We all know that Google is one of the (if not THE) biggest considerations for directing traffic to your website. We all need to keep up to date with how Google is updating its algorithms, making sure to keep our website in line with the changes to maintain those all-important search rankings – and there is one big change coming. The Mobile-First Index.
A study from earlier this year found that 55% of all web traffic comes from mobile and is continuing to rise.
What this means is that Google will begin to index your mobile site first. In plain English, Google will now be looking at your website’s mobile performance over desktop, when ranking it for search results. Google already put a lot of weight behind mobile, but soon it will not take desktop performance into consideration at all.
So, the question that should be on everyone’s mind right now – is my website mobile friendly? If not, what do I need to do?
According to a recent article on Search Engine Land, to be seen as responsive, your page needs to have the same content on mobile as it does on desktop. If you are removing content on mobile to streamline readers experience this will score negatively as Google doesn’t want to see your users not getting the full package on your website.
So – key points to look out for on your site:
- Make sure all content is the same on both desktop and mobile – if they aren’t equivalent then it’s not responsive.
- Have one URL that is responsive across both desktop and mobile, don’t use 2 different sites as even when the mobile version does come into the ranking considerations if there are any differences between the two then tip number 1 comes into effect.
- If you do have a mobile site, make sure you have all of your desktop content on there!
- Pop ups – most people find them annoying anyway, and turns out so do Google! They see them as a negative user experience and will now be penalising them.
Some good news – if you have content hidden behind drop-down boxes (accordions) or separate tabs in the hope that it makes the user journey easier on mobile, now this content is being taken into consideration by Google – so you can chunk up the content to help with readability.
So, when will this change come into effect?
Right now, it’s really important for you to have a responsive website, optimised for mobile. It is already taken into consideration by Google, and let’s face it – if 55% of your customers are viewing your site like that, then you should be wanting to help them out anyway. However, we don’t have a confirmed date yet for when the mobile-first index will come into play. It’s said to be early 2018, but we don’t have a definite deadline.
But, early 2018 will be with us soon, so if you want to talk to someone to check whether your site is responsive, or ask about how to make your website responsive – drop us a line either using our live chat or email [email protected] and our digital team can help.