“Starting July 1, 2019, mobile-first indexing is enabled by default for all new websites (new to the web or previously unknown to Google search).” — Prepare for Mobile-First Indexing, Google.
This was an announcement on a blog by Google published on 17 June, 2019. What does this mean? Essentially, the Mobile-First Google Algorithm will favour websites that are mobile responsive or adaptive, meaning if your website is not, your competitors could jump ahead of you in search results. Yeah, it’s a big deal.
But don’t worry—all you have to do is ensure your website is either mobile responsive or adaptive. Don’t worry again, as we’re going to tell you exactly what both of those things are and how to do it.
A responsive and adaptive websites make it easy for people to view your site on whatever device they’re using.
Thanks to Statista Research Development, we know 52.2% of all website traffic around the world is generated through a mobile device. In some continents, such as Asia, it’s much closer to the 60 to 70% mark.
The problem is, websites are generally designed and developed for desktop. This means if someone views the website on a mobile or tablet device, the website needs to shrink. Without being developed for these devices specifically, text, images and videos can run off the screen, buttons may not work and things will generally not look right and annoy the user.
A responsive website is built to adapt to any screen size, while an adaptive website is rebuilt to suit every different type of screen, which can make them load a little faster.
The Mobile-First Google Algorithm means if your website is not responsive or adaptive, you could lose out on website visitors.
Google’s goal is to provide searches with the most relevant solution to their query as quickly as possible. They take into account the content on the page, code behind the website and how users respond to the site. If users are leaving a website quickly or leaving and visiting another site to complete a transaction or enquiry instead, Google takes it as a sign the site isn’t as good as another. As a result, the website may be pushed lower in the list of search results for that query.
Something that makes people leave a website quickly is it not loading quickly enough or working as it should—a common problem for non-mobile responsive or adaptive sites. With more and more people using mobile devices to access the internet every year, Google said (in theory), “Hey, let’s just stop giving credit to websites that aren’t responsive or adaptive all together as they just don’t tend to do well.” And so became the Mobile-First Google Algorithm.
As a result, if Google is not seeing code in your website’s backend to indicate your website can adapt to tablets and mobiles of different sizes, you’re a little bit screwed. Your competitors who you may of been keeping atop of on search results due to good content, code of other SEO factors, may now take your crown and glory.
Ensuring your website isn’t impacting by the algorithm doesn’t have to be a pain.
All Localsearch websites are either responsive or adaptive. There is simply no point in this day and age for any website to be built any other way. They’re also search engine ready to the latest best practices and secure, which is great for, well, your website’s security, and your search engine optimisation (SEO).
If you do want to attempt to ensure your website is mobile and tablet friendly yourself, you’ll need to ensure:
- Both device and desktop versions of your site have metadata.
- URLs in the site’s structured data for mobile are updated to be mobile URLs.
- Your content works is the same on all devices, but works well for them too.
- Both versions of your website are verified in Search Console.
- All your buttons and links work effectively on all devices.
- Your website’s layout and structure is easy to use and friendly to all device types and sizes.
And this is just some of what you’ll need to do—or leave it to us to take it off your plate. All our website design and development quotes are completely personalised so you’re only paying for what you need, not what the average Joe has on their site. Call us on 1300 360 867 or visit business.localsearch.com.au/websites for more information and to ensure the mobile-first algorithm is nothing for you to lose business over.