Mobile-first indexing- What is it and Why is it important for SEO?
Google’s Mobile-first indexing is a process of crawling and indexing websites based on their mobile versions. This means that Google uses the mobile version of the website as the primary source for ranking and displaying information. The mobile version takes precedence over the desktop version and any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors are corrected. Mobile-first indexing is critical for SEO as it affects website evaluation, ranking and user experience across devices.
Why Is Mobile-first Indexing Important For SEO?
Mobile-first indexing is important for SEO for several reasons:
1) It reflects the growing trend of mobile usage. More and more people are accessing the internet on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Statistics said mobile devices accounted for 56.7% of global web traffic in Q2 2021. Google wants to provide the best user experience, so it makes sense to prioritise the mobile version of websites, which are more likely to match the user’s intent and expectations.
2) It affects the visibility and performance of websites. Since Google will use the mobile version of a website as the basis for indexing and ranking, it is crucial to ensure that the mobile version is optimised for SEO. It means that the mobile version should have the same or equivalent content, structure, and functionality as the desktop version and follow the best mobile-friendly practices, such as fast loading speed, responsive design, and easy navigation. Websites that fail to meet these standards may suffer from lower rankings, less traffic, and higher bounce rates.
3) It creates new opportunities and challenges for SEO. Mobile-first indexing also means that SEOs must adapt their strategies and tactics to the mobile environment. For example, SEOs need to consider how to optimise for voice search, which is more prevalent on mobile devices. They must also consider how Google displays different results on mobile devices, such as featured snippets, local packs, and image carousels. Additionally, SEOs need to monitor and measure the performance of their websites on mobile devices using tools such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
How Do You Prepare For Mobile-First Indexing?
To prepare for mobile-first indexing, SEOs should take the following steps:
a) Check the mobile-friendliness of your website.
You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool https://seo.co/mobile-first-indexing/ or SEO Checker Check your website’s performance to identify any mobile device issues or errors.
• Maintaining consistency between your website’s mobile and desktop versions is crucial. It is essential to ensure that all content, such as text, images, videos, links, and structured data, is available on desktop and mobile. It’s vital to avoid incorporating features unsupported on mobile devices, such as Flash and pop-ups.
• Responsive web design enables websites to adjust to screen size and orientation with flexible layouts, images, and CSS media queries. Responsive web design is the recommended approach by Google, as it eliminates the need to maintain separate versions of your website and ensures a consistent user experience across devices.
Optimise For Speed And Usability
You should also optimise your website for speed and usability on mobile devices, as these factors can affect your rankings and user satisfaction. Google’s PageSpeed is a helpful tool for analysing and optimising website performance. Check https://learn.g2.com/mobile-first-indexing or Lighthouse https://www.webfx.com/blog/seo/mobile-first-indexing/ to measure and improve your website’s loading speed and follow the web performance best practices, such as minifying code, compressing images, and using a content delivery network (CDN). It’s essential to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. Use clear headings, buttons, and menus to make mobile navigation easier. Avoid using intrusive ads or interstitials that obstruct the view or cause frustration. Making sure your website is responsive can improve user experience.
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