Mobile-First Indexing in 2019

Starting from July 1, 2019, Google enables mobile-first indexing for all new domains. This means that the search engine prefers mobile pages over the desktop ones.

Four reasons why a website needs mobile optimization

1. Smartphones are becoming the only device to access the Internet.
Stone Temple estimates that 67% of users access the Internet from mobile devices. By 2025, the number of such users will reach 75%. Desktop computers are becoming a thing of the past. If you do not optimize your website for mobile devices, you stand to lose potential customers.

2. Mobile devices are the main source of traffic for websites.
The BrightEdge study found that 55% of traffic to websites comes from mobile devices. According to forecasts, this number will increase in the next few years. If you are interested in increasing your traffic, you must optimize your website for mobile devices.

3. Smartphone users are ready to buy.
80% of smartphone owners confirmed that they had made at least one purchase in the last six months. Studies have shown that mobile users are the ideal audience for small and medium businesses. They make small, but regular purchases.

4. Search engines take into account the optimization of websites for mobile devices when ranking.
As already mentioned above, from July 1, Google will rank websites based on the mobile-first prnciple, that is, it will give preference to mobile pages over desktop ones. If you want to come up top in searches, allocate a budget for the development of a promotion strategy in mobile search.

How to optimize a website for mobile devices

Here is what you can do to make the resource easy to view from smartphones and tablets:

1. Checking website optimization for mobile devices.

Before proceeding to work on your website, analyze the resource. A free tool from Google (ссылка: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly) will help you check whether the page is optimized for mobile devices and what changes should be made.

Website optimization test results

Correct errors according to the results of the diagnostics. Keep in mind though that search engine tools only analyze technical details and say nothing about how intuitive the website is for users, or whether it looks good when viewed from mobile devices. Therefore, after correcting the errors, you must also evaluate the design and content of the website.

2. Content optimization.

Carefully review the content published on the website. Check the following elements.

Videos and images

Log into your website from different smartphones. Check out how the visual elements are displayed, whether they fit on the screen, whether the video are taking too long to load - of it they load at all.

Search engines recommend,if posssible, to refrain from using Flash technology on mobile pages. HTML5 is best for embedding content.

Text

Assess how easy it is to read text from a smartphone. If you cannot read it without zooming in, the website needs to be optimized. No horizontal scrolling. Only the content that does not go beyond the screen.

Interactive elements

Interactive elements (buttons, registration forms, etc.) are considered optimized for mobile devices, if they are convenient for interacting with them. Ensure that the buttons are easy to tap from touch screens. Consider how to change the drop-down menu to simplify interaction with the website. Make sure that phone numbers can be called and email addresses can be accessed for sending emails directly from the device.

Popup windows

Users do not like pop-ups. But website owners still use pop-ups to attract visitors' attention to important information. If you decide to use pop-up windows, consider the recommendations of search engines. The main thing you need to remember is that pop-ups should be removed, if necessary, in one click and should have a noticeable close button.



3. Download speed

Search engines take into account the speed of website loading when ranking. A Google study found that mobile pages that take longer than three seconds to load lose 53% of visits. Optimize your speed. Thereby you will reduce the bounce rate and will be able to increase your conversion and profit.

In order to obtain specific recommendations to speed up your website, use the free Google PageSpeed ​​Insights tool. (Ссылка: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/)



Page speed insights

The following methods can be used to reduce the time needed for a website to load:

  • reducing the amount of content;
  • image compression;
  • caching;
  • code optimization;

4. AMP WordPress Plugins

If your website is based on one of the popular platforms - such as Wordpress - you can simplify your task and use the appropriate plugins, for example:

AMP for WP and AMP it Up!

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