Mobile-First Indexing is a process used by Google to predominately use the mobile version of a website for indexing and ranking.
This is a change from the historical process of using the desktop version of a website for ranking on Search Engine Results Pages. This new process of indexing and ranking makes perfect sense in the world we live in now and it’s something that must be part of your marketing strategy.
The Transition to Mobile Searches
We already know that more than 75 percent of searches performed are done via mobile devices. Think about where you are and how often you search for something using your smartphone, mobile tablet, or infotainment system in your car, as compared to searches you perform on a desktop or laptop computer. The fact is most of us only use a stationary computer for work and mobile devices for personal searches.
It’s Not Too Late, but It’sGetting There
Famously, Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame Catcher for the New York Yankees, once said “It’s getting late early.” This bit of “Yogism” sounds simple but confusing, but it carries a simple message. That message is that you need to take advantage of the opportunities presented to you now and stop putting off what you should do now. This can be applied to mobile-first indexing.
The Time for Your Change is Now
Google gave website owners plenty of time to update sites to put mobile information at a higher priority than desktop information. In fact, Google announced the change in September 2020 and moved the final roll-out date to March 2021, which gave owners six months to make the necessary changes. If you didn’t address your needs, it’s not too late, but the time to change is upon us.
Things You Need to do to Transition to Mobile-firstIndexing for Your Website
Use a Responsive Web Design
The mobile version of your website appears useful and consistent to users when you have a responsive web design working for you. This design feature adapts the different pages to the screen and window sizes of the device being used. You don’t have to create duplicate source code or additional URLs, which makes this type of design extremely important.
Optimize the Mobile Page Load Speed
You’re familiar with Page Load Speed, but you might have only reviewed this feature as it relates to desktop devices. If you’re going to benefit from Mobile-first indexing, you must review mobile page load speed to ensure your pages load as fast as they should for your users. There are several tools that can help you improve this aspect of your website including Speed in the Google Search Console, Google PageSpeed Insights, and Google Lighthouse.
Which Crawler is Being Used for Your Website?
The crawler that Google has assigned to your website is important to becoming mobile-friendly. If Google is using a desktop crawler, this search engine doesn’t consider your site to be mobile-friendly. Visit the Google Search Console to check the user-friendliness on mobile devices to see which crawler is visiting your site and understand what errors need to be fixed to make your pages more mobile-friendly.
Ensure All Content is Identical for Mobile and Desktop Versions
Many websites have two different versions based on the devices being used. This means most sites have a desktop version and a mobile version of the website. The desktop version is often longer with pages of text while the mobile version hides this content in tabs. Going forward, all content on both versions of your website should be identical. Everything you include in your desktop version needs to be available on mobile devices as well.
Verify Mobile Device Performance
The final item you need to review is the mobile performance of your website. Use the analytics tools available in Google to ensure your mobile performance is where you need it to be for mobile-first indexing. If your website is easily mobile-ready and capable, the performance numbers will reflect and your site can then be viewed by Google mobile crawlers.
Make Changes Now andBe Found More Easily
If Google is making the change to prioritizing mobile searches shouldn’t you do the same? Of course you should, and by using the tips mentioned here you can build a website that will take advantage of mobile-first indexing. Don’t delay any longer, Google is already prioritizing mobile content over desktop content, get on board and ride the train to success with a mobile-friendly website.
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