Mobile First Index: Clearing All Your Doubts About Google Mobile First Strategy In 2017
The basic idea of SEO has always been to help people find the right information effectively.
The long journey of search engine optimization over the years have made it quite layered. However, the core idea is still the same. And Google mobile first strategy is taking that core idea forward.
The search engines still want to make the information available to the people as easy as possible. This mission has led Google towards the mobile-first index.
By rolling out the new indexing policy, Google is trying to improve user experience, according to the changing scenarios. However, the announcement has raised a lot of questions and confusion among site owners.
In this article, you will get to clear most of your doubts regarding Google mobile-first index 2017. We’ll go through the questions like:
- What is mobile-first indexing?
- What does it want from the websites? And,
- How to improve your rankings with it?
What is mobile-first indexing?
Google indexes a page of a website for multiple factors in order to provide a rank in the suitable search result. However, Google has been looking at the desktop version of the website in order to judge those factors. But things are changing with the new update.
Google wants to rank the websites by indexing the mobile version.
Apart from the basic explanation, there are various questions that can clear your idea on this update.
So, let’s discuss more on Google mobile-first strategy.
1. How is Google changing the indexing strategy?
With the mobile searches overpowering the desktop, Google wants to provide a better search experience to the mobile searchers.
The shift from the desktop to the mobile crawl will allow Google to present best quality pages to the mobile searchers.
2. What is the reason behind this massive change?
It would not be wrong to say that the search statistics have made this change inevitable. Google started noticing how mobile devices were fulfilling all the requirements for searchers as well as businesses.
- Mobile devices allow people to search anywhere and anytime.
- The searches conducted on mobile have specific goals.
- The mobile searches are more likely to convert into a phone call, a purchase, or sharing.
- The time lag between search and the follow-up action stays lower for mobile searches.
These factors make this bold change extremely necessary for the future of search engines.
What does Google want from websites?
In one sentence, “Google wants all websites to become a customer-focused brand on mobile.”
The word ‘mobile-friendly’ is more about being ‘mobile user-friendly’. Because, like any other business company, Google wants to provide a great experience to the users.
For the mobile users, Google wants you to become a top-notch mobile-friendly website with:
- Responsive design- the design of the site should have the capacity to fit in all screen sizes.
- Site speed- your website should have the capacity to load all the text and other media on the page within 3 to 4 seconds.
- User-friendly- the user should be able to click on all clickable icon comfortably on mobile screen.
If you can focus on the right characteristics of your mobile site, the update won’t harm your rankings at all. However, that “if” is what concerns site owners the most. Hence, it would be wise to start making a few changes to completely prepare your site for the mobile-first index.
Here is the answer to the main question you have been asking.
How to improve rankings with Google mobile-first indexing?
Till now, we have become familiar with the Google’s plans. Now, it is the time that you start taking necessary steps to stay parallel with Google’s agenda.
So, take a look at the following points and make a site that gives you a ranking boosts.
1. Make up your mind for mobile-first index SEO
The time for “you need to” has become “you have to” now. If you keep on working with the desktop version, it can directly bring you out of the game.
Both mobile-friendliness and mobile-first are going to come into action. In that scenario, you don’t want to fight with old weapons.
So, you need to re-establish the whole site strategy, keeping all the guidelines in mind.
2. Arrange content structure for mobile
Thinking mobile-friendly and actually being one are two different things.
Many websites forget to work on the content structure, which results in difficulties for the visitors who use smartphones to access the sites.
With more smartphone searchers, it becomes logical to prepare the content keeping the mobile devices in mind.
You can work on the following strategies in order structure your content for mobile.
a. Content Accessibility
The first thing you need to work on, in the content, is its accessibility on mobile. Make sure that all the content of the desktop version is available on the mobile version as well. You can re-structure the content, or provide links along with a small content portion. But don’t remove the content just for the sake of fitting the screens. The consistent experience is extremely important.
Hiding the content is not the right solution.
The next thing to focus on would be the readability of the content. Now, you must be following various standard formats such as headings, subheadings, bullet points in order to provide highly readable content on your desktop version.
But, the shift of the content to the mobile requires restructuring. You can’t use the large paragraphs, as it can make the content overwhelming for the readers. The small paragraphs and well-divided points can help you present long and comprehensive content easily.
c. Content variety
Mobil searchers don’t want to get bored. So, no matter what business you offer, the content should be able to engage them. A variety of interesting audio, video and written content can help you keep the traffic high.
3. Work to attain responsive site design
The most important strategy that you need to work on the site design. The navigation, icons, call-to-action and all the other aspects should be conveniently adjusted for various devices.
A responsive site blends with the device sizes without compromising the user experience. Hence, a responsive design offers a quality experience for both mobile as well as desktop searchers.
Here are a few factors to focus on in order to ensure the mobile responsiveness of website.
a. Compressed Images
Having beautiful photos on your site engages the visitors. However, the high-resolution images can increase the load time of your site on the mobile. And the mobile searchers don’t wait for more than 3 to 5 seconds if it doesn’t load. So, make sure you compress the images enough to keep the quality and the load time well-balanced.
b. Flexible layout
To achieve the goal of responsive site design, you need to focus on the flexibility of the layout. The layout of the website should be able to fit all sizes of screens. A responsive design complements smartphones, tablets and desktop screens altogether. In fact, it would be wise to start designing keeping the small screens in mind. This way, you can keep the elements well suited for all screen sizes.
c. Optimize icons’ touch
Your mobile site should not make the icons difficult to “touch”. The visitor should be able to click the icons conveniently. For that, you need to optimize the icons for the small screens and make sure that the size of the icons is big enough for the finger’s touch.
The Best way to shift towards mobile-first index Google
Thankfully, Google is taking care of the rankings of the websites and keeping the index update a step-by-step process. So, you can make your way towards mobile devices with following stages.
Ensure complete SEO perfection on your current website
Start by clearing the current SEO mistakes. Get rid of the elements that are harming the SEO of your content pages.
Slowly move towards mobile compliance
With a strategical approach, you should, then, work on getting the mobile version of your website. Make sure that you focus on the responsiveness and user experience in the small devices.
Achieve equivalence between mobile and desktop versions
Keeping your mobile version primary, you should ensure that the desktop and mobile versions are equivalent. The content, design, and all other elements should provide the similar user experience.
You don’t have to worry about the mobile-first index. On the contrary, it is offering a great opportunity to enhance your visibility and conversion rates by increasing mobile search rankings.
So, think like Google and start bending your digital platform towards the mobile “systematically”.