Mobile device browsing surpassed desktop several years ago and has only risen, making the gap larger and larger.
Google has released that the mobile version of content will be prioritised over desktop for indexing and ranking. Therefore, any sites that are not optimised for mobile will struggle to rank on the SERPs.
This change has not happened overnight. In fact it began in November last year when Google began ranking sites lower if they were not built for mobile. Many companies saw a dramatic loss in organic traffic and therefore decreased sales and enquiries due to the Google update. This latest indexing announcement just solidifies the change further. A clear correlation has come about between higher sales and better, quicker optimised mobile pages. This means an increased number of unique visitors, purely because customer experience online is a positive one. This then generates higher conversions and reduced abandoned basket rates.
Bad news for any sites that are not mobile first, they will make way for other competitors that are ahead of the game and have updated their site to comply with these Google changes. Building a new website isn’t just about Google and getting higher rankings, it is an opportunity to improve your user experience and customer journey. You have 9 seconds to capture the attention of a visitor on your website, use every second well. Don’t make them wait longer than 3 seconds for the page to load, then you will be down to 6 seconds to make a lasting impression.
‘ThinkWithGoogle’ announced that AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) will help people that don’t have mobile first websites. This will boost page loading speed whilst using less data. It may be a short-term fix to help with the transition into mobile first indexing, but it should not be considered a long-term solution.
Building a website for the mobile-first index is not about sacrificing a desktop site, it’s more about understanding that mobile must now come first.