If you’re a website owner who doesn’t have a digital agency working for you or you don’t keep up with SEO news, you’re probably scratching your head at the emails you’re receiving about ‘mobile-first indexing’.
To put you in the know, here’s a quick run-down.
Why am I getting these mobile-first indexing emails?
If you’ve received an email relating to mobile-first indexing it’s because Google has decided the time is right to move your site across to its new(ish) mobile-first index.
What is the mobile-first index?
It’s what it says on the tin. Mobile-first, not mobile-only.
So if your site only works effectively on desktop computers, you could still be moved to the mobile-first index.
If my desktop site is moved to mobile-first, what should I do?
First up, don’t panic.
Second, take stock of what moving to mobile-first actually means for your business and its ability to acquire new customers from search engines organically.
When you search your primary keywords/phrases, what does the rest of the SERP look like? Do all your competitors have mobile sites or not?
If not, it may be a relatively simple job to make your mobile website infrastructure fit for purpose.
But if everyone else offers a full mobile experience, over time you could find yourself slipping down the SERP as users have interacted better with the other sites.
Check your Analytics. What is the current share of traffic between mobile and desktop? And how has it changed when compared to the same period last year?
If you have a desktop site but are experiencing growing levels of mobile traffic year-on-year you should really decide if a mobile website would better serve the needs of your users and, importantly, convert more into customers.
Mobile-first Indexing for responsive websites
You won’t have much to do if your site is already responsive. There should be no confusion for search engines in terms of website versions and other aspects of your content.
We’d recommend you focus on the SEO basics. Ensure mobile load speed is a key focus and run your keyword rankings on mobile to see if they are in line with desktop, then react accordingly.
Mobile-first Indexing for m. Websites
Mobile-first is a little more involved for those who operate both a desktop and mobile versions of their site and there’s a good checklist in this moz post.
While moving to mobile-first should be smooth for most it’s essential that site owners stay on top of where they are in the process and ensure that their mobile website infrastructure offers the best possible experience to users.