Google are due to complete the process of moving all remaining websites to mobile first indexing in April 2021. Whilst many websites are already being indexed in this way (the process began in July 2019), Google will no longer take the desktop version of a website into account when ranking content, and instead only examine the mobile site. As a result, sites that do not have a mobile version will be dropped from Google’s index, which could lead to a significant drop in organic traffic.
In addition to these changes, m-dot sites (hosted on a separate subdomain) may experience complications when sending desktop users to a mobile version of a website.
To avoid any issues caused by the above, Blue Bee have put together a list of 5 steps you can take to ensure a smooth transition to mobile-first indexing:
1. Mirror Mobile and Desktop Content
Content on the desktop version of your site should align almost identically to your mobile site, as Google will only index and rank the content that appears on the mobile version. If the desktop and mobile site contain vastly different information, it is likely that you will see a drop in organic traffic due to the lack of content consistency decreasing user experience.
SEO is also important when aligning desktop and mobile sites. All metadata should be consistent and reflect the content of that page, as it helps Google understand the page and therefore increases the chance of your page reaching a better rank position in the search engine results page (SERP).
2. Ensure Videos and Images are Easy to Find
The quality of your user experience is largely dependent on how easy it is to navigate around your site. Videos and images should be positioned on your mobile site so they are easy to browse and locate, as poor navigation may be penalised by Google as bad user experience – and as a result will perform more negatively on the SERPs. Utilise key landing pages for critical information to ensure it can be easily located.
3. Focus on Image Quality
Low resolution images reduce the quality of your site, especially if it appears differently on the mobile version of your site or is not responsive to the change in screen dimensions. Due to their impact on user experience, Google views these images less favourably, making them less likely to feature on Google Images search result page.
4. Improve Site Speed with Lazy-Loading
Lazy loading refers to deferring the loading of non-visible content. Not only is it an effective method of reducing loading time for images and videos, but it will also improve user experience as a result. However, it is important that all relevant content is shown whenever it is visible in the viewport, so it is still visible for Google to index.
5. Keep a Clear Call to Action
If the content on the mobile version of your site isn’t formatted correctly, your pages are at risk of becoming lengthy and unengaging. A call to action (CTA) prompts a user to complete a behaviour that encourages a sale, for example “contact us” or “sign up to a free trial”. Ensure this CTA is in located in a prime location on your mobile site so the user does not have to scroll for long periods of time to take action.
Your SEO Specialist
Ensure the mobile version of your website aligns with Google’s latest algorithm change with our expert SEO services. We can increase the organic ranking of your website to drive greater traffic, and consequently, generate more leads. Get in touch with our digital marketing consultant to find out how we can help your business to grow.