Mobile-First Indexing and the Top 5 Reasons You Need a Responsive Website.

Marketing, SEO, Web Development

Google was created to help people find what they are looking for online. With more and more people choosing to access the internet and conduct searches from their mobile devices, it was no surprise when Google announced their rollout of mobile-first indexing. But what does it mean exactly?

While Google would previously index the desktop version of your site, it now indexes the mobile version. In plain terms, Google is giving ranking preference to websites that are optimized to perform well on mobile and smart devices.

If you haven’t already started to reap the SEO rewards of having a mobile responsive web design, here are the top five reasons why you should act now.

 

1. More Mobile-Based Traffic

Mobile traffic has grown every year for the last decade, now accounting for 52.2% of all internet traffic. People want to access information and find out about products and services through their mobile device, something a website that isn’t mobile responsive can’t provide. Distorted images, text, and poor user experience are the issues users face when a website doesn’t render appropriately to a smaller screen. While some companies have separate sites for mobile and desktop, mobile responsive sites are becoming the norm due to their greater versatility and more economic development costs.

closeup up hand searching on smartphone with coffee

2. Reduced Bounce Rates

Bounce rate tells you how effective your website is at connecting with visitors, with mobile users generally having much less patience than desktop users. As more and more internet traffic is shifting to mobile, one of the best ways to engage your visitors and keep your bounce rate in check is to have a mobile responsive web design that provides a great user experience whatever device users use to access your site. 

38% of users will abandon a site and return to the SERP page if the page they land is distorted or unattractive when viewed on a mobile device. The longer a user sticks around and explores your site, the more likely they are to make a purchase or commit to your desired CTA. That’s why it’s crucial your website performs well on every device, reducing your bounce rate and providing a great user experience that encourages users to explore your site and check out what your business has to offer.

More people in the world own a smartphone than a toothbrush, so making sure your site is mobile friendly, with an intuitive interface and fast loading speeds, is more critical than ever.

3. Website Maintenance

When mobile-first indexing first came into operation, many companies had multiple versions of their website to cater to each device type. You can imagine the problems and extra work involved when it came to making updates. Responsive web design means you only need one site, with a responsive design that adapts to the user device – making updates and website maintenance much more straightforward.

4. Faster Loading Speeds

Loading speeds are a long established ranking factor. Google has consistently stated that websites that are faster to load are given preference in search results. With that in mind, every business owner should strive to make their website as fast as possible to improve their ranking. 

Websites with a mobile responsive design load faster than their desktop equivalents, especially when accessed on a mobile or smart device.

5. Duplicate Content

Google has stated for a long time how loading speeds are a factor in their ranking algorithms. Search engines want to provide answers to a users search query as fast as possible, something a slow site fails to do.

If you aren’t matching the loading times of your competition, you need to optimize your website to bring it up to speed. Even if your site matches the speed of your rivals, if your competition is improving their speeds, you’re getting slower in comparison.

Up Your Content Game

The alternative to a mobile responsive site is to have separate sites for each device type. To create separate websites, you need separate URLs.

The problem is that your content is the same on both your desktop and mobile site. Duplicate content can cause substantial damage to your search ranking. The majority of mobile websites are canonicalized to their desktop equivalent, and as a result, suffer when it comes to ranking in search results. 

A mobile responsive site allows you to focus your SEO efforts on a single website, improving the chances of ranking high in search results.

Conclusion

With so much internet traffic being mobile based, it’s vital that your website performs well on whatever device visitors choose to use. Mobile responsive web design ensures that your site is providing a great experience to all users, which translates into your business making a positive impression on your potential customers.

People are going to access your website on the device they want to, businesses with a site that fails to adapt will suffer. While websites that provide a great experience on every device will benefit, seeing a reduced bounce rate, higher conversion rate, and make a positive impression that encourages potential customers to do business with them.

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