Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is evolving and over the years Google has ruled out a lot of updates and algorithm changes.
The latest one is Google Mobile-First Index. In November 2016, Google first announced its mobile-first index. After a year and a half of experimentation and testing, Google officially rolls out the Mobile-First Index in March 2018.
SEO specialists and SEO agencies get increasingly concerned about SEO techniques with each modification and update from Google.
However, we do need to shift our focus to mobile optimization and methods that are relevant to mobile devices in light of the Mobile-First Index.
Because Google will now base a website’s ranking on how well it performs in mobile searches.
What is Mobile-First Index?
The phrase “mobile-first index” refers to the fact that the mobile version of your website will appear first in Google search results. This will affect both the desktop and mobile versions of your website’s SERP rankings.
Therefore, if your website is mobile-optimized, it will rank on both mobile and desktop.
However, if your website is not mobile-friendly, both your desktop and mobile rankings will suffer.
Avoid confusing the terms “mobile-first” and “mobile-only” index.
Because a website without a mobile-friendly version may still be indexed by Google, but doing so will hurt that website’s rating.
SEO Strategies for Mobile-First Index
Your website’s present website architecture and condition will determine your SEO approach for mobile-first indexing. Your website may be up to date or far behind.
Therefore, it is preferable to examine your website before making changes or implementing new tactics. I’ll go over a few SEO tactics here for the mobile-first index.
You can use these tactics if you believe your website requires some adjustments for mobile-first indexing.
Between “mobile optimized” and “mobile-friendly,” there is a significant distinction. You have a website that can be browsed on a mobile device if it is mobile friendly.
On the other hand, a website that is mobile-optimized is one that can be viewed on mobile devices and that automatically changes its layout to fit the screen size of the device.
The first requirement of the mobile-first index is “Mobile-Optimized Website”. Check to see if your website is mobile-friendly. Google’s “Mobile friendly Test” tool is available for usage. This tool will inform you if you’re heading in the right direction.
Web Page Loading Speed
Because mobile users are constantly pressed for time, the mobile-first index does take page loading speed into consideration. The bounce rate of your website will rise as a result of the slow page loading time.
Additionally, it will negatively impact your website’s ranking. Google advises webmasters to speed up website loading because of this. Google’s Test My Site Tool is a tool that you may use to evaluate how quickly your mobile site loads. This tool provides statistics on:
- Mobile usability, sizing objects, text readability
- Make comparison against industry benchmarks
- Many tools available on online with help of them you can determine the speed of the website on mobile .
Content is king when it comes to SEO. Additionally, it’s a crucial component of SEO tactics for the mobile-first index.
Because the bounce rate and SERP ranking will both rise if the visitor can’t read the content on their mobile device.
Assure them that the content is not covered by accordions so they may click and read it. Attempt to provide worthwhile information, regardless of size. If the information is interesting, your visitor will read it all the way through.
Add Structured Data
Webmasters like to employ structured data on their websites’ desktop versions. It aids the bot in learning about a webpage’s content.
Structured data is becoming more crucial for a mobile version of a website since the mobile-first index was introduced.
You must add necessary data markups on your website’s mobile edition. In the structured data on mobile sites, don’t forget to include the URLs in their mobile-friendly format.
XML Sitemap and Robots.txt
I don’t believe I need to go into detail about the significance of XML sitemaps and Robots.txt for SEO. They are a website’s most crucial component.
Make that all of the links to your XML sitemap are clickable from the mobile version of your website now that the mobile-first index is operational.
The Robots.txt file is no different, as improper access to it could have negative effects.
Google Search Console Verification
Verifying their website’s mobile version in Google Search Console is a crucial step that many webmasters overlook.
You may get real-time updates on crawling, indexing, and any difficulties with your website by including a mobile version of it in the Search Console.
The infographic for Google’s mobile-first index, which is located below, can assist you in understanding all that has to be done to make your website mobile-friendly.