As we are moving towards digitization, more people have arrived on the Internet and they are consuming services and buying products from their smartphones and other portable devices. With a massive surge in mobile users, search engines like Google and Bing are dedicatedly working towards it.
Google has its own mobile-first indexing algorithms that favor websites that are perfectly optimized for mobile devices. In simple terms, mobile-friendly websites are easy to rank and do more sales because Google and other engines prioritize them.
If you are new to new to this concept, then don’t worry as we have got you covered. In this article, we will have a look at how to optimize your site for Google’s mobile-first indexing and get maximum benefits. Regardless of your company size, or industry, you should follow these practices to gain more SEO benefits for your company.
Take a mobile-friendly test
The first step towards making your website compatible with mobile-first indexing, need to first check if your site is mobile-friendly or not. This is the core requirement that you should fulfil in order to gain more traction from Google and other search engines.
Google has its own tool that scans your website for free to determine the results. If your site is mobile-optimized, it will show you the same in the result and you don’t need to do anything to fix it further.
The content should be the same
As per Google’s official documents over the mobile-first indexing, they recommend that the content on the website version and the mobile version should be the same.
This is because it enhances the user experiences and solves users’ intent much faster. If your mobile version of the website has less content than the desktop version, you need to update the site for the mobile version.
But in this case, you also need to make sure you are not cluttering the interface such that users are not being able to read anything.
Keep it clean, minimalistic and the purpose should be fulfilled. Google recommends keeping the main and subheadings the same on both versions so that it will not confuse the readers.
Implement structured data
Structured data is the key to better rankings in 2021 and beyond and every website owner should implement this. Schema markup makes the website data more organized and it helps Google and other search engines to crawl and index pages much faster.
Most people confuse schema markup with an on-page organization using H2, H3, and more; but it’s a different thing. Once you implement the schema markup, there are many tools available for free from where you can check if the markup has been updated properly or not.
If you are using a CMS like WordPress, you will also find many plugins that will help you optimize your site for schema markup, and ultimately for mobile-first indexing. If you don’t have in house developers, it’s better to hire a professional SEO Reseller to get it done for you.
Check for the functionality of your site
It happens quite a few times that when the site is updated for the mobile version, certain functionalities don’t work properly as they work on the desktop version.
To make sure your site is working properly, it’s better to conduct comprehensive mobile testing. This will help you identify issues if there are any. As people are also actively using tablet devices, you also need to check your site for those devices.
Once you ensure that everything is working accurately on every device, your website’s chances of getting higher rankings are much better. If you are frequent in creating landing pages and opt-in forms, make sure they are also optimized for mobiles.
Accelerated mobile pages or AMP is a useful feature to leverage for making the mobile browsing experience faster. With AMP, your pages load much faster as the resources are minified and it helps in the quick loading of content.
These AMP pages are different from the main pages and they show a special sign on mobile devices. This is the best practice that you should do regardless of what kind of site you have.
Design the menu with care
Optimizing the dropdown menu and accordion play a significant role in making your site optimized for mobile-first indexing. The dropdown menu should be easy to access and flawless to click.
There should not be any kind of accidental touches. Dropdown menu can play a huge role in improving the user experience and you should optimize them accordingly.
One tip to keep the menu easy to use is that keep only important links on the menu and keep the design minimalistic. So, while you conduct mobile testing, you also need to check if the menu is working correctly.
Avoid fragment URLs in the mobile version
The fragment portion of the URL is the end of the URL structure and it begins with a #. Most often, these kinds of URLs bring no benefit to you.
It is because they are not indexed by the search engines and you should avoid using them. This kind of page will be missing from the index after your domain is enabled for mobile-first indexing.
Reduce image size
Images add substantial value to the content and users also enjoy them as they make understanding the content in a better way. But on the other side, images make the website loading speed slow and it also affects the mobile-first indexing.
To avoid any kind of issues, make sure you have compressed all the images so that they can load faster and enhance the overall user experience. Images do help in better rankings, so you should optimize them correctly with all the relevant information.
These were the top tips for optimizing the website for mobile-first indexing. Try to implement it all by one after another and you will notice a drastic change. If you don’t have an in-house team, then it’s better to hire a professional SEO team and get started with mobile optimization.