Since early 2018 Google has been issuing notifications on ‘mobile-first indexing’ meaning quite simply that the ‘mobile version’ of your site is what they’ll look at first.
What does that mean for your website ranking?
Google will base what it places in the index based on the mobile version of your website, whereas they used to index the desktop version of your website first.
This is prompted because more searches come from a mobile device and to give those users a better experience, Google decided that it was time to prioritize mobile results.
This mobile-first index is not a separate index, Google has only one index from which it serves the results.
Should you be worried?
Do you need to do anything?
1: First up, do NOT panic
It may well not affect your ranking, not short term anyways. But if you have found your traffic, and rankings have dropped you’d want to further investigate.
Metaphor: To win the game with Google, you need 100 points, being mobile-friendly a year ago might have been worth 5 points, nowadays it’s more likely 10 or 15.
Bottom line is you need to upgrade so best do that sooner than later so you don’t get demerit points.
2: Run a mobile-friendly test.
Go to Google’s own Mobile-Friendly Test Tool > https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
If you don’t pass this test, chances are we should talk.
3: Think Mobile Version VS Desktop Version
Your website may be mobile friendly BUT what sort of a User Experience (UX) does it give.
If there are largish text sections that may well be fine when it’s viewed on a desktop, maybe not so needed when on a mobile.
So even if your website IS mobile-friendly, it may need mobile ‘optimisation’, which is tweaking the site to look, read and load faster on a mobile device.
4. Writing for Mobile vs Writing for Desktop
Reading from a mobile screen can be harder than reading from a desktop. Checking the content is large and clear enough on a desktop and a mobile; can be as Important as the content itself.
There are lots of ways to optimise your site for mobile users. The importance of this may increase depending on your websites main traffic source.
5. How does do your pages look on a mobile?
Is your audience is mainly a mobile one? If you are unsure you can check in your Google Analytics. In the case you don’t have Google Analytics on your site we need to talk ASAP!
If most of your traffic is from mobile then you’ll need to make sure that your pages mobile snippet is optimised.
Getting web traffic but not converting them to clients? Find out why