It is an undisputed fact that vast numbers of people across the world now use mobile devices to conduct many of their everyday tasks – be it via the browser or native mobile apps. As a result we have seen mobile overtake the desktop computer as the primary device for accessing and searching the web. Google has been reporting this since 2015 and the statistics for 2016 would even suggest that anything up to 85%* of all web search traffic now takes place on a mobile device.
Despite this there are still 1000’s of organisations that have yet to optimise their websites for mobile use. It has recently become an essential requirement for businesses that want to be found and compete in our increasingly mobile world. Whatever your business, it’s important that search engines recognise and serve your site during a relevant search query and that people have a good experience when visiting your site from their mobile device. Google’s own statistics reveal that people are five times more likely to leave a site if it isn’t mobile-friendly and over half of mobile users will leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
Google has now announced the roll-out of a new Mobile-First Index, which will see it create and rank search listings based on a company’s mobile version of content, even for listings that are shown to desktop users. While Google has yet to fully convert to Mobile-First indexing, it’s coming, and even those with well optimised, responsive sites still need to prepare. If your site is not yet configured for mobile, then there are some basic steps that you need to be taking to make it more mobile friendly.
Crucially you don’t have to create two separate websites. You can implement responsive web design which uses the same HTML code and URL whatever the device. It’s also important to create content that suits both the desktop and mobile format so that the user can reduce the need for turning their device, or having to pinch and zoom, to access your content.
If your website is already a responsive site, then fewer changes may be required for the move to Google’s new Mobile-First Index. It is worth, however, ensuring content, image optimisation and links on the mobile site match the desktop version so that Google can index the content correctly and rank your site as well as your desktop site.
Google ranks sites against search queries based on their mobile-friendliness, even though it’s not fully indexing on this yet, so it’s likely that you are already losing out on rankings to competitors with sites that are optimised for mobile traffic. Never has it been more important to implement a mobile-first strategy. For advice or a review of your current set-up, just give us a call on 01525 841079.