Google announced the start of the implementation of its mobile-first indexing update in 2018 after two years of testing and experimentation. The rapid growth of mobile searchers informed this decision. And now, if your website is not mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a ton of traffic and potential sales every day.
What is Mobile-First Indexing?
Before the shift to mobile-first indexing, Google indexed and ranked websites based on its desktop version. The shift to mobile-first indexing means indexing and ranking of websites are based on the mobile version of websites’ page content. That means if your website is not optimized for mobile today, people cannot conveniently read your content with their mobile devices. They must adjust their mobile device screens or apply other settings to read your content. Most online searchers don’t want to go through this trouble. So, they will bounce off your website and head to another website that offers a great mobile experience. That means you’re losing a lot of traffic and potential sales every day. You need to consider the following things to ensure your website adheres to the mobile-first indexing update:
1.Website Page Speed
When building your website today, the most important thing to consider is page speed. In today’s competitive business environment, a second can determine whether you convert a customer or lose them. Therefore, if your website is slow, potential customers will bounce off your website and head to the competition. Also, page speed is a search engine ranking factor. So, if your web pages’ load slowly, your search engine ranking will suffer. Ideally, there is a relationship between page speed and PageRank, considering that mobile devices function with a lot less bandwidth compared to desktop computers. Therefore, how fast your web pages’ load will determine the level of experience your website visitors will get.
There are many techniques to increase the speed of your web pages:
• Image optimization
Images play a crucial role in your website, considering that the new generation of consumers is obsessed with coloured visuals. They create an emotional connection that motivates them to buy. However, images can slow down your web pages and affect user experience. Image optimization involves reducing your image file size while maintaining their quality so that your website doesn’t slow down. The most effective image optimization techniques include:
- Choosing the right file type
- Naming images descriptively and in simple language
- Careful alt attribute optimization
- Optimizing your image thumbnails
- Using image site maps
- Choosing image dimensions and product angles well
• Choosing a fast web hosting company
You can do all the tweaks to your website to increase its page load speed, but if you host it with a slow web hosting company, all your effort will go down the drain. A fast web hosting company is the cornerstone of a fast website.
• Take advantage of browser caching
Browser caching is whereby most or part of the data and web pages that you accessed recently are stored on your web browser temporarily. That means when you return to the website you visited, your browser doesn’t have to load the entire page for you to view the content. Bowser caching increases your browsing speed tremendously.
• Minimize redirects
This is whereby a user is redirected to another page other than the page he/she intended to view. This increases the wait time to land to the page that they want to You can use the Redirect Mapper Tool to discover all your redirects and minimize them.
• Optimize your code
Code optimization involves removing commas, spaces, and other unnecessary characters from your cod. It helps rocket your page speed.
2. Website design
Optimizing your website design can have a tremendous impact on your website’s mobile responsiveness and mobile first indexing. An unresponsive design means your website will not fill the screen of mobile devices. Also, the content will not be displayed clearly. That’s why website builders are gravitating towards simple web designs these days. Complex website design will also make it hard for users to find products and services they are looking for on your website. The most effective techniques to optimize your website design for mobile-first indexing include:
• Building a responsive website from scratch
When looking to build your website, think “mobile-first” from the onset. Therefore, if you intend to hire a web developer to build your website, ensure they have extensive experience and expertise in building responsive websites.
• Choosing a responsive theme
A theme is one of the most important elements of your website. Besides determining your website’s aesthetics and organization, it will determine whether or not your website is mobile-friendly. If you choose a theme that is not mobile-friendly, then users will not be able to view your web page content clearly.
• Opting for a good web host
A good web hosting company will not only host your website but ensure its functioning well and offering great user experience as well A good web host will ensure that your web pages load quickly and your content can be viewed nicely on mobile devices.
• Using Google’s Mobile-friendly Test tool to test your website
Once you’ve built-up up a mobile-friendly website, it’s important to test it out to ensure that it’s actually mobile-friendly. The Mobile-Friendly Test tool will help you here. Testing helps you to discover areas of your website that need to be worked on The tool can give you useful information to help you improve on those areas.
• Implementing On-page and local SEO
Mobile-first indexing works best when your website is optimized for SEO which is perform by SEO expert. And if your business focuses on a certain location, optimizing it for the local result is important. Some of the most effective on-page and local optimization techniques to boost your search engine rankings include:
- Producing high-quality content
- Using targeted keywords in your content, URL, and title
- Building internal and external links
- Adding schema
- Including keywords in your images’ descriptions
- Using Optimized Page Title and Meta Title
- Embedding a Google map
Google is the most popular search engine, which means most people use it to search for products and services online. Therefore, a change in its ranking metrics affects many online businesses. For example, the roll out of the mobile-first indexing metric affected many businesses, as most had not optimized their websites for mobile. So, if you’re an online business owner, always stay alert, stay current and tweak your website in line with new Google updates to ensure they don’t negatively impact your business.