Mobile-first indexingThese days, most of us consume digital media on mobile devices. So it’s no surprise that Google is making the switch to mobile-first indexing. Simply put, this means that Googlebot will crawl mobile websites first—before their desktop counterparts.

What does mobile-first indexing mean for your website?

If you have a responsive website, you’re good to go.

Otherwise, it’s time to put your best, mobile-friendly foot forward. Make metadata, keywords, search-friendly content, and accessibility part of your mobile site experience. This is especially true if you have separate sites at different URLs for desktop and mobile. With mobile-first indexing, the mobile experience becomes a more significant factor in your site’s visibility.

If your website isn’t responsive, reconsider

A responsive website delivers the same content and data as a desktop website. It’s built on proportional grids, flexible images, and CSS-based queries, so your site automatically adapts text and layout for any screen size. This is obviously preferable to directing a user to a different site based on the device they happen to be using (a practice that almost always leads to version control issues and a second-class, inferior experience on your mobile site).

Mobile-first indexing doesn’t introduce anything new for a responsive website, as the same website will still be indexed. But you can always improve the search performance of your website, by following these best practices.

Optimize for mobile

If you haven’t been thinking about your mobile users much, now is a great time to re-orient your content and development practices to prioritize the mobile experience. Avoid heavy images, large, complex diagrams, and long paragraphs of content. Make sure your headings and content are succinct, relevant, and keyword rich. Going forward, mobile-first content practices will improve not only the browsing experience for all your users, but your search performance as well.

Check out Google’s handy tool to see if your website is mobile-friendly:  https://search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly.

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