In the last few years, we saw the rise of the smartphones, devices that took the crown as the most used electronics in the everyday life. Along with it, the internet accessibility reached new heights, with more people going online from mobile devices than from desktops. This thing can also be seen in the number of Google searches done on each platform - there are more searches on mobile devices than on laptops and desktops. But let’s take a look at the bigger picture. Mobile searches outgrew the desktop ones in 2015, but the way Google indexes web pages is still desktop based. This is about to change, with Google introducing the mobile first index.
What is changing with the Mobile first index?
Basically, Google’s algorithm will stop analyzing and index your website’s desktop version and look at the mobile version instead. This doesn’t mean that If your website doesn’t have a mobile version, Google won’t index it, but rather it will take your website desktop version and analyze it from a mobile point of view. If your desktop version or performs bad, you’re rankings are going to suffer.
How is this going to affect you:
As previously stated, your website has to adapt to the new reality. This means that if you don’t have a mobile version, you definitely must get one as soon as possible. If you already have one, you have to make sure that is well optimized, so that your rankings do not suffer.
Top things to do to improve your mobile site version
Check your website from different platforms, such as a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop. Does it perform as well on each platform? If your website doesn’t perform well on each platform, for example, it doesn’t display the entire content on the tablet, you have to make certain adjustments, to increase its responsiveness.
Optimize the User Experience
Naturally, your website won’t stay the same all the time, as you’ll change things to improve it. When doing these changes, look at them from a mobile phone and think about how would they improve the smartphone visitor’s experience. Monitor and analyze the impact of your changes on the mobile user’s experience with services such as Google Analytics. This way you’ll know if the new updates improved or on the opposite, deteriorated the user’s experience.
Enhance the speed of your Mobile Website
Just as it sounds, to improve your rankings, your website has to load fast on mobile devices. After all, nobody wants to wait 15-20 seconds just to view your website. To see what your site’s mobile version speed is, Google offers a new tool, testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com.
With this very easy to use tool, you can also see how your speed compares to other mobile websites and the industry, as well as a report with tips on how to improve it. To better understand how this tool works, let’s take an example, and run our site through this tool. A few minutes after we introduced the URL we get the results displayed in this manner:
As you can see, this tool displays your site speed, how good it is and an estimate of how many users your site will lose because of the loading speed. If we scroll down, the results page also displays a comparison between our score and the scores of other websites in the industry. Furthermore, you can also check more information on your website speed and how to improve it, by downloading the free report that Google provides.
This new change introduced by Google will have an impact on virtually any website, whether it belongs to a multi-million company or a small start-up. To take advantage of the new ranking system, take a look at the performance of your mobile site version. If the results are not what you expected, put a little bit of effort and improve it, as it will have a massive effect on your online presence. With all of this being said, have fun optimizing your mobile website version.