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Mobile-first is here. Now what?

Jul 16, 2018 | Web Design, Web Development

Google has moved its attention from our desks to our palms, so it’s more important than ever that your business has properly mobile optimised site. Google’s rollout of mobile-first indexing could have huge implications for your small business marketing.

Find out more about what’s changed, and the must-have features of mobile-first websites.


What even is mobile-first indexing?

Google has a habit of springing game changing updates on users and advertisers without any warning whatsoever. So it was very thoughtful of the data-mining giant to give people a heads-up this time round: Google announced that mobile-first indexing was in the pipeline back in 2016.

Before the rollout of these changes, Google search results were based off the desktop version of sites. But since more googling is done with phones and tablets than desktop computers, it makes sense to index mobile versions of websites instead.


What does it mean for my business?

This means that your small or medium business can no longer rely on the desktop version of your site for page rankings. Depending on the platform your website uses and the way it’s been designed, this may not make a difference to you at first.

And even if you don’t have a mobile-optimised site, it doesn’t mean you won’t be indexed at all – but unless you fix the situation quickly, your place in the search results will start to sink.


How do I make sure I’ve got a mobile-first website?

Worried that you’ll lose your rankings? Don’t panic. The first step is to check your web pages with Google’s mobile friendly check. If the check-up shows your mobile site is in good basic health, congratulations ­– but don’t stop there!

Mobile-first indexing marks a fundamental shift in what Google will be looking for: mobile UX is now king. This a great opportunity for you to be an early adopter and edge ahead of the pack.

Here are some great ways to boost your mobile optimisation and win those sweet, sweet page rankings.


Design with mobile in mind

A good mobile-first website isn’t just a shrunk-down facsimile of your desktop design. It fits the unique needs of the platform it’s viewed on.

At the same time, you don’t want an emaciated post-it-note version of your website. Google rewards sites that have “content parity”, which means that they have the same content and basic look and feel whatever device they’re viewed on.

Although designing the perfect mobile-first site will depend on what your aims are, here are some basic rules of thumb:

  • use large, mobile friendly fonts
  • don’t be afraid of white spaces
  • pick images that are meaningful or useful.


Write short and sweet

Remember, phone screens aren’t that much bigger than a deck of cards. That means the written content of your mobile-first websites need to be clear and concise. Ideally, your copy should be as bold as a billboard and as elegant as a haiku. It’s also helpful to:

  • use bullet lists where possible
  • break text up with subheadings
  • keep paragraphs punchy
  • make sentences short.


Check in with a pro

The best way to make your mobile-first website number one is with the support of digital marketing professionals.

If you’d like to find out more about how to make the most of the shift to mobile-first indexing, get in touch with our friendly team today.

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