Even though Google’s Mobile-First Index is set to appear most likely around the middle of this year, it’s still a good idea to optimize your website right now. However, it’s extremely important to know what to do and how to optimize for the Mobile-First Index. This is why we have a quick list designed to offer you the ideas and guidelines you may need to complete this task.
What is the Mobile-First Index from Google?
The Mobile-First Index from Google is a shift in how Google will start logging the content for websites across the internet. Currently, Google indexes both desktop and mobile versions of a website separately. In a few short months, however, this will move to just one index with Mobile being the primary platform that will be indexed with desktop taking a backseat.
So how can you make sure that all your content is being indexed and served to your target users? Let’s dive into our list!
Develop a Mobile-Friendly and Mobile Responsive Website
Making your website optimized for any device means giving a native user a positive experience even on mobile. This should be the standard for website creation at this time, and it’s definitely very helpful for a wide array of companies in any industry.
In fact, starting in January of 2017, Google now offers an inherent rankings boost for a mobile-friendly website design. Responsiveness is key, as it shows Google that you care about your mobile customers. Clickable elements shouldn’t be too close together, hamburger navigation implies intuitive design, and scaling content areas and images are all imperative aspects to incorporate into a responsive design.
Optimize Your Website for the Mobile Context
Mobile users want to find contact information, phone numbers, and other relevant information about a business. So, it’s a good idea to make buttons, links and other crucial elements large, so people can see it on mobile. The important actions also need to be placed above the fold so that a user sees and interacts with them without having to scroll, swipe or pinch.
Optimize Your Mobile Loading Speeds
There’s no denying that website load speed on mobile is still one of the major factors for the Mobile-First Index. It’s definitely one of those things that you need to take into consideration, especially if you want to learn how to optimize for the Mobile-First Index and generate more leads.
On average, for every one second it takes for your website to load, 25% of people are dropping off. So after three to four seconds over 75% of your potential users have bounced looking for a faster loading site.
If a User can’t see your content at first glance, then you worked on it for nothing. It won’t be searchable, and it’s definitely not worth the hassle and effort it takes for a user to click the little button to make it appear. What you want to do is to avoid hiding content, instead you want to rearrange the content on your pages so it can look great on mobile.
Use AMP Pages (Accelerated Mobile Pages) Wherever Possible
Also known as the accelerated mobile pages project, this is a great open source project designed to help you create a very fast mobile version of your website. The pages are live on your site, yet they are offered via Google’s domain. That means the site will load extremely fast. Yes, this is not a ranking signal right now, but it’s bound to become one in the long run.
Check the Hreflang Tags on Your Mobile Site
Check all of these on a separate mobile URL. It’s important to link between the mobile and mobile URLs separately, so there won’t be any issues. The mobile links need to point to the other language, but still for mobile URLs. Interlinking desktop with mobile won’t be ok.
Mobile-First Index Will Impact SEO
It’s very important for you to understand the best ways to adapt to the new Mobile-First Index and improve your ranking. As you can imagine, learning how to optimize for the Mobile-First Index is crucial even if the system isn’t live now. But preparing your website right away will help you have a very good rank when the system does go live eventually. So yes, try to give this a shot and you will be quite impressed with the benefits you can obtain this way!
Need Help Getting Your Website Ready for the Mobile-First Index?
If you or your organization aren’t prepared for the swap to the Mobile-First Index, we can help. SEO Expert has multiple, seasoned SEO pros on staff that can help you optimize your website for the new, mobile-first world. Contact us today for more information on the Mobile-First index!