How do you keep abreast of trends and changes in your industry at the same time as ensuring you’re on top of everything there is to keep on top of for your cross platform digital offering? It’s a problem few businesses have the resource to solve internally, because let’s face it, digital changes all the time and who has time to stay informed on best practise guidelines for web development, SEO, content management, design, CRM etc?
As if to highlight these ever-shifting sands and bamboozle unsuspecting online operators this past month has seen a couple of notable changes to the world of mobile marketing come to the fore. Those who aren’t prepared risk losing out but luckily your friendly neighbourhood full service digital marketing agency has your back. Don’t worry, we got this…
Google Mobile First Indexing
Though not a recent change, the urgency with which sites must comply with Google’s mobile-first indexing guidelines has taken a huge leap forward recently as webmasters have been flooded with notifications via Google Search Console alerting them to their sites’ having been switched to the new mobile-first index. In case you missed this one, Google announced back in 2016 that in line with the rise in searches being carried out on mobile devices rather than desktop, it would be prioritising the mobile experience version of a website as the default version to be indexed and returned in search results, regardless of the device (desktop or mobile) on which that search was performed.
Traditionally Google has crawled and indexed websites using what would be found for users visiting those sites via a desktop browser, essentially treating your desktop site as your default site. This meant that where typically a mobile version of a site may be a more stripped down version of the main meaty content found on the desktop site, there was no risk of any of your priority content being missed. But times have changed and it’s no longer enough to have a watered down offering to mobile users, as they’ve since overtaken users from desktop devices.
Deliver a mobile user anything less than the full experience you’d get on a desktop site and you’re missing out, because it’s this mobile site that users will find when searching for your service(s) or at least it will be once you’ve been migrated to that mobile-first index. This migration has been staggered so far, however the volume of sites shifting across has ramped up considerably of late meaning the window of opportunity to ensure your mobile offering is as good if not better than what’s available on desktop is soon due to slam shut.
How Can I Check/Prepare/Stop Panicking?
With smaller websites using a simple responsive design delivering the same content at the same URL across devices, there is minimal risk. However, for more involved and complex websites that may have divergent offerings served at different URLs (e.g. mobile.yoursite.com vs www.yoursite.com) this is where things could get tricky. Are you absolutely certain everything available on your desktop site is mirrored on your mobile site? If it isn’t, then come switchover day (if you’ve not been switched already) all those hard earned rankings for valuable traffic driving, converting keywords could be lost as content indexed from your desktop site is jettisoned because it’s just not found on the mobile site.
There are several ways you can check on whether your site may be affected:
- You painstakingly run through every page served on your desktop site and check that identical content is available on your mobile site, page after page after page.
- You consult with your digital marketing agency and have them perform a free check-up for you.
Which option is right for you? Only you know. But spoiler alert, it’s number 2.
Save yourself from MOBILEGEDDON!
Get Digital Fuel on the case. Contact us today and find out just how we can:
- Deliver a full Mobile MOT assessing your mobile site performance
- Uncover any issues impacting your search visibility
- Determine how you can win more visitors and more valuable customers
Kristian heads up the content and SEO team at Digital Fuel having worked in digital marketing for ten years. He’s as passionate about creative content as he is about Brighton & Hove Albion FC and when he’s not following football he’s writing about Brighton’s bustling pub scene