Why your SEO Campaign should be focusing on Google mobile-first index

  • AUTHOR: admin
  • December 22, 2016
Why your SEO Campaign should be focusing on Google mobile-first index

What is Google mobile-first index?

 

A new age of SEO is emerging with Google introducing mobile-first index. There has been some question as to what this means exactly, ever since the announcement was made at Pubcon. Google mobile-first index differentiates desktop and mobile sites in terms of how they are crawled and indexed on Google’s database. This essentially means that Google will crawl (analyse your web pages) both your desktop and mobile forms of content separately. Google previously only crawled and indexed desktop content.

What does Google mobile-first index mean for SEO?

 

Rogue Marketing published a slightly alarming statistic, stating that 75% of people who search on Google in 2017 will be doing it through a mobile phone. In addition to this, analysts at Go Click Creative who work to produce many Nottingham SEO reports for website owners, have discovered that many business owners do not have a mobile optimised site. Google stated that this will not be a problem as the desktop site will be crawled and used for mobile indexing. Although the site will not receive the mobile-friendly seal of approval from Google, which means the site won’t rank well in comparison to mobile-optimised sites. If business owners don’t want to fall behind they should focus on implementing a mobile optimised site. This being a website that can be utilised by Google’s mobile-first index.

How to make sure your mobile site is ready for Google:

 

1. Check if your mobile site is being indexed

Using any smartphone you can enter “site:website.com” to check if your pages are being indexed, if nothing appears this means your site is not optimised correctly and Google cannot view your mobile site pages. This problem usually occurs when a desktop and mobile website has two different URL’s such as “testwebsite.com” and “m.testwebsite.com” You can resolve this problem by creating a mobile sitemap and submitting it to Google Search Console, this will help Google index your mobile pages.

2. Check your pages with Googles Mobile-Friendly Test Tool

Yes simple! Google has created a mobile-friendly test tool that will analyse any URL to test whether the page is mobile-friendly. This may be a bit time consuming pasting all your pages into the search tool, but worth it. Google will provide feedback based on the page following it’s analysis, from here you can develop a strategy for improvement.

3. On-site SEO for Mobile

Desktop on-site SEO is very important. However,  the introduction of mobile-first index requires a greater need for emphasis on mobile on-site SEO. There are different strategies which need to be adopted when optimising your mobile site. Key SEO factors such as title tags are shorter on desktop than on mobile. It is important to consider all possible ways to adjust meta and title tags to satisfy both the needs of desktop and mobile users. Tools such as Screaming Frog can be used to analyse your site data and help optimise your site’s mobile experience for users.

4. Mobile Loading times

A mobile site loading at a slow speed can drastically increase your bounce rate and decrease page views. There are many simple steps which can be taken to increase the page speed of your mobile site. The first step is to test your site speed, PageSpeed Insights Tool by google is perfect for doing this and will provide a score out of 100 for both your mobile and desktop site speeds.
Page loading speeds can be increased by performing simple tasks such as optimising images on your mobile site, performing JS and CSS minifcation and finally using a CDN provider, such as Cloudflare, to filter your traffic.

Following these simple steps will enhance your mobile SEO campaign and allow Google to index your mobile content better.

By Philip Pieri

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