What is Google’s Mobile First Index? Why Does it Matter for Your Website?
What is Google’s Mobile First Index, You Ask?
Google’s Mobile First Index has been in the works for months as an effort to improve the user experience when searching on mobile devices. Almost all online searches start on a mobile device. Since the experts at Google noticed the increase in mobile searches, they decided to start rewarding mobile friendly websites in SERPs (Search Engine Result Page).
Have you visited a website on your smartphone and noticed that it has far less information than if you were to visit the site on your laptop? Google may begin to penalize business websites that have this problem and reward websites that have a greater mobile usability.
Google’s bots used to crawl desktop versions of sites in order to rank sites. This will no longer be the case. Google’s Mobile First Index instructs the Google bots to crawl mobile versions of websites to create rankings.
Your Online Marketing Solutions in 2017
How will Google’s Mobile First Index affect your digital marketing efforts in 2017? If your site isn’t already mobile friendly, Google’s Mobile First Index is your wake up call. Mobile-friendly websites will see their rankings improve. One of your priorities this quarter should be improving your website’s mobile usability.
If you do not have a mobile version of your website, the Google bots will crawl the desktop version of your website. For now. As Google’s Mobile First Index is refined over time, your business website will be penalized for not being mobile friendly. You better get to it!
Website Speed Optimization
Have you ever searched for “best pizza near me” and clicked a search result, only to wait ten minutes for a page to load? You don’t have time for this — you need your pizza ASAP! You go back to your search results to find the second “best pizza” near you. Hopefully this website will load quickly enough for you to order your pizza before the game starts!
This tragic scenario is the reason why Google has placed more weight on website speed optimization. Longer website loading times lead to higher bounce rates. If your website takes too long to load, visitors will move on and visit another website. You have already lost potential customers without even getting the chance to showcase your product or service.
Your website’s loading time is an element of Google’s Mobile First Index. Instead of Google considering the loading time of your desktop website, Google now focuses on the loading time of your mobile website. Is there a disparity between the two? Now is the time to fix that.
Improving Your Loading Times
Do you know how long it takes to load your mobile website? See what the difference is between loading your mobile website and your desktop website. Improve your website’s mobile usability to see improvements in your rankings. It can take longer for your website to load if you have a ton of large images on your website. Decrease your loading times by compressing images on each web page. There are a few digital marketing tools that you can find online to do this.
Mobile Marketing Goals in 2017
The first step in improving your digital marketing game is to put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer or client. Let’s revisit the pizza scenario. If the hungry pizza lover visited your pizzeria website on their smartphone, what would they see? Remember that you only get one chance to make a first impression.
Many mobile versions of websites do not have as much content as their desktop counterparts. Google does not like that. Google’s Mobile First Index will lower your rankings if your mobile site has far less content.
You can avoid this penalty by making sure your website’s theme is mobile-responsive. You can save yourself a lot of time and grief if you know what your mobile website will look like as you build your website from the beginning.
Mobile Usability Tips
Now that you know mobile usability is so important, how do you improve your website’s mobile usability? There are a lot of different things you can do to make your website more mobile-friendly. Start with learning how Google’s robots see your mobile website. You can learn about this by searching for Google’s robots.txt testing tool.
Another simple step you can take is to verify ownership of your mobile website. It’s common knowledge in the digital marketing world that you should claim your website to make Google happy. Have you done this for the mobile version of your website? Take this step to change how Google’s robots crawl your mobile website.
Google’s Mobile First Index & Digital Marketing
What does this development mean for your small business website? At the end of the day, your priority should be making your website mobile-friendly. Even if you are not trying to please Google, you can focus on how you present your business to potential customers. Google did not make this change on a whim. Google saw that people are using their mobile devices for searches more and more.
What happens if you don’t do what Google suggests? It may not hurt your business right now, but it will over time. Once you get behind online marketing trends, it takes a lot more time, effort, and money to catch up. Instead of looking at this change as a burden, consider it an opportunity.
Do your local competitors know about Google’s Mobile First Index? Do they have a digital marketing firm helping them keep up with SEO trends and digital marketing advice? This could be your shot to beat out the competition and get that coveted spot on page one of a SERP.
MarkUBiz Can Help You with Google’s Mobile First Index
MarkUBiz offers online marketing solutions for small businesses. It is our job to keep up with Google’s algorithm updates and SEO trends so that you can focus on your business. From Google Penguin to Google Hummingbird and Google’s Mobile First Index, MarkUBiz has helped small businesses gain visibility online.
Digital marketing can take your small business to the next level. Contact us for a FREE Web Presence Review with Reno’s digital marketing firm, MarkUBiz!