Mobile usage is at an all-time high, and its percentage of the internet surfing market is only growing. People spend twice as much time on their phones to access their internet than they do on a desktop worldwide, and mobile phones make up 2/3 of the market. Combine this with voice search that makes use of AI assistants and the Internet of Things (IoT) and the push away from desktop becomes increasingly pronounced.
Though desktops likely won’t disappear entirely, the world has effectively moved from desktop to mobile, which is why Google has also changed its strategy.
Mobile-first indexing has been around for almost a year now, and if your company still hasn’t made the switch, now is the time.
How Has Mobile-First Indexing Changed the Rankings?
The way that mobile-first indexing works is that it sets your mobile page as your primary point of contact. Therefore if the mobile version of your site is not optimized, easy to use, or fast, your entire domain will be ranked negatively.
Making these changes isn’t just important for search engine algorithms, either. You want your users to enjoy your site and love your brand? Make it easy and comfortable for them to access your site from their phones.
What Does Mobile-First Indexing Mean for Your SEO Strategy?
SEO affects all aspects of content creation and digital marketing, and with Google’s shift to mobile-first indexing, you can expect all aspects of SEO to change with it.
Google Will Look at Your Mobile Site As Your Primary
Your mobile site will be the prime version of your site, so you need to optimize it as you had previously for your desktop version. This won’t be an automatic switch, even if you have invested in responsive design from the start.
This Affects Your Site and Your Backlinks
Just as mobile-first indexing will impact your rankings, so too will it impact the rankings of sites that link back to you. It is vital therefore that you invest in professional link building services from the start, rather than attempt the outreach process yourself.
To improve your future backlink strategy, you will need the best people on the job. Therefore, you will want to narrow your search to high-profile areas, like San Francisco or NYC. These cities are hot spots for talent, and consequently, a link building NYC agency will have a higher percentage of experts working for your business. You want your SEO team to be on top of all search engine algorithm changes so that you can stay on the top of the search results.
It Changes How You Create Content
Mobile-first indexing also changes how you create content. You want your content to be easy to read on a small screen, which means reformatting the structure of paragraphs as much as you would reformat your structure and whitespace.
Traditional web layouts are no longer acceptable. The average screen space used on a mobile device is about half the page. Users scroll to keep their eye level at the same location, rather than read up and down. It should, therefore, be easy to do this. If you need to offer extra information, consider the Google-approved strategy of “read more” hidden text boxes.
Focus on White Space
Shorten paragraphs and improve spacing so that there are clear gaps. Users will find it much easier to skim read, and their eyes will be grateful of the rest. You will want to do this by using lists, subheadings, and shorter paragraphs.
Focus on Video
Video is watched primarily on mobile devices, which mean that your video content must be optimized for mobile viewing. It should be able to expand to full screen when tapped, for example, and have a full list of features like a video transcript so users don’t need to hear your video to understand it (a great feature if they are watching your videos in public spaces).
Don’t bury your video, however. Make it prominent and focus on one video per page.
Reduce popups and other distracting elements so that users can get to the heart of your content. You can then add a sign up feature at the end of the article and other non-invasive tactics to get users to sign up, subscribe, or buy.
Mobile-first indexing will change the format of websites and content, and considering the world accessing the internet from their phones, this move will benefit all parties involved. You will want to focus on improving your own website’s SEO strategy and put greater emphasis on the quality of sites for your backlinking efforts.