritise mobile-friendly browsing. London and Essex SEO agency support is often available for companies that need it, but it’s important to have a better understanding of how this new indexing works. Here, we’re looking into just how businesses should be preparing for Google’s mobile first index.
How Does Mobile-First Indexing Work?
User experience has always been an important part of any business’s digital presence, but now more than ever, mobile-friendly sites are becoming a priority. As a result, Google has begun to prioritise the analysis of websites for mobile usability as opposed to desktop versions and will rank websites depending on that outcome. Unlike previously, the ‘index’ will now be the same across desktop and mobile, so businesses truly have to adjust their focus to suit. Regardless of whether they opt for mobile optimisation of their current desktop site, or for creating an entirely separate mobile website, it’s not something that any brand can ignore.
Your Main Site Design
Your website should always be designed with the user experience in mind and adjusting your current site to cater for mobile use is really just an extension of that goal. The web needs to respond to users and switch between desktop and mobile, and portrait and landscape orientation on mobile, so flexibility is the key here. That being said, it can be difficult to determine what needs to be prioritised in this case. A mobile site may not be able to cater for every link, picture of section of text, and so the HTML will need to cater for flexibility and automatic responses to a need for alternate resolutions and rendering.
Ideally, focusing on calls to action, short and simple menus, easy navigation to the home page and contact pages and easy to access search bars are the best things to focus on across all versions of your site.
Your Mobile Site Design
If you’re opting for a separate mobile site for your website, then you’ll need to create a mobile domain that is separate to your main site, but linked to it. You’ll need to remember to implement the right bi-directional annotation between versions to avoid faulty redirects – your rankings could suffer if these sites aren’t linked correctly and the redirect doesn’t run smoothly, so make sure that you take your time with this site and test it fully. While the need for strong mobile-friendly webpages is looming over businesses, it could prove more harmful to send it out before it’s ready.
Speed is everything nowadays and that, of course, counts for mobile too. A fast loading time will not only ensure that Google counts your site as optimised, but it will improve user experience and ultimately has the potential to lead to better conversions. Convenience is everything to today’s consumers and most will click away from a site if it doesn’t load in under 3 seconds. Make sure you’re testing and speeding up your page regularly, especially for mobile. Your users and Google’s crawlers are searching for speed and if you can provide it, their lead is more likely to become a conversion.
Google’s mobile-first index is changing the way that businesses are preparing their websites, but it’s a change that has been long-needed. Overall mobile use has skyrocketed in recent years, and so it’s only right that consumers and businesses alike benefit from this new way of indexing, and ultimately the incredible technology we have literally at our fingertips.