Mobile First Indexing by Google: What Does It Mean for Your Business Content?

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Mobile First Indexing by Google: What Does It Mean for Your Business Content?

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As Google continues to enhance the efficiency of the internet to make it more mobile-friendly year after year, mobile-first indexing has been introduced as the “next big thing.” The only problem is that a lot of people are asking the same question about mobile-first indexing: “What is it?”

Please allow us to spend a few minutes of your time providing a brief overview of this revolutionary concept to show you exactly what it means for the business world and how you can modify your content making and marketing strategies accordingly.

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Illustration by by Julia Tim via Bigstock

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The Starting Point for Google Searches

Years ago, as Google was growing its wings and learning how to fly, its index was filled with desktop websites. This was primarily because smartphones and other advanced mobile devices did not exist, leaving laptops and desktop computers as the only streams for accessing the Internet. As mobile technology transitioned into the digital age of communication, mobile websites eventually worked their way into the Google index as well.

Mobile-first indexing introduces the next chapter to that ongoing story: the new starting point for Google index inclusions is now mobile websites.

More Than Just a “Bonus” Website

Quite a few business owners and online marketers have made the mistake of thinking that mobile websites are optional “bonuses” to an online presence. According to Statista, there were more than 3.7 billion unique users of the mobile Internet around the globe in January 2018. The same report concluded that mobile Internet traffic generated over 52.6% of total online traffic worldwide in 2017. To view the mobile website of your brand or business as a supplementary bonus option instead of a requirement would be a huge mistake. Now that Google is shifting to a mobile-first indexing model, the responsive design and overall development of the mobile version of your online presence should be a top concern.

What This Means for Businesses

As mentioned above, the introduction of the mobile-first indexing model is imperative because it shifts the importance and overall priority of your content marketing strategy towards mobile devices instead of full-size computers. Even with the rising popularity of netbooks and smartphone screen sizes, a vast number of customers have chosen to rely on their mobile options more than the standard home office equipment.

It also means that you will need to focus on streamlining content and working within the boundaries of your audience’s attention span. Just because the location of the posted content may change does not mean you have to change everything about that content. As the old saying goes, “Location, location, location!” Keeping in mind that customers are more likely to view your website via a mobile device instead of a computer should force you to change your overall approach to the outside world.

Do Not Allow the Quality of Your Content to Suffer

While you strive to modify your content to adapt to the new mobile-first concept, make sure that the quality of the content remains or the same or (better yet) grows as a result. When there are “too many chefs in the kitchen,” thoughts and feelings seem to become misconstrued and lost in translation in general.

The mobile design of your website makes it easier for people to find your online presence. However, you should ensure that your customers, clients and prospects have the same online access to your high-quality content and posts as the standard website. From images and infographics to text and videos, your most frequently read/viewed content (based on your analytics reports) should play an integral role in your mobile online presence.

Pay Close Attention to the Format of Your Content

Another helpful tip to allow your SEO content to blend and work well with mobile-first indexing is to preserve the underlying data structure and indexability of your website – both standard and mobile. All the formats, fonts and spacing that you used on your standard website may not be compatible with your mobile device.

For instance, there is no need to use excessive structured data if it has nothing to do with the content of a specific page. Each of your meta descriptions and titles should match between the mobile and desktop versions of your website. As you edit your SEO content and videos, check to make sure these checklist items have been resolved. There are several other elements working behind the scenes of your online presence that will help your brand/business maximize benefits of the mobile-first indexing concept – including:

  1. Integration of Social Metadata: To include widgets and social media profiles

  1. Verifying Search Console: Your standard desktop website may be the only website that Google detects. Therefore, you must go through the necessary steps to add your mobile website and verify it.

The simplest way to ensure your content is mobile-friendly is to invest in a responsive design. In most cases, high-quality responsive design options allow you to check off all the above-referenced items as part of the initial layout. Take the time to experiment with and examine all options available to ensure that your content marketing strategy is built on solid ground.

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Annie has over 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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