Optimize for Google Mobile first indexing

By | September 27, 2018

How to ensure you are optimized for mobile first indexing on Google?

The mobile first index is becoming more and more important by the day. Being prepared for Google’s mobile first index is critical to your digital strategy and there are a large number of things that you can do to mitigate risks and increase your ranking opportunities.Mobile First Indexing

In this guide SEO Leaders has outlined six specific areas to work on to prepare for mobile first indexing and ensure that you benefit from it rather than be penalized by it.

The first thing to do before making any changes is to perform a complete site audit of your current desktop and mobile rankings for all the regions and countries that you do business in and then compare this alongside the top-ranking pages for those keywords. We have identified 6 key stages to help you prepare.

Stage 1

Ensure that you are mobile responsive. It is a common fact that today many digital marketers and SEO professionals do indeed segment between responsive or standalone mobile sites and this is going to get even more important in 2018.

Your site really needs to be fully responsive which mean that it adjusts and resizes and adapts to the device that your user is viewing the site on, whereas a mobile friendly site is very often quite unfriendly to mobiles as it essentially shrinks the content from a desktop to show it on a smaller screen. Lastly there are stand-alone mobile websites which are in fact completely separate entities from the desktop experience. This is quite an old technology and requires a lot of maintenance and updating and is not advisable as a route to take in the modern digital marketplace.

Stage 2 – optimise your website speed

In a mobile focused environment the speed of page load for your website is critical to rankings. Mobile devices have less processing power than desktop PCs so mobile responsive sites need to load quickly clean code optimised images and so on.

You can use Google insights to get a good idea of how Google sees your desktop and mobile site, you can also use GT Metrix, Pingdom and webpagetest.org. All to get a further view on the speed of your site.

You need to compare your website next to your competitors and make sure that you take action with the on page technical side to either match or beat them for speed.

Stage 3 – Optimise your customer’s journey

You need to understand the intentions of visitors to your site and make the journey as smooth as possible. The information they want should be right in front of them and you need to simplify the user experience so that it is trouble-free and seamless for them to navigate and achieve their goal.

Stage 4

Prioritize content that works best on mobile. With the current Google first index rollout, you need to be focused mainly on mobile and desktop secondary in our opinion. While your desktop experience on the website must be exemplary, it is possible to gear up your content to be very mobile friendly. For example, suitably sized images, very clear text and well authored articles. This will help you to have a very low bounce rate and generate a great user experience, and there by develop a large number of users with the right content. If you do not have the skills in this complex area you are well advised to contact a quality SEO agency to undertake the work for you, it could pay dividends in the longer term.

Stage 5 – Look into AMP (accelerated mobile pages)

Accelerated mobile pages are designed purely for webpages to load extremely quickly and then remove and thin out bloating elements like JavaScript that can cause delays. Amp is applied in a template in the website’s code and a page template is made specifically for the amp format and named as such so that Google knows there is an amp page to display in its mobile index. Amp is not necessarily the best way forward, here at SEO leaders we are not convinced that the trade-off with amps extra speed versus how much it takes from user experience is necessarily a great thing.

Stage 6 – Identify your competition

It is vital that you identify your competitors and analyse them so that you can watch their strategy evolve as the SEO industry does.

It is best to select market leading businesses in your niche to follow and benchmark yourself against them and indeed you may find that they have not planned well for mobile indexing and you could well take the lead against them if you are ahead of the game in this area.

Category: SEO