In November 2016, Google officially announced they would make changes to their algorithm that determines a website’s search rankings. Google’s Mobile-First Index looks at your website’s mobile version first and takes its signals or ranking points into consideration. Then, it’ll look at your desktop version as a secondary option, or it’ll go straight to the desktop version if there is no mobile site.
On top of this switch, Google announced in early 2018 that it had a Speed Update coming in the near future. This update would factor into your mobile-first ranking factors, and Google would further penalize pages that haven’t updated or conformed to the new standards. People could potentially see a dramatic drop in their ranking, and this is bad for any website. But, there are several key things you can do to optimize your website to be mobile-first. You may even boost your ranking in the process.
Now that you know why you want a fast mobile-first website, we’ll give you several things you can do to ensure your site isn’t one that Google penalizes.
You have to be able to keep up with the new designs if you want to compete for the top search ranking spots.
A few years ago, Google’s video, Site Performance for Webmasters said that any e-commerce site should only have a two-second load time. But, any other site should cut this load time down to around half of a second. In order to achieve this lightning-fast load time, you can:
If your website has a lot of redirects going, it can cause it to reload several times, so you want to reduce this rate as much as possible.
When you use a mobile device to search, you get far more restricted results than you would with a normal search. This forces you to capitalize on your on-page optimization if you want to keep up with your competition. Make sure that any titles or captions are straight to the point and concise.
Google will get a better understanding of what your page is about and it’ll rank it accordingly.
Clutter is another big thing you want to avoid with a mobile-first website. You have to consider the screen size people have as well as the fact that they’re most likely using their fingers to navigate.
Responsive design allows the user to have a quick and optimized experience, no matter what type of device they’re using.
So, no matter how much you enlarge or shrink the screen you’re viewing the website though, the layout automatically responds and adapts for a seamless experience.
However, responsive design is much harder to accomplish because you have to pay very close attention to how you organize your site and its CSS. Every layout has to have some flexibility to allow it to adapt.
Adaptive design allows the user to have a different layout depending on what type of screen they’re viewing the site through. You could tailor a specific layout to a tablet, one for a PC, and one for a phone.
All the designs are in standby mode until a person visits your site, and then the display pulls the device-specific layout up for the user.
Adaptive design is less flexible, and your site may not load well on several screens. So, you have to keep making new layouts to fit new screen sizes.
E-commerce sites usually do better with an adaptive design. It’s quicker to put together and you get device-specific screens that you can control all of the design elements too.
This ensures your customers are seeing exactly what you want them to see. You can optimize them with targeted content, making it easier to create a seamless user experience.
No matter what type of website you have, making it mobile-first should be one of your priorities. These simple tips can help you optimize your website and will help to secure your site’s spot on search engine rankings.