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Google Search is going Mobile First

different sized mobile screens with the Google logo

It was over a year ago that Google first announced it was planning a mobile first index.  This will prioritise the mobile version of a website page before the desktop version.

This change is unsurprising to us an Indigo Tree as many of our clients now have more than 50% of their visitors from tablet and mobile devices as users increasingly visit use mobile devices for email and social media and many consumers do not have desktop computers at home.

So what can website owners and businesses do to prepare for this change?

Make your website responsive

The good news is that if you have a responsive website you should not need to make any changes to your website for the mobile first index.

If your website only works properly on a desktop and is not responsive, and you do not have a mobile version, we recommend you contact us to see if we can redevelop your website to make it responsive.  Google will still index your site using a mobile agent but the results may not be great and you will probably drop down the SERP rankings as the mobile first index is rolled-out.

Think about your website content and how it can be used on a mobile as well:

  • Design for large fingers – at least 44px of whitespace around each clickable element
  • Avoid pop-ups – Google defines most popups as “intrusive interstitials
  • Do not include Flash – most phones will not display it as we can animate using HTML5 or JavaScript if necessary.

Besides making sure your mobile website is optimized, make sure the other technical pieces of your website are up to par.

Technical SEO and Site Speed

Our post about website speed gives more information, but here are a few critical items to think about:

  • Decrease HTTP requests – website analysis tools can be used to see how many HTTP requests your website is making. We can undertake theme and code changes to decrease in the number of these requests which often significantly reduces the page load time.
  • Optimize your images – it is easy to compress all the images on a WordPress website, we recommend using TinyPNG which works really well for our clients.
  • Use browser caching – so when a user opens your site or a page for a second time it is not completely reloaded.

Preparing for Google’s Mobile First Index

There is no need to panic about Google’s mobile-first index.  It is an opportunity to make sure your website is mobile friendly and easy for your customers to use whether on a mobile, tablet or desktop.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help improve your website please contact us and we will perform a free website review of your current website.

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