Mobile-first indexing does not mean mobile-only indexing. Mobile-first indexing means that Google will prioritize your mobile website in search rankings over your desktop website.
The indexing change does not immediately impact all brands, but it will affect all brands in time, and soon. If mobile-responsiveness is not yet a part of your website strategy, it needs to be. If mobile-responsiveness is not your top online marketing priority, it needs to be.
Wherever you find yourself in the lunge toward an impressive and rich mobile-responsive website, Google’s mobile-first indexing impacts you and is important.
What is mobile-first indexing?
Mobile-first indexing is a way that Google will show users the results for which they searching. When a user types in “places to go in 2018,” Google will display the best possible results for lists of places to go in 2018 that can be opened and browsed on mobile.
Majority of searches are via mobile devices
The best mobile websites are being displayed at the top of search pages because mobile search makes up the majority of all consumer search. We’ve known for a long time that eventually, consumers would use only mobile. That era is upon us, and Google is making sure to feed its consumer preferences, first.
One wave of websites at a time
Google is rolling out the mobile-first index in waves. It began in March 2018 to initiate the trend of prioritizing mobile-responsive websites in online marketing and brand building.
The first websites Google included in mobile-first indexing were the brands that already had superior mobile-responsive websites. Google allowed these brands’ mobile websites to outrank their desktop websites; with a preference for mobile, these brands’ websites were able to outrank strong desktop websites of other companies.
When your website is up to rank in mobile-first indexing, Google will send you a message to let you know. If you have not yet received the “mobile-first indexing enabled” message for your website, take one sigh of relief and quickly get to creating or perfecting your mobile site.
Desktop is not outdated
Desktop websites still matter; but if a desktop is your primary website version, you must begin to make the site mobile, as well. Mobile-first indexing generates a preference for a mobile-responsive site; however, this does not mean a mediocre mobile website will necessarily outrank a strong desktop website.
Google wants to answer its consumers’ queries as quickly and as accurately as possible, so it going to list the best possible information at the top. If the content on a desktop website far exceeds the content on a mobile website, the desktop website will still win the search engine’s ranking favor. For now.
How to Succeed in Google’s Mobile-First Indexing:
Use a mobile-responsive design
By now, you’ve heard the term mobile-friendly. Mobile-friendly is not the same as mobile-responsive; this is critical to understand. A mobile-friendly website displays the desktop website in a digestible format to the consumer. It shows the same photos and content, but in a different display arrangement.
However, the mobile version is not always interactive in the same way that the desktop version is. Typically, a mobile-friendly website is not interactive at all; it displays information without actually offering interactive features such as pressing, playing or pinching.
Google wants your mobile website to be interactive. This means consumers can pinch content, zoom in on photos, and navigate at the touch of their thumb in the same way that way they would navigate a desktop website with their mouse.
Mobile-responsive websites are interactive; they allow users to navigate them to their liking, never running into user aggravations such as an inability to enter landscape mode or blurry font upon zooming into a menu.
One site only
Mobile-responsive sites are interactive; their content (texts, images, video, etc.) syncs dynamically and perfectly with their desktop version, so there is no need for two separate websites. Google favors one URL address that affords both desktop and mobile experiences. Looking after and updating only one website will save you time and energy, too.
All websites must have a mobile design. If mastering your website’s mobile experience has not yet been your priority, now is a great time to make it so. If you have not yet created a mobile experience for your website, quit reading and email our team.
Site speed is essential. You have about eight seconds to grab consumers’ attention and if you waste half or more of these on pages loading, you will lose the potential to speak to your consumer long enough to gain their interest. Besides, we’ve all been there – when a brand’s site takes forever to load, not only do we get impatient, but that brand loses credibility in our eyes.
Some factors that can influence sight speed are file sizes, especially for photos and videos. If your site is not loading and moving quickly, you can consider alternative compressors for big content.
Keep it simple
The more content you have on a mobile webpage, the longer the scrolling becomes for the user. Include only what you must to keep their users’ attention while bringing them to your call to action.
As promised, Google’s mobile-first indexing affects your brand and your marketing strategy. Mobile browsing is not the future of consumer activity; it is the present.
Get in touch with our expert digital marketing team at Executive Digital so get your mobile-responsive website up and running at a pace that can viably compete with competitors as your website gets selected by Google to rank in the mobile-first index.
As always, reach out to our team with any questions outside of marketing consultation and analysis. From the forefront of digital marketing’s evolution, we are always here to help you.