Mobile devices have become an essential part of our lives. We use them to stay connected with friends and family, browse the web, and shop online. In fact, according to Statista, mobile internet traffic worldwide accounts for almost 60 percent of all web traffic, and in mobile-first markets such as Asia and Africa, mobile browsing accounts for an even larger share of webpage views.
This shift in user behaviour has had a major impact on the world of website building and SEO. In order to stay ahead of the curve, both from a UX perspective and for best practice SEO, businesses need to adopt a mobile-first approach.
What is Mobile-First Website Building?
Mobile-first website building is a design approach that prioritises the mobile user experience. This means designing your website for mobile devices first and then scaling it up to desktops and other devices.
There are a number of reasons why mobile-first website building is so important. First, it ensures that your website is easy to use and navigate on all devices. Second, it helps to ensure your website’s loading speed is fast, which is a key ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm.
Benefits of Mobile-First Website Building
There are a number of benefits to adopting a mobile-first approach to website building, including:
- Improved user experience: Mobile-first websites are designed to be easy to use and navigate on all devices. This means that your visitors will be able to find the information they need quickly and easily, no matter what device they are using.
- Faster loading speeds: Mobile-first websites tend to load faster than traditional websites. This is because mobile-first websites are designed to minimise the amount of data that needs to be downloaded.
- Better SEO performance: Google now uses mobile-first indexing, which means that the mobile version of your website is the primary version that Google crawls and indexes. As a result, mobile-first websites are more likely to rank higher in Google search results.
Impacts of Google’s Mobile-First Indexing Announcement
In October 2023, Google announced that it is moving to mobile-first indexing for all websites – you can click here to read the full announcement from Google.
This means that Google will now primarily use the mobile version of your website for indexing and ranking, regardless of whether your visitors are on a mobile device or a desktop.
This has been Google’s direction for several years now, but this announcement has significant implications for businesses that want to rank well in Google search results. One key impact is that if your website is not optimised for mobile devices, you are likely to see a decline in your search rankings, which you may not have experienced previously.
How to Implement a Mobile-First Approach to SEO?
There are a number of things you can do to implement a mobile-first approach to SEO, including:
- Make sure your website is responsive: A responsive website is one that automatically resizes and reformats itself to fit the device it is being displayed on. This ensures that your website will look good and function well on all devices.
- Optimise your website for mobile speed: Mobile users are more likely to abandon a website that takes too long to load. Make sure your website loads quickly on mobile devices by optimising your images, using a caching plugin, and minifying your code.
- Use mobile-friendly navigation: Make sure your website’s navigation is easy to use on mobile devices. This means using large buttons and clear text labels. You can use a hamburger menu for smaller screens for example as these have become fairly standard for the mobile user experience (UX).
- Use mobile-friendly content: Avoid using large blocks of text and complex formatting on your mobile website. Instead, use short paragraphs and simple formatting.
- Use mobile-friendly images: Make sure your images are optimised for mobile devices by resizing them and using the correct file format. Next-gen image formats such as WebP are much smaller so can significantly help web page loading speed but can still display great on all modern devices
A mobile-first approach to website building and SEO is essential for businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve. By following the tips above, you can ensure that your website is optimised for mobile devices and combined with great SEO, that you are ranking well in Google search results.
What else can you do to follow a Mobile-First Approach?
Here are some additional tips for implementing a mobile-first approach to SEO:
- Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check your website’s mobile-friendliness.
- Use Google Search Console to monitor your website’s mobile performance and identify any areas that need improvement.
- Use a mobile analytics tool to track your mobile website traffic and user behaviour, the most popular analytics tool being Google Analytics GA4, but additional tools such as Hotjar, Microsoft Clarity or Crazy Egg can also help to build a fuller picture of user behaviour on different devices.
- Keep your website up-to-date with the latest mobile SEO best practices.
- Test every change, update or design adjustment on all devices, and especially on mobile devices to ensure they render correctly and are easy to navigate, view and read.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your website is mobile-first and that you are well-positioned to succeed in the mobile-first era.
NEED HELP WITH YOUR MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITE SEO?
If you are looking for an SEO consultant with mobile-friendly experience to help your business, advise or give hands-on help in building the SEO for your website, and advise on your website build structure as well as a content plan to build your web dominance on the Search Engine Results Pages, call Wiser IT today on 07941 783434 or fill in the contact form.
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