Is Your Website Ready for Mobile-First Indexing?

by | May 16, 2017 | SEO

In response to over half of search traffic coming from mobile devices, Google has decided they will move to a mobile-first index. This means your mobile website will soon determine your rankings.

There is no word yet on when the index will roll out though, so you still have time to ensure your website is ready for this brave new world. But since there’s so much traffic from mobile anyway, maybe this is the push you’ve been waiting for to get your mobile site up to speed (figuratively and literally speaking).

Here are some things you should consider before the change:

 

Content on Your Website

If you know the mobile version of your website has less content on it than the desktop version, you should look towards adding in those missing details.

If you’re thinking, ‘No one wants to see that much text if they’re on their mobile!’, then worry not. It has been confirmed that content hidden for UX purposes within accordions and under ‘Read More’ buttons will be given full weight in the mobile-first world. So feel free to use the same content that you have on the desktop version sensibly arranged in easy-to-read segments.

Ultimately, though, you should be heading towards having a responsive site. This means that the formatting (e.g. image sizes and menu widths) will adapt to suit any device type. If you want a good chance of riding the mobile-first indexing wave smoothly, this is the best option.

 

Mobile Speed Scores

Google has an amazing tool called PageSpeed Insights that allows you to assess the health of your page speed. You can get this info in a detailed report with recommendations on how any issues can be resolved.

The issues are usually small, and you can often resolve them by doing things like compressing image size and ‘minifying’ the CSS, JavaScript or HTML on the site. Resolving these issues is important because people have become accustomed to websites that load quickly and will likely leave a page if it takes too long to load.

 

Crawl Errors & Mobile Usability Issues

Google Search Console can help you identify pages that have either smartphone crawl errors or mobile usability issues.

If you have Google Search Console set up, you can log in and spot issues straight away. If you don’t (or even if you need a refresher), check out one of my previous posts: How to Use Google Search Console.

Armed with this information, you can work to clear up any issues that you have and help to improve user experience on your website.

Google also has a Mobile-Friendly Test that tells you whether or not a particular page is mobile-friendly. This could be useful if you don’t have the time to conduct a site-wide check. You can just focus on top-performing pages until you can optimise your whole site for mobile.

Overall, Google has recognised that their users are shifting to mobile and are making changes to reflect this shift. Use the time and many tools that are available to make sure your website is ready to go. Or get in touch if you’d like some expert help with doing this.

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