It almost seems impossible to think that a few years ago, all of the big technology companies were concerned about whether or not their business models would survive the shift to mobile-first. That’s because Google, Facebook, Amazon and many others had “grown up” as desktop services. Now, transitioning to operate in a world where we, the customers, have started preferring our digital services on smartphones and tablets. In fact in 2016, mobile became the preferred way of getting on the internet, with the most recent figures showing that around 7 of every 10 minutes spent online is via a mobile device.
It’s safe to say that with profits measured in the billions, not millions, that the tech giants have well and truly navigated the hurdle.
But that means that changes are coming for the rest of us.
Changes to Google indexing, mobile-first
Now that Google is confident that it’s business model, which relies on serving up billions of ads every day, is alive and well on mobile it’s begun to roll out some changes. A recent change of policy by the search engine behemoth announced that the way that content was indexed from websites would be changing.
Google systems harvest data from web pages so that those helpful search results could be sorted, indexed and displayed to us when we typed in a query into the Google search bar.
And crucially, the data that was harvested would be collected from the desktop version of the web page. That’s the part that’s changing. From now on, Google will move harvesting data from the mobile version of the web page instead, because most of its users are mobile users.
Why does that matter?
That matters because if you have a web page that is not mobile friendly, then your data will not be harvested by Google.
And if that doesn’t happen, then the likelihood of you or your business appearing in the first few pages of a Google search query, whether that’s “plumbers in Newcastle” or “wedding planners in Sydney” might be disadvantaged. It’s also an issue if you are running two versions of your website: a desktop version and a mobile version. Typically the mobile version is a cut down version of the desktop one, which might lead to the same problem of fewer results, fewer views and fewer enquiries.
Argh! What do I do?
There are some simple things you can do to prepare for this change:
- Get your website mobile friendly – things like increasing the spacing between paragraphs, decreasing the size and quality of graphics and ensuring that embedded videos and links “fit” on the mobile page comfortably all go a long way.
- UX – short for user experience, this is how a new browser will “walk through” your website. Your pages should flow naturally and not be a maze to navigate, so think of how it would look and feel to use with fresh eyes.
- Technical tune-ups – things like installing caching, checking your server speed and load times are essential to making sure your site loads fast on mobile devices.
- Device testing – make sure you test your website with a few different brands of phone and browser, there are often little quirks between operating systems and hardware that affect how sites actually look versus how you think they’ll look. Recruiting friends and family to do this is a way to save yourself from outlaying a few hundred dollars on new smartphones!
Or give us a call
Alternatively, you could always get in touch with us here at Brugel Creative about getting your website to be mobile-first ready. We can do all of the above and more to make sure that your website and business stays prominent in search rankings and results, as well as making sure your website runs seamlessly on mobile and desktop alike.