Upgrade Your SEO to Meet Google’s Mobile-First Indexing
You’ve optimized your website with a mobile-first design. You’ve kept up with trends and stayed savvy by providing a user-friendly experience. Maybe you’ve read The Deciding Factor’s blog on the differences between mobile-first and responsive design.
But have you planned for mobile-first indexing? Google is changing the game by shifting its focus to the mobile version of your webpage for ranking and indexing purposes.
Google pivoted to mobile-first indexing earlier this year — so there is no time to waste! You need to optimize your website both for mobile visitors and the new search paradigm shift.
A Shift in Thinking
Google’s mobile-first indexing means the mobile version of your website is the starting point for indexing and ranking determination. Google first announced its push to mobile-first indexing at the end of 2016. But the rollout has been gradual, though any websites launched after July 2019 were automatically indexed as mobile-first.
“This change demonstrates the shift of thinking, by both consumers and Google, regarding the ‘primary’ or most important way to browse the web. Desktop is no longer the main device used. Mobile usage has exploded, and Google is responding. As a business owner, marketing professional, SEO agency or anyone who owns a website, it’s important you shift your thinking, too,” according to Forbes.
Pay close attention to and understand what this means for your website. How can you upgrade your SEO efforts to ensure that your site measures up to this new ranking criteria?
Don’t Sacrifice Conversions
“There are major differences between how your site appears on a desktop compared to how it will appear on a smartphone or tablet,” says Karen Vance, Director of Digital & Content Marketing for The Deciding Factor. “There’s little room for responsive sidebars or accordion menus due to the smaller screen sizes and aspect ratios.”
A problem arises, however, when web designers attempt to improve speed and mobile usability by hiding or removing content, such as calls to action. You’re affecting your page’s ability to convert your traffic into customers!
Businesses in the past assumed that users would scroll as little as possible and mobile sites were whittled down accordingly. With mobile-first indexing, however, the most important content on your desktop site must be retained on mobile for keyword and content relevance.
“You have to find the balance between telling people what they want and need to know versus asking them to take action or the next step,” Vance says. “Your mobile experience should simplify what you want people to do, while still giving them a chance to learn about your business if they want to.” Emphasizing your site’s call to action helps you achieve better qualification of your leads, Vance explains.
Google Search Central provides the following suggestions to ensure that the primary content stays equitable:
- Make sure that Googlebot can access and render your mobile page content and resources
- Check your structured data
- Check visual content, including following image and video best practices
- Put the same metadata — including keywords, SEO titles, slugs and meta descriptions — on both versions of your site
“Taking extra care with these aspects of mobile website development is critical for SEO optimization,” says Vance. “But knowing how to approach mobile SEO isn’t enough — you need experts who understand a mobile-first mentality, conversion strategy and have the right online visibility management solutions for the job.”
Understand the Audience with Semrush
The Deciding Factor digital marketing firm uses Semrush for SEO guidance, keyword research, link building, website health, monitoring competitors and more! This SEO tool has several functionalities to help meet Google’s mobile-first indexing criteria:
- Semrush Site Audit for a full-fledged report on technical SEO issues
- Mobile-friendly test and mobile usability test to see if Google considers your website well-suited for mobile devices
- PageSpeed Insights for load time optimization
- Self-evident Structured data testing tool
- Semrush Domain Analytics to pursue your competitors and keywords
- Semrush Position tracking to simultaneously track site rankings for desktop and mobile devices
- On Page SEO Checker and SEO Content Template to help with content creation and to improve existing content
Let Us Boost Your Visibility
Mobile-first indexing can be intimidating. You’ve already put so much into the mobile version of your website. It can feel exhausting knowing there’s more work to be done!
Let us do the work for you. Contact The Deciding Factor to work with SEO experts who will raise your search results and enhance the user experience.