Have you heard the term “mobile-first indexing” bouncing around recently? Google has started to place a higher emphasis on ranking mobile-friendly sites with the recent rise of mobile web browsing. Since this concept was introduced by Google in 2017, you may have received emails notifying you of increased Googlebot traffic in your logs.

Why should you be paying attention? In 2017, more than 60 percent of website visits across the Internet took place on mobile. Google is regularly reviewing your website for indexing and ranking purposes. To maintain a user-friendly website that attracts visitors, it’s important to understand what mobile-first indexing is and how to prepare your website.

The reason for this new ranking system

More and more web searches are happening by mobile device rather than desktop computer. Many of us have experienced the frustration of opening a site on a smartphone or tablet, only to find the text is too tiny to read and objects aren’t aligned properly among other difficulties. This can lead to high bounce rates and reduced conversions and purchases.

To optimize users’ online experiences, Google is changing its ranking system over time to favor mobile-friendly sites. It’s a bold move to encourage continued technological development in the mobile space. Although Google has assured website owners that desktop-only sites won’t be left out of rankings, and that content is still king when it comes to their ranking system, it still can’t hurt to prepare your website for mobile viewing. In order to turn that mobile traffic into engaged visits and website conversions, it makes good business sense to give site visitors what they want!

How to optimize your site for Google’s mobile-first indexing

What can you do to ensure your website continues to find its way to viewers? Your first step is making sure your site provides a great experience on both desktop and mobile. Next, consider the following tips for site optimization.

Give your site more speed.

Visitors will pass over sites that take too long to load. You can try any of the following to accomplish this:

  • AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) Project—a resource that uses pared-down html to speed up loading time.
  • PWAs (Progressive Web Apps)—which allow sites to load instantly and respond faster to user interaction
  • PWAMP—a combination of the two options

Make your content mobile-friendly.

If your site is built with a responsive design, you’ll want to be sure what’s on your desktop site is mobile-friendly as well. To do this, only use drop-down menus and pop-ups when necessary, avoid Flash, and pay careful attention to the size of text, buttons and padding.

Help customers shop with ease.

If yours is an e-commerce site, you’ll benefit from more than just Google ranking by providing a more stress-free shopping experience. Be sure your site is fast and requires minimal steps and information to complete a sale. Make navigation toward purchase easy, with as few clicks, text and pop-ups as possible.

Need help getting ready for mobile-first indexing?

If you don’t already, it helps to have the right development team in place to ensure your website is optimized and user-friendly. And RightWorks can help! We’ll work with you to determine the right solution for your website support and development needs. To learn more, contact us today!