Google has announced that it is launching a mobile-first index as most searches now occur from mobile devices over desktops. This means that the mobile version of your site is looked at first by the algorithm, with a desktop fallback in the absence of one. There are a few things you can do now to get ready for its launch and use the Google testing period as your own.
- Make sure your website loads fast. Users are fickle and will bounce if they have to wait more than two seconds. To do this, make sure to optimize images and video, take out any code that has unnecessary characters, and reduce the number of redirects on your site.
- Design for mobile users. This is as simple as remembering that users are going to use their finger to navigate so make sure they can scroll or tap easily. Frustrated users leave, so along those lines, also get rid of pop-ups.
- Keep it simple for SERPs. Search engine pages are showing less so make the most of what you get. Keep titles short and descriptions clear. The bot can scan it faster as well.
- Be locally visible. With the Possum update in September to the local search algorithm, you need to maximize your exposure. Have your city and state in tags for headings, the URL, content and meta description. Make yourself easy to find as studies have shown that users visit a store the same day as conducting a search.
By implementing these things now, you can be ready for the official launch while improving your rankings. It’s a win-win effort.