In September, all websites will be switched over to mobile-first indexing. What do you need to do to prepare? What will happen to your ranking? Here are some facts to know about mobile-first indexing.
Google first announced this back in March of 2018. In March of 2020, they announced that it would be coming out for the whole web, but not until September. Going forward, Google will base what it places in the index on your site’s mobile version, instead of how they used to index the desktop version of your site first. This switch is happening because most searches come from a mobile device. To make the experience better for users, Google concluded that it was time to make mobile results a priority.
Do a test for mobile-friendliness
You don’t have to have a mobile site to be in the mobile-first index because Google will index desktop sites too. But, it’s going to be more difficult to rank if your site is not mobile-friendly. So there’s work to do for anyone who does not currently have a mobile-friendly site. Be sure to check out Google’s mobile-friendliness test and check whether or not your site is mobile friendly. This is the minimum requirement. If your site doesn’t pass this test, your mobile version is not up to par.
A mobile website needs to have a different design than a desktop version in order to please your users. Phone screens are tiny, and while it might make sense to get rid of a lot of content on mobile due to space constraints, that wouldn’t be a good practice. You can enhance the mobile user experience by following best practices. For example, Google said that hamburger or accordion menus are absolutely fine to use. These kinds of menus make sense because they help a mobile user browse through your site. Making the mobile experience stronger by putting content behind a tab is also perfectly fine.
Reading from a screen is difficult, and reading from a mobile screen is even harder. To draw in a mobile audience, you’ll need to have a mobile-friendly copy. This means quick sentences and condensed paragraphs. You need to make sure your mobile font is clear and large enough, and you need to make sure to use a good amount of whitespaces.
Do take some time to assess the mobile version of your site. Is your design suitable enough, or could you improve it at all? Are the buttons large enough to tap with a finger? What about the text on your content? Could you make it more readable for a mobile audience? Ensuring your website has a kick-ass mobile experience is something you need to get started on as soon as possible.