From March this year Google switched to Mobile-First Indexing.

What does this mean? Basically, only the content on the mobile version of your website will be indexed and ranked. In the past, the index primarly used the desktop version when evaluating page relevance against a user’s query. As the majority of users now access Google Search with a mobile device, Googlebot now primarily crawls, and indexes pages mobile-first.
This is a big change and it’s catching out some websites which focus more heavily on a desktop version.

Help! I don’t know what changes to make

Don’t panic – if you don’t know where to start and what changes to make, we’ve got a few pointers for you:

Make sure your site is optimised for mobile

Ensure that your page content all appears correctly when you select the mobile version of your site in terms of headings, copy, images and links.

Make your mobile site accessible to Googlebot

It’s become vital now that mobile website pages are set up in the best way for Googlebot to access and render content.

Keep your content consistent

Make sure the content on the desktop and mobile versions of your website is the same. We might be inclined to think that as we’re viewing content on a mobile, we need less content to scroll through. But if Google accesses lots of relevant information on your web page according to a user’s search query, then you’re far more likely to rank better for that search term. 

Signpost through headings

On mobile-first indexing headings are still crucial for showing the hierarchy of content on your page. Make sure you especially have H1 tags in place for the relevant keyword phrase at the top of your mobile web pages.

Don’t forget best practice SEO

Best practice search engine optimisation (SEO) including keywords, titles and meta descriptions all need to be pulled through on the mobile version, the same as they are on your desktop version.

Mobile picture perfect

Check that all images look high-quality, but are optimised for mobile. Also, use the same alt text, captions, text and descriptive titles – this all helps make your website more visible.

Google has recognised the surge in mobile traffic. In fact, over half of web traffic is via mobile and this will only rise. Don’t get left behind with an outdated website.

If you need to check that your website is effectively mobile optimised to meet Google Mobile-First Index, we can certainly help.

With experience in building large, complex B2B and not-for-profit websites, we can help your business get ahead of the game. Contact us for an initial chat about making sure your website is effectively optimised.

Email to get in touch with Ciaran our Digital Director.

This latest thinking article was written by:

Ciarán Readon
Digital Director