Mobile First Indexing is here, making it essential that your website works on a mobile device. But what does that mean for your business?
Last week, Google announced that it’s search engine will begin ranking and indexing pages on the mobile versions of sites rather than the desktop one. This follows the rapid move by consumers to mobile devices.
In fact more people now search google on a mobile device than at their desktop have done so since 2015. Google started experimenting with mobile-first indexing back in then, in order to make the results more useful to the user. The reason being that if you are searching on mobile you’ll want a result that is responsive and works on the device you are using.
Google points out that web pages that only have desktop versions will still be crawled, indexed and ranked. In fact, they could still rank higher if the content is more relevant and useful for the searcher. However, with most people now searching the web from the mobile, you will be missing out on valuable traffic if your site is not loading quickly and properly on these devices.
So What Steps Should You Take?
Mobile friendly is not the same as Mobile responsive: Most sites now are ‘mobile friendly’. This means that they are designed to work on a mobile device with slim formatting and text blocks. The result can be that these sites, when viewed on a desktop, look a bit unfinished with a lot of blank space.
So what’s the solution? A fully ‘mobile responsive’ website where the size of the elements such as images, text blocks, borders and buttons, adjust to the size of the window they are viewed on. These sites can be viewed on a phone, tablet or desktop and users won’t notice the difference.
As Grant Johnson, Co-founder at Rocketspark, points out, ‘It’s rare for Google to give specific clues about how search rankings work but the impact of a mobile website on your rankings is one are that Google has been very clear on. If you’re serious about maximising your visibility in search engines having a mobile website is a no brainer. Websites that are optimised for mobile will also generate more business as the engagement of visitors with their website increases shown through an increase in page views and the time spent on the website’.
If your site is not currently mobile responsive it is worth investing in an upgrade. Responsive websites are more likely to rank higher in the search engine results page. And if you user experience is good, they will stay longer.
Rocketspark’s blog on responsive websites is a good place to learn more about mobile responsive websites and see if your website is maximised for your visitors.