If you are an online marketer, you are always on the lookout for new trends in this fast paced business environment.  The online market landscape is like the jungle where only the smart and innovative survive. To stay ahead, you have to know what search engines are up to in order to optimize your website. With Google owning 68% of search according to SEJ, you have to learn about its latest algorithm updates and other developments that will affect your website.

Google's Mobile First Index

The latest major development from the search giant is the Mobile-First Index. To gain a competitive edge, it is important to learn how this development affects you.  Here is a quick guide to get you started:

Google’s Mobile-First Index in Brief

The move towards mobile-first index has been in the pipeline for some time but Google has now hinted the project is already underway. This means the search engine will now create and rank website listings based on the mobile version of the content.

If you don’t have any mobile version, Google will then fall back on your desktop version. Google will primarily index mobile content before making a decision on your page rankings. This means any website which is not mobile-friendly will take a hit. To avoid this, below are some ideas to help you rework your website in line with these changes:

  • Focus on speed: Google aims for half-a-second loading time and to achieve this, you need to optimize your larger images, use neat code, leverage browser caching for faster loading, and reduce redirects.
  • Invest in a mobile design: A responsive website is a must for any online business today to ensure your website is viewable on any internet device. Make sure you avoid flash, remove pop-ups, and design with fingers in mind to provide a better user experience.
  • Avoid a blocking spree: Smartphones in use today are stronger, with some performing better than desktops and blocking images, CSS and Javascript because Google spiders will see these and rank them.
  • On-page optimization: Your website should be minimal in terms of descriptions and try to make these concise and to the point. Google spiders and users will find it easier to understand your content leading to higher click through rates.
  • Leverage local search: Google possum update in 2016 affects local traffic and it is important to understand how it all works. You need to integrate local search into your mobile website by including the city and state in the title tag, Meta description, URL, alt tags, content and H1. Also include a heading, business name, phone and address on your mobile version.

Google’s Mobile First Index is still new but you need to start making changes early to increase visibility on SERPs. These tips are a good place to start. If you still confused with how to optimize your site for Google’s mobile first index, our team in Island Media Management will help you out and fix this for you!

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