Google Releases Mobile-First Index: Is Your Site Ready?

More than ever, consumers have information readily available at their fingerprints 24/7. With the rise of mobile devices, tablets, and voice-assistants, desktop use is gradually becoming a thing of the past. According to Stone Temple, mobile use in the U.S. surpassed desktop use by an astounding 63 percent in 2017.

Google is taking notice of this trend. As of July 2018, they announced that they will now prioritize the mobile versions of websites over desktop versions in their rankings with a “Mobile-First Index.” If your website is not mobile-friendly, it could now potentially be outranked by competitor sites, or be left out of Google’s new algorithm completely.

Ensure your listing stays at the top of page one with our simple guide.

What is the Mobile-First Index?

In the past, Google typically crawled the desktop version of websites. In March 2018, they announced they would begin instead prioritizing the mobile version in one consolidated index.

What exactly does this mean? Say the current desktop version of your business’ site is fully optimized and rich with content, but the mobile version is only one page with a few buttons. With the new index, the mobile site would be crawled first—and all the hard work you dedicated to your desktop site could potentially go to waste.

4 Steps to Keep Your Site High-Ranking 

1. Make Sure Your Site is Responsive

The best option for both Google crawlability and overall user experience is a responsive design. A responsive design makes it possible for one cohesive design to render the same on any kind of device and on any type of browser. The last thing a potential buyer wants to do is be forced to zoom in on every single page just to read a single line of text. And the last thing you want to do is make a Google bot work extra to crawl your site, risking that crucial pages will not get indexed; is the key solution to these issues.

2. Keep Page Speed in Mind

Page speed is not an official factor in the Mobile-First Index, but it is a crucial ranking factor overall and is vital for keeping mobile users on your site. Most buyers using a smartphone need to find information as quickly as possible, and if your pages take longer than just three seconds to load, users will bounce off your site and drive down your rankings.

3. Declutter Your Design

When it comes to web design in 2018, simple is key. Don’t make potential leads scroll around your site just to find your phone number. Keep all conversion points in clear view on every page and remove any excess noise, such as large or flashy banners, or multiple images.

4. Monitor in Google Search Console

When you set up and verify your site in Google Search Console, you will be notified when it has been officially submitted to the Mobile First-Index. You can also take advantage of the options available to help you monitor your mobile site, including Mobile Usability. This useful tool assesses various points on your site that need improvement and whether each individual page is mobile-friendly.

Not Sure Where to Begin?

The digital team at Stream is ready to assist! Our SEO experts focus on enhancing your website for all devices and we also offer responsive web design services. Contact us today with your questions!