With the advent of technology, online businesses aim to rank high in the search engine results. When a user looks for something in search engines like Google, Yahoo, a list of results come up. Usually users only click on the results that are displayed on the first page of the search results. So, websites usually target to rank high in the search engine results to make their brand visible to users. With the help of certain techniques like Search Engine Optimization(SEO), businesses rank high in the search engine results. Primarily, the desktop content of a website is always the baseline for Google Index to determine rankings. But major part of the online audience these days prefer to search something in their mobiles.
Historically, Google index looks at the desktop version of a site when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s query. Mobile First Indexing is a ranking strategy that will prioritize on how a website performs on mobile over how it performs in a desktop display.
It is called “mobile first” because it is not a “mobile-only index”. For example, if a website does not have a mobile-friendly version, the desktop site can also be included in the index. But if the site is not mobile-friendly, that experience can negatively impact on the rankings of the site. Whereas, a site with a better mobile experience, would potentially receive a boost in their rankings.
This can be considered as a revolutionary shift for digital marketers across the world. Initially, mobile website performance will affect only mobile search and a relatively small percentage of mobile users. But as Google’s mobile-first indexing rolls out, mobile website performance will affect the site’s ranking on mobiles as well as desktop. This makes mobile site a top priority in domains like SEO and digital marketing.
Need for mobile-first indexing
With the arrival of smartphones in the market, it is seen that people that people depend on mobile devices more than they use desktop or their laptops. It is usually easier to look for something in Google with the help of mobile than with the help of a desktop or a laptop. Certain studies and statistics say-
Most of the Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries which even include US. 77% of mobile searches are made even when the desktop PC is available. Also, the number of mobile only Internet users exceed desktop only users in the US. Even when it comes to B2B domain, 90% of executives use mobile devices to research for business purposes. Google recently experienced that B2B purchase rates on mobile devices rose 22% from 2013 to 2015.
These numbers and figures confirm the fact that mobiles are the main electronic gadget used for internet search and other activities on internet. So, there is always a need for mobile-first indexing that will determine the ranking of a site in mobiles.
Almost every business that has an online presence should prepare the site for mobile-first indexing. Some of the tips are as follows-
Use a responsive design– One of the most things that businesses need to do is go for a responsive website. This would help the site to take the shape of the device from which it is viewed. Having separate website structure for desktop and mobiles can create a difference in synchronizing all. To prepare your site for mobile-first indexing, it is better to have the same site for all electronic devices. Responsible websites are not only designed to fit on any screen, but also to keep the site as fluid and accessible as possible.
Go for mobile friendly content– It is very important to have relevant and valuable content to entice users to your site. It is very important to adjust a long form of copy of content on the mobile screen. Break lengthy articles with images and videos. Also consider using digestible formats such as bullet formats and infographics. Short, snappier headlines also help users to read and scan faster. Using different media types, can keep readers engaged to your site.
Prioritize site speed and user experience: It is very important for business owners to track the speed of the website on mobiles. A site that is taking time to load properly can frustrate users and eventually they will leave the site. A fast website encourages more online sessions, more of customer conversions, lower bounce rate and higher customer engagement. So, ensure that your site loads fast and performs fast. To improve your site’s load time, you can also do the following-
- Minimize the number of redirects
- Introduce Accelerated Mobile Pages(AMP) on site to give your pages a lightening quick advantage
- Put JS at the bottom and CSS at the top of HTML files
- Compress images
- Load above-the-fold content before below-the-fold content
- Reduce amount of flash content on your site
Opt for the right tool: A good tool will assess that how well your site functions on mobile devices. You can take the help of Google’s own Mobile- Friendliness Tool. If Google figures out things that hinder a good user experiencer on your site. You can use the valuable feedback and work with the development team to make the changes.
Your own experience is important: It is very important to check the website on your mobile. This will help you to understand from the perspective of the user. Take a few minutes to navigate the site on your mobile phone. Click on links, navigate the different pages of your site, fill out forms to know if any glitches are there on the site. Ig Google does not find any technical errors, or common display issues, it does not mean that the site provides best mobile experience as it should.
Be it an ecommerce development company, IT software company or a hotel service provider, the online version of a website should be easy to access. It should provide a good under experience and not provide any sort of constraints. Most of the people try to shop online through their mobiles or book air tickets, so the user experience on mobiles should be perfect. Be an ecommerce development company or a software provider, every business aiming to have a sound online presence, must prepare their site for mobile-first indexing.