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Understanding Google’s Mobile-First Indexing To Generate More Traffic To Your Website

Summit Ghimire is the founder and Head of Search Engine Optimization at Outpace SEO agency.

With more than 60% of total online searches made through mobile devices, Google’s mobile-first indexing has likely been one of its top priorities. And although its full implementation has taken time, it’s here to stay. Understanding mobile-first indexing can optimize your search engine optimization strategy, enhance long-term rankings and produce more organic traffic to your website.

What Is Mobile-First Indexing?

Traditionally, Google has used desktop crawlers to rank pages. This means its ranking system explored only the desktop version of a website to evaluate the user experience, content and its relevance to any given search. This was causing issues for mobile users in cases where the content and design didn’t align across the mobile and desktop versions of websites. For instance, a designer might hide certain aspects of a webpage on the mobile version of the website because it didn’t fit the design. In this case, the algorithm is given less information, which can diminish the page’s relevance to a given mobile search. This has been corrected with Google’s mobile-first indexing.

Google now crawls the mobile version of the website first to evaluate its content and design and determine its relevance to numerous searches. With this approach, Google’s aim is to correct the discrepancies across mobile searches.

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Tips For Better Ranking

Mobile-first indexing has a direct impact on how your website ranks and how much organic traffic flows through your website. With mobile-first indexing, you have the opportunity to connect with even more people actively searching for your business on a mobile device. As the algorithm is shifting toward a mobile-friendly system, you may need to fix a few issues to improve rankings. Here are some tips.

• Inspect Google Search Console for errors. Google deeply cares about the user experience quality of websites. The last thing it wants to do is suggest a website that isn’t mobile-friendly. Google Search Console is the best place to identify if the platform has any issues with the mobile version of your site. If Google doesn’t consider your website mobile-friendly, it will hurt the rankings of your website no matter how great your content is. In order to maintain great rankings, you should correct any issues within Google Search Console. Such issues could involve responsive design, crawling errors or even 404 pages across your site.

• Maintain content consistency across all devices. You may feature different content on your website depending on the device accessing your site. This practice can harm your site’s rankings if not implemented properly. For instance, hiding entire paragraphs of content can diminish the page’s relevance for a certain keyword. Rather than hiding content, it’s crucial for developers to make the information easily accessible on mobile devices. This is often done using elements such as accordions to vertically stack content within a page. This allows the information to be accessible without cluttering the page with tons of content.

Google wants to crawl all of the relevant content on your website. Always make sure to go the extra mile to adjust your website’s design for mobile to ensure your website is given the credibility it deserves.

• Optimize mobile page speed. It’s no secret that Google favors fast websites because they lead to a great user experience. This is reflected across the search results. Websites that rank toward the top of the results are typically much faster than websites with low rankings. The load time of a mobile website page has been affecting its ranking ever since Google started introducing page-speed-related algorithm updates. Therefore, ensuring a faster-loading mobile page may help you improve ranking.

You can optimize the speed of the mobile version of your website in several ways. Removing unnecessary elements, correcting any errors within the code and optimizing images are a few steps to optimize mobile page speed. Additionally, you can use several tools to inspect the performance and speed of your mobile page. The most common tools are Google Search Console, PageSpeed Insights and Google Lighthouse.

Generating More Organic Traffic

As we continue to rely more on our phones, the mobile experience is only going to become more crucial. Utilizing these suggestions can put you in a place to optimize your website for long-term results. This will lead to a better user experience, allow you to build more credibility with Google and increase the odds of receiving more organic traffic to your website.

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