3 Web Design Tips for Google’s Mobile-first indexing
SEO is one of the best ways to advertise your business and has been for many years now. SEO specialists have spent years in perfecting their craft in an attempt to find more customers online for their clients using SEO techniques such as algorithms, link building hacks, on-page and off-page techniques that they have mastered over the years. But what if you have spent countless hours mastering the game only to find out that the game suddenly changed?
The mobile revolution has changed the game!
Google has recently announced that they are now focusing on improving user experience by optimizing search results by making it index mobile-first or more mobile-friendly.
According to the Google Webmasters Blog:
To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results. Of course, while our index will be built from mobile documents, we’re going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices.
Basically, what this means is that Google will now be using your website’s mobile version in order to rank it on Google search results, for both mobile and desktop search results. So if you have put in some time and effort to optimize the mobile version of your website, it will improve the rank of both the mobile and desktop versions, and the opposite is also true that if your website’s mobile version doesn’t perform well, then it will have a negative effect the ranking of both your mobile and desktop versions, so we can’t stress enough on how you should optimize the mobile version of your website.
Even though there hasn’t been any definite timeline on when the “mobile-first index” will be implemented, there has been a lot of talk that it will be happening early this year, that’s why it is a good idea to make sure that you guys are ready for it when it has been finally implemented. Google’s Gary Illyes has mentioned during SMX Advanced last June that the mobile-first index will most likely deployed this 2018.
That is why preparing for the upcoming update is crucial for all websites if they plan to stay competitive this upcoming year.
In order to prepare for the upcoming storm that is the “mobile-first index”, you need to do these 3 things in order to help you or your client’s website to stay competitive in the new age.
- Responsive design
One of the most crucial things that you need to prepare for is a responsive design, in order to rank high on the mobile-first index. By having a responsive website, you will be able to change and adapt depending on the needs of your users and the device that they are using. If you have a responsive website, you will be able to offer your users an optimized browsing experience that has a two-in-one value, since they are able to adapt to fit the size of the user’s screen, either desktop or mobile. Here are the basic requirements of a responsive design that will differentiate it from your old static website.
- Fluid site grid with proportionate instead of fixed measures that adapts to both mobile and desktop screens.
- Flexible texts and images that conform to the user’s screen.
- Design changes that provides same level of usability for non-desktop users.
Now, in order to turn your previously static website into a more responsive website that is usable by both desktop and mobile users, you will have to change a few things. Take note that even though the theme for each website may be different, the principles behind them will still stay the same so these tips will only give you a broad idea of what needs to be done. It is ideal that you do some custom work on your website.
- Default zoom proportionate to the user’s screen.
- Set fluid element widths and heights
- Website images will automatically scale proportionate to the user’s screen size.
- Apply breakpoints that adapt to the design of the screen rather than device specific.
- Create a separate mobile menu.
- Adapting font sizes and style.
Responsive design isn’t just about making it all fit on the screen, but also to make sure that your website has a high level of usability for both mobile and desktop users. When you are done optimizing your website, you should make sure to test it out on different devices and also in multiple browsers in order to make sure that it has high usability and that content will render property for all devices and all browsers.
2: Invest in a mobile-optimized website builder
Making sure that all of your customers will be able to have full use of your website no matter what device they use is crucial to your online marketing success. That’s why investing on a mobile-optimized website builder is akin to investing in accessibility for your customers. A mobile-optimized website builder will make sure that your website will become responsive to mobile gadgets, and will detect the type of gadget the user is using and adjust the layout proportional to the size of the gadget.
A well-designed and responsive website aren’t the only things that you should focus in when it comes to mobile optimization of your website. You should also take into account the “speed”, since users will be expect your website to render as quickly as possible. If you have a fast loading website, then it will encourage more sessions online, due to a higher customer conversion, lower bounce rate, and higher engagement.
3: Mobile-optimized content
In this day and age, everyone carries with them a mobile device such as a phone or a tablet, that’s why having a website that is accessible to all devices would benefit you greatly. But having a responsive design website isn’t the only thing that will make your website mobile-friendly; you will also need to have mobile-optimized content. You will need a firm grasp of user behavior and preferences in order for you to ensure that the content you have on your website will be as responsive and mobile-friendly as possible.
Here are some tips in order to optimize your online content for mobile-use:
You can connect your website to different social media platforms in order to encourage users for engagement outside your website. For example, have content that is interesting and engaging so they will share it on Facebook or Twitter which will help your website reach more online traffic.
- Make high-quality content that is engaging that will ensure that mobile users will spend a longer time on your website. Make sure to put links to other pages on your website in order for users spend more time on the website.
- Use different types of content such as GIF, Memes, infographics, articles, high-quality images, videos, so you will have a more interesting website and cater to everyone’s interests.
- Shorter headlines are better than longer ones, since a shorter one will make users read faster, since you will only have 5 seconds in order to convince your reader to keep on reading the content. That’s why you should make a strong but short headline to attract attention.
- Lastly, is that you have to make sure to also listen to your audience. Feedback is important in order to further develop and adapt your website and content.
The Fields Agency is a Digital Marketing Agency that can cater to all of your online marketing needs. We can help you and your business stay competitive in the upcoming mobile revolution, and reach even greater heights than before.