Get Ready For Google’s Mobile First Search Index

by Danielle Haley FSE Online Ltd

Enhance Your Mobile Website to Continue Receiving Desktop Visitors

Google’s latest focus is the creation of a mobile-first index. Ensure that your site is in favour with the search engine by performing some diagnostics.

Google has recently announced its testing of the mobile-first index. Up until now, Google would analyse the desktop version of your website when deciding how to rank it in the SERPs. It would then make an adjustment of these rankings for users that were searching from mobiles. This made little sense as there are now more Google searches performed from mobile platforms than desktops. Therefore, the search engine giant has responded with an ‘experiment’ which will allow the algorithm to begin crawling your mobile content and rank the website accordingly, regardless of whether users are searching from a mobile or desktop environment. Essentially, creating a responsive website and optimising your site for mobile compatibility has now become a significant priority.

Emphasis on Mobile

Some websites don’t yet have a mobile version of their site. Where this is the case, Google will fall back on the desktop form of the website for ranking. However, these sites will probably not enjoy the same position-boost experienced by mobile-friendly sites.

There are huge variations in the quality of site that webmasters are publishing for mobile users. So how do you make sure that Google favours the structure and content of yours?

Navigation

Mobile users are famed for requiring fast information from the palm of their hand. Webmasters must respond by providing a mobile site that allows visitors to easily navigate to the content that suits their needs.

Content layout must be adapted so that it fits the screen perfectly and includes a font size that is easy to read. Menus should be created with simplicity in mind as mobile users are unlikely to have the patience to scroll through dozens of submenu options. The site ‘Search’ facility should also be located at the top of the screen to allow visitors to find what they are looking for.

Of course, whilst webmasters need to cater to the requirements of their mobile visitors, they also need to focus on their own website marketing goals. If you’re looking for conversions in the form of sales or leads, then ensure that your ‘Call-to-Action’ buttons are clearly displayed and accessible to all who are using your mobile site.

Diagnostics

There are several tests that an SEO consultant can carry out to make sure that Google will be able to crawl and rank the mobile version of a website. One of the most important factors to evaluate is the page-load speed of the content across your website. Ideally, pages should be fully loaded in less than 1 second. Developers can assess the speed of their site and view diagnostics by utilising the PageSpeed Insights tool provided by Google. Further information about your mobile site can be obtained by accessing the Search Console. In particular, webmasters should check the Crawl Errors service to ensure that there are no issues with your internal URLs displaying in mobile search. Once you have made the necessary adjustments to your mobile site, you can run the ultimate diagnostic tool, the Google Mobile-Friendly test to give you an idea of how it is viewed by the search engine.

There’s no denying the fact that mobile search has become the future of search engine activity. So, embrace Google’s latest algorithm enhancement and put your resources into the creation of an excellent mobile platform for your site visitors.

 

Topics

Mobile Search SEO