With rumors that Google is switching to their ‘Mobile First Index’ this year, there are some website updates you’ll want to have in place to maintain your search results.
So what is the ‘Mobile First Index’?
Firstly, a ‘mobile-friendly’ or ‘responsive’ site means that your website will automatically resize to the device it is viewed on. So ‘mobile first’ is where Google determines your page rank in search results based on the mobile-friendly version of your website in the attempt to provide the best user experience for customers using mobile devices like smart phones and tablets.
As more than half of all searches are now made on mobile devices it makes sense for Google to reward websites with better rankings if they provide a greater mobile experience than their competitors. If your website is not mobile friendly Google will still crawl your site but this will impact your rankings, especially when customers are searching on mobile devices. So for websites that are static desktop-only designs, now is the time to have your site re-wrapped in a responsive design to ensure you are not left behind.
For businesses who have already upgraded their sites to a responsive format, I would recommend focusing on improving the site click-through-rate and presentation in search results and in social media posts. This will ensure that when the site is shared online it displays with well crafted page descriptions and imagery, taking up as much physical architecture in search results as possible. This can be achieved by implementing the following items -
Structured data - make sure products, events, local business details and reviews have structured data included so Google can use this important information in your Search Results.
Metadata - ensure your page titles and descriptions are custom written for each page of your site and ensure the information is relevant to your current business offerings.
Social Tags - control your page titles, description and hero page image or video in social media posts to ensure your site pages translate well in Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.
Robots.txt - any pages you don’t want added to the google database should be included in a robots.txt page.
Search Console Verification - check your site is added to Google and Bing webmaster tools and any indexing issues like 404 errors have been attended to, ensuring the integrity of the site navigation and inbound links to your site.
With the Google algorithm constantly being updated, the way your site views and the rankings it has can change dramatically. These changes then affect how much traffic is driven to your site organically.
Contact us if you want to get your site mobile-friendly, improve your search engine results and get more traffic to your online business.