If you've logged into your Google Search Console account at any point in the last two years (if you haven't, then um... you definitely should! Or hire a Melbourne digital marketing agency to monitor it for you, hint hint)... then you may have seen a notice that says Your site has been switched to Mobile First Indexing:
Now hands up if you're not quite sure what this means.
No worries! Allow us to share everything you need to know about mobile first indexing:
What is Mobile-First Indexing?
Mobile-first indexing just means that Google indexes the mobile version of a website first, before it indexes the desktop version.
This means that Google crawls your mobile site and determines search rankings from that version, before it even looks at the desktop version.
As Moz puts it, the mobile version will be considered the primary version of your website. So if your mobile site is very similar to your desktop site in terms of content and usability, then a change to mobile-first indexing should not seriously impact your search rankings.
But if the mobile version of your site is buggy, hard to navigate, or nonexistent (gasp!), then you've got some work to do if you want your site to rank for your desired keywords.
What should you do with your mobile site?
With mobile-first indexing, your focus should be on making the mobile version of your site user friendly, quick to load, and full of all the content that can be found on the desktop version of your site.
Here's a quick checklist to follow:
- Page speed - Make sure images are optimized for mobile and don't slow down each page's load time. Ensure the theme your site is using isn't slow-loading or clunky and if it is, consider switching themes.
- Content - Does all the content from your desktop site appear on your mobile site? (It's ok if it's hidden by collapsible menus)
- Search Console - Ensure both desktop and mobile sites are verified on Google Search Console
- Functionality - If any aspects of your mobile site are broken are don't look as they should, fix them. Also make sure that users can easily navigate your mobile site (if they can't, they will bounce).
Once you've taken care of the above items and have a mobile version of your website running seamlessly, you should be ready to thrive in the new mobile-first indexing online world.