Google announced last week that it’s testing out a mobile first index – using the elements from your mobile site to determine how your content should ranking for both mobile AND desktop queries.
While the update will most likely not roll out for a few months, what do you need to do now to prepare?
If you have a separate mobile site
If you have a separate mobile site, Google has guidance here: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/11/mobile-first-indexing.html
If you don’t have a mobile site
If you don’t even have a mobile site, Google says not to worry. “If you only have a desktop site, we’ll continue to index your desktop site just fine, even if we’re using a mobile user agent to view your site.”
Though from my experience, you won’t rank as well for your audience’s mobile queries without a mobile site….
If your site is responsive
And if you have a responsive site, you might think you’d be all set, but have you looked at your mobile page speed recently? In the future, the page speed of your mobile pages will impact both your mobile and desktop rankings.
Mobile page speed will impact your desktop rankings
I think it’s time for everyone to shore up how fast their mobile site loads – to ensure they are all set for the upcoming update and don’t experience ranking decreases due to the index change.
Page speed matters for more than just rankings.
Keep in mind that mobile search officially outpaced desktop searches (in March of last year) and people searching on a mobile devices are more impatient.
How important is page load speed for mobile searchers?
Here’s a bit of recent research about how fast page load is critical to the mobile experience:
53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load.
Sites that load in 5 seconds (vs the average 19 seconds) observed:
- 25% higher ad viewability
- 70% longer average sessions
- 35% lower bounce rates
What should you do now?
Have you checked your mobile page speed recently?