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Mobile First Indexing Tips

Mobile First Indexing

Mobile-First Indexing: A Guide To Making Your Site Mobile Friendly

When was the last time you used your desktop or laptop to search for something on Google? Probably a long time ago, right?

Well, almost two thirds of all searches are now made on mobile phones, and that figure is constantly growing, so it came as no surprise that back in 2018, Google announced that it was rolling out mobile-first indexing.

Now, in 2023, a few years into the practice, mobile-first indexing is enabled by default for all new websites, so it’s an absolute must to ensure that your website doesn’t fall behind. We’ve put together a handy list of mobile-first indexing best practices, to help ensure that your website performs as great as your business!

What is Mobile-First Indexing?

With the switch to Mobile-First Indexing, Google simply only crawls and indexes the mobile version of a page, rather than the desktop version. Whilst websites aren’t required to have a mobile version, it’s strongly recommended by Google.

As there are more searches conducted on mobile devices than desktop browsers, this is a way for Google to ensure that the majority of its users find content that is optimized for their screen. If a site does not have a mobile-friendly version, then Google will still crawl and index the site as-is.

If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you could be stunting its growth and visibility, having a negative effect on your rankings, and as a consequence, limiting your potential to be seen by prospective customers.

Use your headings

Headings are super important in helping Googlebot to understand your page’s content. Using the H1, H2, H3 etc. tags in their correct manner i.e., in the correct order of hierarchy, is essential. Using these tags elsewhere or in a different context could potentially have a negative affect on your ranking.

Alt text on images

The alt text on your images is key in helping Googlebot to understand your images better. Alt text should be descriptive of the image and any unnecessary descriptions should be avoided. If you’re trying to add your keywords to the alt text of an image (known as keyword stuffing), this results in a negative user experience and could cause your site to be penalised. The same goes for simply leaving an image without alt text together, as this can also have a negative effect.

Site loading speed

If your pages aren’t optimized to load as quickly as possible, the chance that visitors will leave your site increases significantly. Slow loading = bad user experience, so keep your visitors interested by ensuring that your site loads promptly. Site speed is something that Google considers during indexing too, so if your site is slow, you’ll be pushed down the rankings.

Use the same content on desktop and mobile

If your mobile site isn’t matching up to the desktop version, Google will understand the content differently, so it’s best to make sure that you keep the same content across both sites. By doing this, you’ll help both versions rank for the same keywords. Make sure that you’re using similar metadata across both versions of your site too i.e., use the same or very similar title element and meta description for both sites.

Check your visual content

It might be tempting to use lower quality images on your mobile site, especially when you consider the size difference between mobile and desktop, but it’s still recommended that you use high quality images for your mobile site. It’s also good practice to ensure that you use descriptive titles and filenames for your images too, as this also helps Google read your site better.

Peppermint Web Services

Whilst mobile-first indexing is exciting for some, it’s understandable that it may be daunting to others, particularly if they’re lacking in expert knowledge of the topic, but that’s where Peppermint are here to help.

If your website needs a helping hand to become mobile-friendly, or if you want to know more about how Peppermint can help your digital marketing, simply get in touch with our team or give us a call on (+34) 951 316 553. With our expert knowledge and lots of local experience, we’ll help get your website in tip top shape and ready for the Google crawler bot!