As we land on the one-year anniversary of Google implementing mobile-first indexing I thought it would only be appropriate to reflect on the past year and what that has meant from a digital marketing standpoint. Did Google’s implementation of mobile-first indexing resurrect the dinosaurs? No. Did it shake up the entire Search Engine Optimization world, which at times felt like you were heading into Jurassic Park trying to keep up with it all? Absolutely! This time last year so many website owners were preoccupied with whether they could integrate mobile-first indexing that they never stopped to think if they should. If you like showing up on Google for organic searches you should be cognizant of what mobile-first indexing entails and how it impacts your website!
An SEO Mobile-First Indexing– Refresher
Prior to the implementation of mobile-first indexing Google used to crawl the desktop version of your website first. Which means the desktop version of your website used to be considered the primary version of your website. However, as technology – specifically cellphones – continues to integrate into our daily lives both at work and home, Google realized that majority of searches are now being conducted on a tablet or phone device. According to Google, a large push for the implementation of mobile-first indexing was the disparity between the desktop and mobile versions of a website. Hence, mobile-first indexing. Google wants to serve users a smooth, responsive and easy to navigate mobile experience. Therefore, Google is now considering the mobile version of a website as the primary version to crawl, index, rank, etc. due to the large volume of mobile searches.
However, that doesn’t mean the desktop version of your website is no longer getting crawled, it still is – just not first.
The Benefits of Being Mobile Responsive for Mobile-First Indexing
First and fore most to be able to comply with Google you want to make sure your website is mobile responsive. A mobile responsive design is the logical way to go because it’s providing the same quality of the website on mobile that the desktop version would. Google wants to serve users high-quality search results and ultimately websites. Here’s a brief breakdown of what being mobile responsive entails:
- Allows desktop web pages to be viewed in formats or layouts that are tailored to the size of the screen and/or web browser that the user is viewing the site with
- Provides the same content, overall design and functionality from the website across a multitude of devices, screen sizes, screen proportions, etc.
- Adapts the viewing experience using fluid and proportion-based grids, flexible images and other specialized programming. Below, is an example of the mobile responsive menu for Ecreativeworks:
There are a multitude of reasons and ultimately, benefits, to making a website mobile responsive. For more information on responsive web design, click here!
Mobile Content Should Contain the Same Content as Your Desktop Website
Is your content optimized for mobile devices? Is the text colored correctly with appropriate contrasts? Are images optimized with alt attributes? Are videos optimized through compression and mark-up? Does the copy content have the same pertinent information as the desktop version of your website? That’s why it’s imperative to make sure a content strategy has been put in place for effective optimization for your mobile website.
How Does Page Speed Factor into Mobile-First Indexing?
Page Speed is another crucial component to ensure that your website is compliant with mobile-first indexing. If a user comes to your website on mobile device/tablet and the average page load time is high the users is very likely to bounce from your website. Mobile searches tend to be quicker, more specific and less time spent on a website. Therefore, if your page isn’t loading in a reasonable amount of time, ideally less than 3 seconds, that’s a problem because you’re losing out on potential traffic, customers, conversions, etc.
Google has a crawl budget for each website it indexes. If the average page load time on your website is relatively high Google is going to crawl less pages due to the time it takes for the pages to load throughout the site. Therefore, you don’t want your site holding up the search engines from crawling as many pages as possible within the allotted budget for your site due to slow load times. That’s why continuous monitoring and optimization of your mobile site is crucial to ensure that you’re keeping your website up to date with the ever-changing requirements of Google.
Mobile-First Indexing in the Industrial Business-To-Business Market
One of the most frequent questions I find myself answering as a Digital Marketing Specialist in the Industrial B2B market is “Why should I be concerned about mobile traffic when majority of my users are on desktop?” It’s a valid question when majority of my clients have very similar data to what’s pictured below:
However, my response is always the same. We need to be concerned about the mobile percentage as well – regardless of the number of mobile users – because that’s how Google is crawling, indexing and ranking your overall website. If we solely focused on the desktop traffic and didn’t consider mobile in our SEO strategies, optimization, technical improvements, etc. we would be slowly fossilizing our search engine results/performance. The moral of the story is that’s what Google is paying very close attention to so if you aren’t you are quickly becoming an antiquated website. Therefore, don’t make Google have a bone to pick with your website and treat mobile optimization as an ongoing task for your website.
Our ECW team provides comprehensive and digital marketing strategies that help business owners navigate the ever-changing requirements of Google and other search engines. Contact us for more information on our digital marketing program and options – and how we can help optimize the mobile version of your website.
Written by: Hadley Purdy, Digital Marketing Specialist at Ecreativeworks