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Why Small Businesses Need to Optimize for Mobile First Indexing

You’ve probably been hearing a lot lately about mobile first indexing. It’s been a major move on Google’s part in making the internet a friendlier place for the mobile user, and with good reason. Google says that 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site that they had trouble accessing, and 40% will visit a competitor’s site instead.

This is a big deal.

While Google has improved mobile UX by rewarding mobile friendly sites, it’s left some confusion about what mobile first indexing means to the small business owner, and how they can adapt. To answer your questions, let’s start by covering some of the basics of mobile first indexing.

What Exactly Is Mobile First Indexing?

Once upon a time, Google looked at the website people accessed through their desktops as the starting point to determine your rankings. If that site happened to be mobile friendly, then great but it wasn’t the foundation that everything else was based off.

This has changed. Now, it’s the mobile version of your site that gets included in Google’s index first. Yes, sites that don’t have a mobile friendly version do still get indexed, but the lack of a mobile friendly site is going to seriously impact your rankings. In fact, you might as well kiss first page rankings goodbye, especially for searches initiated from mobile devices.

Is Your Site Mobile Friendly “Enough”?

Before mobile first indexing, Google crawled through the content on your sites, and using a magical algorithm formula, determined your ranking. When you stop and think about the differences between a desktop site and one that’s optimized for mobile, content is one of the things that stands out.

A mobile page can’t hold as much as a desktop page and still be easy to use. This caused an imbalance when indexing mobile sites that needed to be fixed. Mobile first indexing is the solution, but how do you know if you’re optimized enough to reap the benefits of a great ranking?

According to Google, if you have a responsive, or dynamic site where the primary content and markup between the mobile and desktop version is balanced and equivalent, then you shouldn’t need to change anything at all.

Optimizing for Mobile First Indexing

Even if you have a devoted mobile site, there’s a few steps you can take to ensure that your site is getting all the ranking love it deserves.  For example, content is still crucial for SEO success, so make sure your mobile site has its own version of the high-quality content that you’re using on your desktop site.

Video, images and short pieces of text all win on mobile devices. Don’t forget to make sure the mobile versions of your content are crawlable and indexable.

While some are still hesitant, mobile first indexing can help you get your business in front of more people. Is your site optimized for mobile first indexing? We’re the search engine optimization team in Franklin that can help. Contact JLB Works today and say hello to a great ranking.


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