The digitalisation of the world has brought about many changes to the way information is being conveyed. The Internet has revolutionised the speed and the means of communication. From long-winded explanation to short and concise infographics, the means of sharing information has undergone massive changes.
In today’s world, users lack time to read long articles. They prefer content heavy short ones that they can read and understand on the go. The same goes for marketing in business. Potential buyers lack the attention span and time to go through long explanations or advertisements.
However, potential buyers also value content. Without valid content, an advertisement will fail to convey the information. As such, SEO is highly valued in the marketing business where readers have access to what they want without long-winded and unnecessary information and marketing gimmicks.
Now, as mobile phones gain popularity and become the most common access point to readers, mobile-first indexing has come into being. If you are a business owner and you are yet to apply mobile-first indexing as your marketing strategy, it is high time you get to know about it.
What is mobile-first indexing?
Mobile-first indexing gives priority to your mobile site over your desktop version.
Initially, Google ranked a business website according to the desktop site website. It is also to be noted that desktop site website was considered to be the primary version while the mobile version was considered the secondary or additional version.
However, with more and more users accessing search engines through mobile devices, mobile sites get the center of attention and determines the Google ranking.
Hence, if your desktop version is of top-notch while your mobile version is so-so, your Google index ranking will be negatively affected.
A mobile-friendly experience will win over desktop version with mobile-first indexing.
Will mobile-first indexing affect SEO?
This shift reflects the importance of mobile when it comes to business marketing.
However, the shift is to put mobile at the forefront, not to eliminate the desktop version.
For both the desktop and mobile version, SEO plays a vital role to ensure indexing favours your site.
It is to be noted that despite this shift to mobile-first indexing, SEO based approach stays highly relevant and important.
Even if you transform your mobile site, your SEO remains the core of your content-based marketing and should be given due attention.
How to stay ahead of the game?
Joining the mobile-first indexing bandwagon is not only advantageous but also necessary.
If you have been focusing on your desktop site till date and would like to make your mobile site friendly and responsive, here are the guidelines that you need to follow.
1. Adapt the responsive design
Responsive design refers to the way the viewing page changes according to the needs of the users and the device they are viewing it on. For instance, an embedded video on a page viewed on the desktop will be of different size than if it is viewed using mobile. Viewed from a mobile, the embedded video will have less width and more length than its desktop counterpart.
Responsive design has fluid site grid with proportionate instead of fixed measures, flexible texts and images, changing designs according to the device and the usage of CSS media queries to define breakpoints for design changes.
Usually, WordPress websites are responsive and there need not be any changes done if your website is of WordPress origin. However, if your website has been traditionally built, you need to make some changes to ensure you farewell with mobile-first indexing.
Some of them include defining the default zoom, setting fluid element widths and heights, resizing images to ensure automatic scaling in accordance to screen size, creating a mobile menu and choosing suitable fonts and font sizes that go well with mobile screens.
2. Offer mobile-friendly content
Since mobile users have dramatically increased leading to mobile-first indexing, it is crucial that your mobile site provides what users are looking for and what users are willing to engage with. It would be a waste if your responsive design does not come with mobile-friendly content.
Some of the effective ways to ensure your content is mobile-friendly include:
Connect your content to other social media platforms – If your content can be shared on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, there are higher chances for your content to be shared extensively and your site to gain popularity.
Make sure your content is of high quality – Content is king and users will always appreciate high quality content. Instead of content that focuses blatantly on selling products, it would be wise to provide informational and genuine content. Interesting, informational and quality content will ensure users stay longer on your site and will boost site engagement.
Take advantage of various forms of contents – In today’s world, content is not limited to long-winded explanations or long essays. Creativity has resulted in memes, GIFs, photo essays, listicles and infographics, among others. Incorporating these creative contents will ensure your site caters to users of different age groups and backgrounds.
Convince users to visit your site – Mobile is all about scrolling and scanning. Hence, your content should be attractive enough for users to click and read. Make sure the title of your content is creative and attractive and use attractive and powerful feature images. As a result, users will feel compelled to click and read your content.
These guidelines will get you started on your journey towards mobile-first indexing. According to official Google Webmaster Central Blog, with mobile-first indexing, Google’s algorithms will be using your site’s mobile version to determine your ranking, to get your data, and to show snippets of your site. Hence, if your site is not mobile-friendly, your data and information will not be efficiently conveyed to mobile users.
To sum up, the future is mobile as of now and the only sensible action to take is to make your site mobile-friendly. As such, mobile-first indexing will be a boon for your business.