Breaking news: Google is shifting to mobile-first indexing for all websites in September of 2020. This news might come as no surprise—in July 2019, Google started using mobile-first indexing for all new websites. Now, it’s being used for every site.
For roughly 70% of websites, this is no big deal. Most websites, especially newer ones, are built to accommodate mobile visitors. It’s the other 30%, primarily older websites, that should take action to protect their SERP (Search Engine Results Page). All sites will still appear on Google Search, but mobile-friendly sites will rank higher.
Not familiar with mobile-first indexing? Not sure if your website is mobile-friendly? Not sure how to make your site mobile-friendly? Keep reading for answers to these questions.
What is mobile-first indexing?
In Google’s own words, mobile-first indexing means indexing (the process of ranking sites for Google Search results) in which “Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content.” Most sites have a desktop and mobile version. If you’ve been prioritizing your desktop version, the time has come to shift your attention.
Why is Google giving preference to mobile-friendly sites?
It’s not breaking news that internet users are spending more and more time on their phones. The percentage of mobile web usage has crossed the 50% mark, and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down. We’re getting more and more mobile, and Google is keeping up.
By giving SEO preference to mobile-optimized websites, Google makes searching with their search engine easier, quicker, and more useful. That’s always their primary goal.
How can you make your site mobile-friendly?
You can test if your website is mobile-friendly with Google’s handy mobile-friendly test. If it looks like your site needs some work, don’t fret! Remember, you have until September until this new indexing takes effect.
You may be able to get away with some tweaks to make your site mobile-friendly, but in some cases, a site redesign may be necessary. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to build your new, mobile-friendly site with a responsive design.
There are two kinds of mobile-ready web designs, responsive and adaptive. Responsive mobile web designs look similar to their desktop counterparts, but they stretch and shrink to fit the mobile device in use. Adaptive designs are entirely different web layouts explicitly designed to suit mobile devices. Google recommends responsive web designs.
Google has outlined some best practices for making your site mobile-friendly. These adjustments will help you give your visitors the best mobile experience and help you rank well with Google’s new mobile-first indexing policy.
Does Google still consider other SEO measures?
Yes! Here are just a few metrics Google has long assessed sites by to determine search engine rankings:
- Domain authority
- Trusted links
- Ease of reading and navigation
- Consistent content
- Relevant keywords
Outside of making your website mobile-friendly, using a responsive design, and following time-honored SEO guidelines, there are plenty of other actions you can take to organically drive traffic to your site:
- Set up your Google My Business listing
- Get listed in localized and industry-specific listings
- Engage with others’ content online
- Make sure you’re using the right keywords
- Make a content plan
Want your website to rank well under Google’s new mobile-first indexing, but don’t have the time to tweak your site? We can help! Start by scheduling a discovery call. We’ll walk through where you need help and how we can grow your business and reach your sales goals. We might even have some fun in the process!