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.
With every changes and update from Google, SEO experts and SEO Agencies become very anxious about SEO strategies.
Well, with the Mobile-First Index, Don’t need to change entire SEO plans, but need to transfer our focus on mobile optimization and mobile related strategies.
Because from now on; Google will determine the ranking of a website on the basis of mobile search performance.
What is Mobile-First Index?
Mobile-First Index means the mobile version of your website will index first on Google search result and it will determine the SERP ranking for both desktop and mobile version of your website.
So if you have a website optimized for mobile then it will rank on both mobile and desktop.But if your website is not optimized for mobile then your desktop and mobile ranking will decrease.
Don’t mix the phrase “mobile-first” with “mobile-only” index and become confused.Because a website without mobile-friendly version can still be included in the Google search index but it will impact negatively on the ranking of that website.
SEO Strategies for Mobile-First Index
An SEO strategy for mobile-first index depends on your current website architecture and condition.You may be fine with your website or may be far behind.
So it’s better to analyze your website before changing or applying new strategies. Here I will discuss some SEO strategies for the mobile-first index.
If you think your website needs some tinkering for mobile-first index then you can follow these strategies.
There is a big difference between “mobile optimized”, and “mobile-friendly”. Mobile friendly means you have a website that can be viewed in mobile.
On the other hand mobile optimized means your website is responsive to mobile gadgets and automatically adjusts the layout of your website to fit the size of the mobile.
“Mobile-Optimized Website” is the first condition of the mobile-first index. So check if your website is mobile optimized or not. You can use Google’s “Mobile friendly Test” tool.This tool will let you know if you’re on the right track.
Web Page Loading Speed
Mobile users are always in a hurry, so web page loading speed does matter for the mobile-first index. Due to the slow page loading speed, your website’s bounce rate will increase.
Video source : youtube.com
And it will badly affect the ranking of your website. That’s why Google urges the webmasters to make the page load faster. There is a tool name “Google’s Test My Site Tool” to examine your mobile site’s speed performance. This tool show reports on:
- Mobile usability, sizing objects, text readability
- Make comparison against industry benchmarks
- Many tools availble on online with help of them you can determine the speed of the website on mobile .check here : developers.google.com
In SEO content is considered as king. And it’s a very important part of SEO strategies for the mobile-first index.
Because, if the visitor can’t read the content from the mobile then the bounce rate will increase and SERP ranking will decrease.
Make sure the content is not hidden under accordions for them to click and read. Try to serve valuable content no matter what the size is. As long as the content is engaging, your visitor will read it through.
Add Structured Data
Webmasters like to use structured data for the desktop version of their website. It helps the bot discover the content of a webpage.
Now, with the introduction of the mobile-first index; the importance of structured data for a mobile version of website increases.
You have to include essential data markupsin the mobile version of your web page. Don’t forget to add the mobile version of the URLs within the structured data on mobile pages.
XML Sitemap and Robots.txt
I don’t think I have to discuss the importance of XML sitemap and Robots.txt in SEO. They are the most important element of a website.
Now that mobile-first index is in action, make sure all links to your XML sitemap are accessible from the mobile version of your website.
The same goes for Robots.txt file as there could be consequences if this is not accessible properly.
Google Search Console Verification
Another important thing that webmasters miss out is verifying the mobile version of their website in Google search console.
Including a mobile version of your website in the Search Console will help you get live, up to date information about crawling, indexing, and any issues on your website.
bellow is info graphic for Google mobile first index that will help you in understanding all things that need to make your site mobile Friendly.
infographic source : simplilearn.com
I hope these SEO strategies for the mobile-first index will help you understand how you should cope with this Google update. The strategies I have shared are the fundamental of “Google Mobile-First Index”. So make sure you add all these to your SEO plan and have a successful SEO campaign.
Author: Opu Chowdhury
As a Digital Marketing Expert, Opu Chowdhury is functional in Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay per Click Advertising (PPC), etc. He is vastly experienced and likes to share his knowledge through blogging.