If you have set up google analytics and the new search console (previously known as google webmaster tools) you most likely received a notification recently from Google letting you know that Google enabled mobile-first indexing of your website.
mobile-first indexing means that the mobile (responsive) version of your website is now going to take priority when it comes to your website appearing in search results.
Why would Google do this?
Over the past decade as mobile devices (both phones and all versions of tablets) have increased in functionality, so has their usefulness when it comes to utilizing the Cloud, or the internet. It is not strange to walk into a corporate environment and find executives and staff members using tablets or phones instead of laptops. All of this business usage, plus constant personal use, has continued to trend upward when it comes to total traffic ratios. In 2015/2016 I started to see most of the websites I was managing trend 50/50 in terms of desktop vs mobile traffic.
Google, of course, noticed this as well, and immediately started working on ensuring that websites optimized for mobile devices would rank higher when users were searching on a mobile device. It only makes sense they have the ability to understand the type of device you are using to search, and they also know what websites perform better on phones and tablets.
If most of the traffic and searches on Google are coming from mobile devices, it makes sense to prioritize a better user experience on a mobile device in their ranking algorithm.
Here are mobile usage trends for the real estate sector (with data reported from 2016):
And overall projections for mobile data usage:
It only made sense that Google would start paying more attention to optimizing search results for people searching on mobile devices.
what is most critical for your business right now, in terms of web traffic, is that your website is responsive (mobile friendly) and your usability is designed for both mobile and desktop experiences.
If your website performs poorly on mobile phones, and your competitors are investing in ensuring that their sites perform well responsively, they will start to outrank you. It’s not a fear tactic, it’s the truth. Web developers and industry experts have been stating this for several years, but now it is clearly one of the most important aspects of development and digital strategy.
Contact us today if you’d like to chat more about your business and specifically if your website is performing properly for users on mobile devices.