SEO is only as good as the quality of a site’s on-page content, user experience (UX) design, and other key factors that are evaluated by Google. One factor that’s especially important is how a website functions on a mobile device. Google introduced mobile-first indexing at the end of March following a year and a half of testing. So what does this mean for your website and its SEO now that we’re several months out from this change?
What is mobile-first indexing?
Mobile-first indexing means that if there’s a mobile version of your website, it will be considered the main version. Desktop was previously considered the primary version of a site.
So why the change?
Since 2015, the majority of people have been searching on their smartphones. Google has recognized this and made the decision to reward websites that cater to both mobile and desktop users.
How This Affects a Website
If your site isn’t responsive or there’s no mobile version, no need to panic. Sites have not been immediately penalized for lacking responsive/mobile designs. Desktop sites will still be indexed by Google, although it will be increasingly difficult for them to compete with ones that are built to perform on a smartphone.
If you haven’t already, you should begin working towards the changes and updates necessary for a mobile experience.
Optimizing for Mobile
Once you’ve created a responsive or mobile site, you’ll want to optimize it to provide a quality experience. Not only will this help your users, but Google should take notice, too. Below are just a few things to take into consideration:
- If you have separate mobile and desktop sites, include the same high-quality content that makes the desktop version of your site worthwhile and relevant. You may choose to condense information to make it easier to read from a phone.
- Update your titles and meta descriptions for mobile, especially if that’s where the majority of your traffic is coming from. You can access this information from Google Analytics.
- Keep UX design in mind. Make copy large enough for the device and provide a menu that makes navigating easy.
- Make sure that all image and video content is working properly.
Staying Up-To-Date with Algorithm Changes
In SEO, keeping up with change is a part of the job. You never know when something could completely shift the course of current methods used to determine website rank and performance. For now, mobile is where your focus should be.