Google has been shifting its focus to mobile-friendly innovations for several years now. The “Mobilegeddon” algorithm, which favors sites that perform well on smartphones and tablets, was one of Google’s earliest efforts to encourage websites to become more mobile-friendly. Now, Google is getting ready to fully roll out its mobile-first index on a larger scale. Experts at Saba SEO, a leading San Diego web design company, discuss a few ways you can prepare your website for the mobile-first index.
What Is “Mobile-First?”
Before you can determine if your site is ready for Google’s update, you need to understand what “mobile-first” means. In a nutshell, mobile-first refers to the way search engine crawlers view a site when determining its rank on search engines. From now on, Google will first consider how your website and its content appear on various mobile devices and then move on to desktop compatibility.
How Is Your Site Currently Set Up?
Whether or not your website is ready for the mobile-first index depends on how it’s currently set up. For instance, you might have two separate versions of your site, one for desktop and one for mobile, or you might have one site to handle all of your traffic from mobile phones and desktop computers. Even if this is the case, your layout and design may not work well on smaller screens.
Is Your Site “Mobile-Friendly” or “Mobile Responsive?”
These two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are important differences that determine your mobile readiness. A “mobile responsive” site has HTML code, text, images, and other website essentials that allow it to adjust to any screen it’s being viewed on.
If a website is “mobile-friendly,” it has been specially adjusted to appeal to mobile visitors, which means a desktop version of the site won’t appear on mobile devices.
Are You Doing What Google Prefers?
The problem with a mobile-friendly site is that there will still be different screen sizes to manage. For example, a tablet screen is bigger than a smartphone screen. Even among smartphones, screen size can vary, which is why Google tends to prefer a responsive website design.
Maintaining separate sites for desktop and mobile can be a good thing, although you’ll have to be mindful of proper image sizing, structured data and metadata, and content consistency. If you prefer to do the work necessary for two sites, remember to add the mobile version to Google’s Search Console.
Do You Regularly Test Your Site?
Whether your site is mobile-friendly or mobile responsive, you’ll need to regularly test it to make sure it’s performing well. Testing your site means tracking engagement with your Google Analytics reports, using Google’s Test My Site tool, and paying attention to things like:
• Page speed (mobile visitors are even more impatient than desktop visitors)
• Placement and structure of content (e.g. shorter paragraphs, bullet points for better readability, font style and size, and spacing around tappable buttons)
• Bounce rates and conversion rates
The reason behind Google’s mobile-first index is that Google follows search trends, and all signs point to an increased reliance on mobile devices to find information online. It’s estimated that nearly 80 percent of all internet traffic will be mobile by the end of 2018. A shift toward mobile-first is important for ranking purposes, and it will also likely please your customers.
If your business needs a mobile-friendly website, trust the experts at Saba SEO. As one of the leading marketing companies in San Diego, we can create a responsive website with unique content that is sure to appeal to your target audience. We also offer paid marketing, social media management, and search engine optimization services to help you acquire more leads and stay ahead of your competitors. To learn about our customized digital marketing plans, give us a call at 858-951-1717 today.