Mobile first indexing

The move to mobile: optimisation and Google’s mobile first indexing

We are currently in the midst of a mobile boom. The growth of high speed mobile networks, coupled with an influx of powerful devices hitting the market, saw mobile and tablet internet usage exceed desktop for the first time globally last year.

The move to mobile first indexing was inevitable; portable devices offer a convenience unmatched by their static counterpart. In our busy day-to-day lives, we demand anytime and anywhere internet access – and mobile devices satisfy that need.

The stats don’t lie

We Are Social and Hootsuite teamed up to produce the most recent Digital in 2017 Global Overview report. It gives a detailed insight into how mobile is taking off – I’ll let the figures do the talking…

  • 4.92 billion global mobile users
  • 1.61 billion global mobile e-commerce users
  • Unique mobile users grew by 5% in 2016, up 222 million
  • 90% of the world’s internet users go online via a mobile device
  • Mobile’s share of web traffic is up 30% year-on-year, accounting for half of all web traffic. To compare, it accounted for just 10% of internet traffic in 2012.

Are you mobile ready?

With the mobile revolution showing no signs of slowing, having a mobile website has shifted from a nice-to-have to a necessity. But if recent stats are anything to go by, it seems that most companies haven’t quite got the message yet.

A ClickZ blog post I read the other day cited some figures from an AVADO report. The one that really stood out was the mere 38.8% of organisations that have a presence on mobile. Some simple maths tells me that means over 60% of companies aren’t mobile ready! A scary thought indeed.

If your website isn’t optimised to be viewed by the billions of mobile users worldwide, suffice to say that a huge opportunity is being missed.

Google’s mobile first indexing culture

Having a mobile-optimised website should be top of your priority list. It’s not just me who says so; Google does, too.

Last November, the search giant unveiled that it had begun rolling out its mobile first indexing. What this means is that it will start ranking results based on the content of the mobile version of a site, even when results are viewed on a desktop.

Mobile first indexing is Google’s attempt to represent the majority of its users – who are mobile users. In its blog, Google stressed: ‘[While] our index will be built from mobile documents, we’re going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices”.

If you just have a desktop site, don’t worry, it’s not going to vanish into the ether. Google will simply use the desktop version to rank the site; but, the changes will likely lead to it featuring lower in search results, which could reduce traffic to your site.

There might also be an issue if you have a mobile site that doesn’t match up to the desktop version. If Google scans page A of your mobile site and discovers less content than what’s on page A of the desktop site, you could end up slipping down the rankings.

Google recommends companies take a responsive approach, so that content is the same across both your mobile and desktop site on a page-by-page basis.

Time to make the move!

It’s no doubt a top aim for you to score highly in those search results, but that’s only half the battle. You need to be sure you provide a quality user experience for all visitors who click through to your site, regardless of the device they are using. And for that, your site must be mobile ready.

A mobile site is needed to sufficiently serve today’s on-the-go digital users. It’ll help you to keep pace with competitors, and give you an edge over those who are slower on the uptake. Ultimately, to succeed, you need to be where your target audience are – and that is mobile.

If you’re looking for an experienced yet affordable agency to design a mobile-ready website for your business, look no further than ID³. Check out our Web Design Services page or give one of our friendly team members a call today on 01225 866416 to find out more!

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