Google’s Mobile-First Indexing & the Things You Should Know
Google’s Mobile-First Indexing & the Things You Should Know

It’s been a while since we last heard about Google’s mobile-first index. Mobile-first index was first announced back in 2016. It subsequently became a hot trend that demanded companies in the SEO services Dubai sector and everywhere else to begin preparations for the change. However, change came 2 years late. But after the wait, Google has finally started rolling out mobile-first index, the tech giant’s direct response to the major shifts in consumer behavior over the last couple of years. 

For its mobile-first index, Google will use a mobile user agent to crawl and index content. The company’s algorithm will access the mobile version of a website to rank content. Even if the user searches for content through desktops, Google will refer its mobile content index to return the most relevant results to the user. The mobile version of a website would essentially become the primary version once the index goes online. This will bring forth the significant SEO trends shift that we’ve been waiting for. 

For an SEO company in Dubai, much preparation is in order to get client websites mobile-ready for the new trend. Here are a few other tips to keep in mind regarding the impending shift in SEO trends. 

Monitoring crawl activities

When your website is changed over to the mobile index, Google will send a notification via your search console. However, you will want to keep tabs on Google’s crawl activity before and after the transfer to see if there are any issues and resolve them immediately. This can be done by monitoring log file data which will let you see how the crawlers access your website and what they see after accessing it. Google may still need time to calibrate your website’s performance. So the patterns you see might fluctuate. Nevertheless, Google will individually test a site’s readiness.  

Deliver content tailored for mobile

If you think having a responsive website satisfies all criteria of the mobile-first index, you are in for a rude awakening. Even SEO companies have this misconception that responsiveness is what’s required to prepare for the mobile-first index. It would still be alright for a website that’s responsive and delivers content tailored for mobile. If the website has the same content across devices, their ranking won’t be affected. Neither will it go up nor will it go down.

Prioritizing a better experience for mobile audience would potentially get rewarded by Google with higher rankings. The content tailored for mobile should both be relevant and helpful to users so as to achieve their goal quickly. By incorporating progressive web apps (PWAs), the content will be delivered even faster. Ultimately, tailoring the right content, ensuring that it’s relevant to mobile users, and making sure they see and use the content the way it’s meant to require a strategic approach.

Ensure technical best practices

Even the best content will need to follow best practices of technical search engine optimization before it is served to users. For the mobile-first index, content developers and SEOs should focus on structured data, ensuring hreflang tags point to the mobile versions of the URLs, optimized metadata for higher CTRs, site-loading speed, and ensuring the site can be crawled.

New measurement frameworks

Online marketers will have to ensure that the content tailored for mobile nurtures leads – from awareness to conversion and retention. The mobile-first index require new strategies for measurement and more metrics that go beyond conversion data on reports. 

Monitoring rankings across desktops and mobile is a good way to start. By considering the ‘customer lifetime value’ metric, marketers would be able to get a better picture of their audience’s research-to-purchase persona. This would subsequently help them in integrating the right kind of content with other marketing channels. Many companies in the social media marketing Dubai industry are already experimenting with ways that social media marketing can complement SEO driven by the mobile-first index.