A mobile first world isn’t a phrase that comes as a shock to most people. Think about what you look at when you wake up first thing in the morning. Think about what you check when you have a break at a dinner date, or are walking the streets on your way to work.
Chances are, you aren’t pulling out your laptop in these instances, you’re pulling out your mobile. The data backs this up, as almost 60% of web searches are made from a mobile device.
With the shift in the majority of internet users using mobile devices rather than a desktop, Google has started to test a mobile first indexing strategy that they plan to fully launch sometime in 2017.
What exactly does that mean? It means that Google will start to rank your website based on its mobile content, even for users searching on a desktop. With this shift in their indexing strategy, it can have affects on your business if proper steps aren’t taken.
A responsive design will take care of any implications Google’s shift to mobile first would have on your website rankings. A responsive design means that your website adjusts to your user’s screen size, orientation, and device automatically.
However, if your design is not responsive, nor do you have a mobile site, your website will plummet in the search rankings when Google rolls out their mobile first strategy.
Plummeting in the rankings means fewer people will see your website in search results, which means fewer visitors on your website that could turn into customers.
By neglecting to have a responsive website, you run the risk of having your bottom line affected when Google unleashes their mobile first indexing.
If you don’t have a responsive design, we recommend making the shift as soon as possible. However, having a separate mobile site is better than having nothing on the mobile front.
Remember that Google will be ranking your website based on your mobile content, so it’s important to have consistent content across your desktop and mobile sites.
If you’ve produced excellent content on your desktop site, but haven’t done much with your mobile site, the content you’ve created for your desktop site will be irrelevant to Google when they officially switch to Mobile First.
Consistency across both desktop and mobile sites is key, because a drop in rankings means a drop in web traffic, which generally leads to a loss in revenue.
This is a point that is often overlooked, but is vital to many companies. If you have a product that is primarily web-based, you should be brainstorming and interviewing current customers about the product being easily accessible on mobile devices.
More people are accessing the internet from their mobile devices than ever before, so you have to keep that in mind when developing your products. If you aren’t able to cater to your customers’ needs, they’ll seek out a product that can, which means you lose customers in the process.
We’ve talked about negative business effects that can happen to your company if mobile first isn’t a part of your strategy.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if mobile first has, and continues to be, at the forefront of your business’ strategy, you’ll have an advantage over the competition that doesn’t. That could render significant positive results for your company.
This could happen by having your website optimized for mobile while your competitors don’t. You’ll move up in the rankings, and they’ll move down. Moving up in the rankings means more visibility for your website, and hopefully more customers.
What we want you to take away from all this is that a mobile first approach isn’t a new phenomenon that will be going away. With each passing day, the internet is trending more and more toward mobile first, and Google’s shift of their indexing strategy is further evidence of that.
You can either hop on the mobile first train, or run the risk of being derailed off the tracks. We recommend the former.