You heard right – Mobile SEO! Just when you thought you had a pretty good handle on “standard” Search Engine Optimization, along comes Mobile SEO!
So what the heck is “Mobile SEO”? It started with the explosion in the use of smartphones, and along with it, the ability to surf and search the Web with those devices.
As far back as 2016, Search Engine Land was estimating that nearly 60% of all searches made on Google were coming from mobile devices, mainly smartphones.
Mobile-First Indexing by Google
Then this post in The Official Google Webmaster Central Blog in March 2018:
“Today we’re announcing that after a year and a half of careful experimentation and testing, we’ve started migrating sites that follow the best practices for mobile-first indexing.
To recap, our crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have typically used the desktop version of a page’s content, which may cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is vastly different from the mobile version. Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.”
What Does All This Mean?
Let me help interpret this announcement: The Google search index has become a mobile-first search index!
What Should You Do?
Here’s the (very) short answer:
- Use a Responsive Web Site Design: Long story short, take a look at your Web site on your smartphone – if it doesn’t serve properly on your phone (i.e. content spilling off the right edge of the phone’s screen), get thee to a responsive designed theme for your site ASAP! How? If you’re using WordPress as your CMS, there are many responsive design WordPress themes. For example, do this search on Google (without the quotes): “best free responsive wordpress themes”.
- Reduce the size of all photos and graphics on your site: A key way to increase your site’s download speed, and its ranking in a mobile-first search index, is to reduce the size of the photos and graphics on your site. How? Again, if you’re using WordPress as your site’s CMS, have I got a solution for you! Download and install the free version of a plugin called Smush – it will easily compress your existing photos/graphics.
For much more on what you can do to help your site rank well in Google’s mobile-first search index, check out backlinko’s mobile SEO guide.