Preparing for Google’s new mobile-first indexing ensures that your website will rank well. With more emphasis on optimisation for mobile, making sure that your site is viewable on mobile devices is important. We’ve provided a helpful rundown of the new indexing approach and how you can adapt to Google’s changes.
At Get Your Mobi Ltd we work closely with our clients to provide advice on mobile optimisation.
About Mobile First Indexing
Understanding what this is and why Google are using it is important. In late March the search engine announced that it would start to roll out the new indexing approach. Google announced that they aim to ‘follow the best practices for mobile-first indexing’ and will ‘use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking’.
Despite changing the way they index, the index of the web will remain the same. Mobile optimised versions of sites and content will begin to take the forefront. Mobile-first indexing is a new way of gathering content and will become the starting point for indexing. A desktop site can still be included in the index, but without a mobile-friendly site your rankings could be impacted.
Despite the changes, there is no need to worry. However, it is always worth having a site that is optimised for mobile. It is estimated that around 80 per cent of shoppers make their purchases on smartphones. With increasing usage, mobiles are becoming a popular way of viewing websites.
How Are Mobile-optimised Experiences Delivered?
When it comes to mobile-optimised experiences, they tend to be delivered in three ways:
- Responsive Design
- Dynamic Serving
- Separate Mobile URL
Each of these approaches has different strengths and the differences are worth knowing. Responsive design does not change much about how your website looks on a mobile device. The URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) and HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) code will stay the same. Instead the design of the site will adapt to the device’s screen resolution. Google tends to prefer this approach as it requires the least effort from them when it comes to indexing.
Dynamic serving creates a different HTML code for both desktop and mobile users while keeping the URL the same. Some websites will detect the user-agent once a page is being loaded, helping it to process which site needs to be loaded onto a device.
A separate mobile URL creates a different code and URLs for the mobile websites. Sometimes a website will deliver its mobile content from a different subdomain or subfolder.
Updating Your Website
When it comes to mobile-first indexing, there are few things that you should check on your website. One of the first things to do is check your SEO titles and metas on your pages. If your mobile site has been optimised using responsive design, then everything on your desktop site should be transferred over. Otherwise you should check these along with your headlines and content.
Any structured data markup on the desktop and mobile site should be the same. This ensures that snippets featured in Google’s search results pages will be relevant and beneficial to you. It is also worth checking if your sitemaps are accessible from the mobile site. This applies to XML and media sitemaps, as well as robots.txt and on-page meta-robots tags.
Sitemaps are important as they provide derivatives for site engines to follow when crawling a site. Without one, Google will find it much harder to index.
Do I Need a Mobile Version of My Site?
Google should still index websites regardless of whether they are desktop or mobile. If you do not have a mobile website, making sure that your desktop website is mobile-friendly is important. This allows content to still be indexed and improve your rankings.
If you are competing against another website which is mobile-friendly, you can be sure that they will be ranked above you.
For advice on mobile-first indexing or to make your website more mobile friendly, get in contact with us today. You can call Get Your Mobi Ltd on 01524 63087 or fill in our online contact form.