In 2016, more than half of all Google searches originated from a mobile device. So, it should come as no surprise that Google is shifting to a “mobile-first” policy with its indexing. And ignoring the mobile trend isn’t going to be good for your Orlando search engine optimization efforts. It’s not yet clear how rankings may be effected. Still, the mobile first shift does provide an added incentive to seek assistance from an Orlando SEO consultant as you determine how ready your site really is for mobile visitors. Here’s what you need to know to be as prepared as possible.
How Google’s Mobile-First Indexing Works
Instead of indexing for both desktop and mobile, Google will have a single index that considers websites from a mobile perspective only. Essentially, Google will view your site as it would appear to somebody accessing it from a mobile device. There won’t be any changes with canonical tags that tell Google which version of a page you prefer for ranking purposes.
Not a ‘Punishment’ for Desktop-Designed Sites
Google has no plans to intentionally punish websites that aren’t specifically designed for mobile users. If you have a desktop site, Google will continue to rank it as it did previously. The focus will still be on the relevance of the content presented and how functional your site is for users. Factors Google will look at on your site will still include:
- Page load times and overall navigation
- Relevance of meta descriptions and keywords
- Quality of internal/external links
Rewarding More Responsive Websites
In a nutshell, websites that are designed with visitors in mind will continue to rank well. Our Orlando web design company often recommend desktop and mobile versions of the same site for businesses that want to cater to visitors regardless of their preferred platform. It’s still fine to have duel versions of a site, as long as the content and coding (markup) on both sites is similar.
Preparing Your Website for Mobile-First
Our Orlando SEO services seek to prepare your site to focus entirely on the mobile first approach. For desktop and mobile versions of a site that aren’t entirely similar, preparing for mobile-first will involve making changes to site configuration. If you’ve only verified the desktop version of your site on Google’s Search Console, you’ll need to do the same thing for the mobile version of your site. Further prepare your site for the mobile shift by:
- Removing unnecessary (irrelevant) content and keeping paragraphs short
- Allowing space around clickable buttons
- Making navigation as convenient as possible
- Using multiple calls-to-action since mobile users don’t automatically gravitate towards the “bottom” of a page
Keeping Tabs On Your Site’s Performance
On a positive note, websites that are already designed for mobile visitors may see improvements with ranking. If you’re not sure how Google’s indexing adjustments will affect your site, keep track of your site’s performance. Use Google’s structured data testing tool to compare URLs if you have two versions of your site to see if markup will need changed.
Most Orlando web design companies will be aware of Google’s mobile-first approach to indexing. By working with an Orlando SEO consultant with firsthand knowledge steps you’ll likely need to take to be prepared, you’ll increase your odds of seeing little or no changes to your ranking once the mobile first is fully implemented. Google mobile first preparation is just one SEO service Orlando businesses may want to consider when looking at mobile trends. Creating content for on-the-go searchers can have a positive impact on all aspects of your Orlando search engine optimization strategy.