The shift to mobile devices has caused Google to change the methodology behind how it indexes and ranks websites. Google’s answer: mobile-first index. This shift needs to be a driving factor of your mobile SEO strategy.
Google’s new mobile-first index means Google will now be ranking its search listings based on the mobile version of content, even for listings that are shown to desktop users.
Google wants their results to represent and reflect the majority of their users, which as of April 2017 is 55.79% mobile users and 44.21% desktop (source). To get industry specific, the data below outlines the percentage of online searches on mobile devices by sector (source). It’s important to note 8 out of 11 of these industries have a mobile search percentage of more than 50%.
- Food & Beverage – 72%
- Health – 68%
- Sports – 68%
- News & Media – 64%
- Lifestyle – 62%
- Automotive – 62%
- Retail – 56%
- Travel (non-maps) – 52%
- Real Estate/Property – 48%
- Entertainment – 42%
- Banking – 39%
What Can Your Business Do To Get Ready?
If you don’t have a mobile site, or your current mobile site doesn’t reflect all the content on your desktop site, the solution may be simple. The most common and standard industry recommendation is to go with a responsive website. This way, the content is the same on a page by page view on your desktop and mobile site.
Utilize Google Search Console. The search console will help you verify if your website is Google-friendly. Once adding your domain, you’ll be able to:
- Analyze clicks from Google Search
- Get alerts for critical errors or issues
- Test whether Google can successfully understand your content
There Is Good News!
If your mobile site needs work, the mobile-first index most likely isn’t rolling out until 2018, so you still have time to reanalyze your mobile strategy (but don’t wait too long). Want help talking through the details? Say hello here or browse our Digital Services and we’ll be happy to discuss your online marketing needs.
Read Part 1 Here: How To Meet Customer Needs For The Mobile User Experience
— The Creative Website Marketing Team